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For Better Health: Clothes, Classes, Accessories Can Help You Get Pumped For Exercise



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Local fitness studio owners and instructors recently weighed in on different types of trends in the exercise field, from clothes to classes and accessories.

The Newtown Yoga Center Founder and Director Aline Marie said women’s workout pants have more pockets these days, and many shirts have open backs and/or are more “flowy” in general.

“Athleisure” outfits are continuing to be popular.

Ms Marie said people are wearing clothes that cross-over from their day-to-day events to the yoga studio. This is convenient, and many no longer have to change clothes after a workout — because their clothes are transitional for casual-wear.

“I’ve also noticed the fabrics are getting a little softer, which is nice,” Ms Marie said.

She sees more “fun prints on pants” these days and more graphics and designs. She is also noticing the cut of women’s shirts are more complementary.

Ms Marie said she has been practicing yoga for 20 years, and at first it was all “T-shirts and sweatpants” or “T-shirts and bike shorts.”

“The industry has come a long way,” said Ms Marie, adding that sweat-resistant, sweat-wicking, and compression options are now available.

Material options have also expanded for props. There are more sizes and more awareness has been taken to contouring for gear. The individualized gear meets peoples’ needs, she said.

“I think it is great, and I think it gives people a lot of flexibility,” Ms Marie commented.

Yoga mat options have expanded too: They can now be anti-slip, anti-bacterial, sweat absorbing, travel-sized, “you name it!” Ms Marie has been painting yoga mats and selling them for the last 16 years. She estimates she has sold more than 600 mats. More information about her yoga mats is available on her website, alinemarie.com.

Shaking It Up

Lathrop School Of Dance of Newtown Zumba instructor Megan Sajovic reflected that types of classes are also changing too. People, she shared, want short, quick “but effective workouts.”

“For example, my STRONG30 class on Saturday mornings at the [Lathrop School of Dance] studio usually grabs attention because it is a HIIT [high intensity interval training] workout synced to the music, but its done in 30 minutes,” she said.

“An hour-long class can seem intimidating to somebody who is brand-new to the HIIT or boot-camp format, but 30 minutes seems doable for them,” Ms Sajovic said. “People aren’t wanting to spend hours at the gym anymore. They want something that’s going to complete the same fitness objective they have that day but in a shorter amount of time so they can get in, get out, and move on with the rest of their day.”

While class formats do not seem to have changed, Ms Sajovic said target markets are changing. Classes that once catered to senior citizens now draw beginners to Zumba and others too.

“You also see a lot of people using social media as a platform such as Facebook, Instagram, etc posting about more of their workouts, fitness tips, and ‘how to’s,’” Ms Sajovic said.

This is seen especially with online coaches and personal trainers who host workout groups and those who advertise supplements for performance or weight loss so they can reach more patrons.

“We are a very ‘post it or it didn’t happen’ and ‘going live’ society now, so as people are posting pictures and videos of what supplements they use and what they’re doing on the machines in the gym, they’re getting the word out about their product or themselves,” Ms Sajovic said.

Fashionable Transitions

Clothing, Ms Sajovic shared, is being made and marketed differently.

“Before, a typical gym outfit would consist of maybe an old T-shirt you don’t mind sweating in and some shorts,” she said. “Today, we’re seeing the style change a bit to be more fashionable, and in some cases more functional/serving as more than just an outfit for working out.”

For women, Ms Sajovic said a “go to” has been basic black leggings — like those from Old Navy, Fabletics, or Lululemon, “if you have the money to spend,” she added.

“I’m also seeing in gyms a lot of graphic tees and [racer back tank tops] with inspirational sayings, some related to working out or related to a specific workout too,” she shared.

Ms Sajovic recommended that anyone who is looking to start working out should “pick a date and just start.” Packing a bag with clothes, gear, and water the night before can help fit a workout into a schedule.

“Going to a class at a studio or a class at the gym is a great way to keep you accountable for your workout, especially since with group exercise classes, you are meeting new people and expanding your social circle,” Ms Sajovic said. “Or even simpler, go with a close friend and make it a challenge or competition to try a certain amount of classes a month.”

A Non-Trend Comfort Trend

Personal trainer and Joanne’s Fitness Studio of Newtown Owner Joanne Lockwood said at her studio “there are no ‘fashion trends’ in regard to what my clients wear.”

That is because “years ago” Ms Lockwood said she was gathering information to put together a website and asked her clients what she should write as a “kind of testimonial regarding their feelings on the studio.”

“One of my clients wrote this, ‘Joanne’s Studio is a gift I give myself twice a week — A great workout for my body, plus time with classmates to listen, laugh, and celebrate life... and no one cares what I wear,” she shared.

Ms Lockwood said she wants her clients to feel comfortable and wear whatever makes them feel comfortable.

Joanne’s Fitness Studio shirts are sold and worn by many of her clients, she noted. And some of the male patrons wear their pajamas over their workout clothes.

More information about The Newtown Yoga Center is available online at thenewtownyogacenter.com, more information about Lathrop School of Dance is available online at lathropschoolofdance.com, and more information about Joanne’s Fitness Studio is available at joannesfitnessstudio.com.

Lathrop School Of Dance Zumba instructor Megan Sajovic, far left, leads a recent Zumba class.
A yoga mat painted by Aline Marie, The Newtown Yoga Center founder and director, has a colorful heart design at its center.
Joanne’s Fitness Studio patrons wear shirts sold at the studio.
Dr Joel Malin wore pajamas over his workout clothes at Joanne’s Fitness Studio recently.
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