5 Things You Should Never Wear to the Gym

by Jacqueline Ho Content Producer

We’ve all seen someone at the gym wearing an outfit you wouldn’t be caught dead in. But this isn’t about style. Wearing any of these five items while working out may hamper your athletic performance and could lead to both short- and long-term health problems.

Anything 100 percent cotton

A cotton T-shirt may feel light and comfortable, but just wait until you start sweating. Cotton absorbs moisture so as you sweat, your shirt will become drenched, which can lead to chills, irritation, breakouts and increased chafing. It also can weigh you down. Swap your cotton stuff for clothes made from moisture-wicking fabrics. That will help your skin stay dry and cool.

Clothing with nanosilver

Some companies have recently begun to incorporate silver threads—known as nanosilver—into their fitness apparel, as some research suggests that it may help fight bacteria and mold. However, research has also shown that nanosilver can be washed into the water after a few washings and its effects on the environment remain unknown.

Old sneakers

Think it’s okay to wear your old, worn-out sneaks to the gym? Think again. Worn-out shoes have deteriorated soles and arch supports, which can make you more likely to slip and fall. They can also make you more susceptible to sports-related injuries. It is a good idea to get fitted by a specialist for athletic shoes, and replace them every 500 miles.

Baggy sweatpants

Baggy clothes may feel comfortable, especially if you’re hitting the gym right after rolling out of bed. But there are hazards involved. Loose-fitting clothing can easily get caught on heavy machinery, which can be dangerous. Wearing baggy clothes can also make it more difficult to pay attention to your exercise form, another safety risk.

Perfume or lotion

A spritz of perfume may help hide bad body odor, but the scent is intensified with heat, which can cause headaches for yourself and those around you. Applying lotion shortly before going to the gym is also dangerous, as it can run into your eyes and also make it difficult to maintain a firm grasp on machines or heavy weights.

Jacqueline Ho
Meet Our Writer
Jacqueline Ho

Jacqueline is a former content producer for HealthCentral. She is a multimedia journalist with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and a master's in Broadcast Journalism and Public Affairs.