Yes, I’m that girl. You know, the one who compensates a lack in motivation with a Nike shopping spree. I’ve been known to procrastinate a workout with a quick e-shopping trip, and for four straight holidays, it’s become a bit of tradition to receive Lululemon gift cards from family, friends, and even coworkers (they obvi know the way to my heart).
But why exactly does new workout gear have such a powerful grip on my eagerness to exercise? And even when I am excited for an upcoming long run, why does a new pair of Wunder Under’s pump me up even more? Well guys, I’ve done some digging, and I’ve pinpointed three reasons why it’s totally okay to bribe yourself with a new sports bra or two.
The smarty pants over at Northwestern University have discovered that according to “enclothed cognition”, what we wear subconsciously influences how we act. I mean, strap my feet in some 5-inch heels, and I immediately enter diva mode… so this revelation seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, turns out this phenomenon isn’t the result of some good acting: our minds actually convince ourselves of our newfound abilities. For example, when you lace up some fresh running kicks right out of the box, your brain deceivingly starts to think these shoes are going to elevate your performance. This subconscious belief helps you mentally prepare for that kind of performance, increasing your focus and motivation. Funniest part about it: with clearer focus and drive, you could actually perform as a better athlete because of your new gear. So yes, new clothes = better athlete. Science says so.
Just think: when you have an outfit that is truly comfortable and complementary to your sport, you’re more likely to enjoy your workout, right? When I’m wearing running tights that act as a second-skin and don’t obstruct my motions in any way, that’s when I experience my best workouts. And thankfully we live in a world where chafe-causing, itchy fitnesswear isn’t acceptable anymore. So if this is even a factor in your workouts, trash those threads for some premium activewear.
And fit is also pretty important. There’s nothing worse than trotting around in a pair of tights that are simultaneously indenting seams into your thighs. Well, except maybe having to sacrifice one hand as a human belt for some too-loose shorts for an entire workout. That’s no fun at all.
We’re some funny creatures, us humans. Sure we get sick of each other and all, but at the end of the day, acceptance is so important to us and we just want to become part of the in-crowd. And if a new pair of yoga pants is what’s going to make us feel like we won’t be socially rejected in a yoga class, then Lululemon it is! Exhibit A, when I shockingly agreed to take on my first yoga experience a few weeks ago, my night-before fight-or-flight reaction was: “WHAT AM I DOING, I HAVE TO FIND THE PERFECT YOGA MAT.” When in retrospect, I probably should have spent that time stretching out my incredibly un-limber legs. Regardless, that pink mat gave me the confidence I needed to join a group of seasoned pro’s in their Wednesday morning session of namaste. Because it worked it’s magic: I (delusionally) felt like I belonged.
So for all of my fellow fit-fashionistas, hopefully this insight helped you shed some guilt for a few too many trips to Footlocker. And for those of you who are still rockin’ your cotton Soffe shorts from I dunno, 10 YEARS AGO, by God, get yourself over to Dick’s pronto. It’s time for some retail motivation!