5 Strategies For Spring Cleaning Your Fitness Gear

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.

Just as bulky sweaters are packed into the depths of a tiny closet or tossed after a season of heavy use, activewear is also subject to its own seasonality and life cycle. When it comes time to do a sweep through your closet, don't forget to go through your gear, too. Keep these tips in mind when deciding what to toss.

Be critical of the workout tank
How you feel when you start a workout impacts how well you train that day, and a big part of how you feel has to do with what you're wearing. When a shirt loses its vibrancy or shape after too many washes, it might affect your confidence. Further, less technical fabrics have a tendency to stain or break down with continued use (and lots of sweating). They say dress for the job you want. Well, the same advice can be applied to working out. When you’re not wearing something that makes you feel great, you’re less likely to operate at your top effort. That said, if that ratty tank is your lucky shirt, keep it!

Stretchy pants shouldn’t be too stretchy
When previously form-fitting leggings start to feel a little less so, it’s probably time for a change. Seams and waistbands can become loose (especially when washing instructions aren’t always followed closely), and styles can be outgrown. If they don't fit anymore, there's no reason to keep 'em.

Don’t be lenient with sports bras
If there is one type of fitness gear worth investing in, it’s the sports bra. The benefits of a good-quality, well-fitting and activity-appropriate sports bra are plenty. While the high-end brands design their pieces to last, all sports bras reach a point where they are no longer truly effective, which can lead to too much bouncing and a very sore chest. Move past the killer color combo, cool designs, and the fact that you had to set aside money for a month to make the purchase — and set your sights on a brand-new one that’s going to offer the support you need.

No need to hoard water bottles
Any person with a fitness obsession is likely to have multiple water bottles stashed around the house. Guess how many water bottles that same person uses during a workout? One. Most people have one or two they use on a regular basis, and several others that just sit around unused. If you fall into this category, or if you’ve never invested in a quality bottle, it may be time to get rid of the excess.

Assess gym bag functionality
At some point, everyone will get distracted by an appealing gym bag, and after putting it to use, they may discover it doesn’t meet their needs or personal preference. The perfect bag will be different for everyone. Finding the right size and shape that allows you to pack everything you need — but also avoids you emptying out the bag on the street just to find your phone — is hard. If the one you’ve been using isn’t making your life easier, accept that there’s a better option out there and let the old one go.

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