By Felicia Czochanski
As we head into the New Year, one of the most common resolutions is consistently to build and maintain a healthier lifestyle, including exercising more and eating better. A survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 regular gymgoers believed performance-based activewear helped them push themselves harder towards their exercise goals. Whether you’re aiming to hit the gym or leverage your home gym or yoga mat more this year, the first step to success could be a workout wardrobe refresh – and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
For me, the last few years have meant a shift from going to the gym to working out at home. I’ve learned some of the most effective workouts need nothing more than a workout mat, a comfortable workout outfit and my own bodyweight. I love my stationary bike but adding more strength workouts is one of my goals for the new year. I’ve also come to the conclusion that you don’t need to break the bank when it comes to buying new workout attire. Instead of walking into a Lululemon where items will run you an average of $100 a piece, why not try your tried-and-true Goodwill store instead? You might be surprised at what you might find. I certainly was!
The first time I checked out the workout section – mostly leggings interspersed with pairs of shorts and tops, I found myself in designer heaven. Brands like Outdoor Voices, Athleta, Lululemon, Electric Yoga, Alo, and Peloton were sitting sweetly on the racks just waiting to be plucked by a happy customer. At no more than $8 a piece, I was definitely that customer. And in going back to the same store a few more times, I found similar hauls, which goes to show I’m not the only person who benefits from a workout wardrobe refresh.
The idea of shopping for workout gear, or even athleisure or loungewear at Goodwill won’t make a significant dent in your wallet, but it can make a great impact on the environment. If you find yourself motivated to workout by a cute new workout set or pair of leggings you bought and want to wear, swapping out your least favorite apparel into donating to Goodwill and shopping for more of the styles you love is the most sustainable way to do it. Shopping and donating second-hand at Goodwill helps your community extend the life of usable items, diverting them from piling up at landfills. In the past year alone, Goodwill recovered the value of more than 3 billion pounds of used goods, giving them a second life.
Whether your ultimate fitness goal for the New Year is to go for a difficult hike, run a 5K, or even to get in the habit of stretching every day, taking the first step of investing in yourself with a like-new workout outfit will show yourself that you’re serious about your goal. Your new workout gear can be a physical reminder of all you’re hoping to achieve this year, one workout at a time.
Have a fitness-focused New Year’s resolution this year? Share your second-hand apparel journey with us at @Goodwillintl for the chance to be featured in a future blog.