Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad Spending Money On Gym Clothes

Originally published on February 17, 2021

Nobody wants to feel bad about spending money.

Society has done a great job of condemning millennials for buying lattes and enjoying avocado toast (as I sit here and drink coffee while eating avocado toast).

The truth is, there’s no one right way to approach spending money and what you should spend it on. It’s all contextual to you and your situation.

Now, what I’m about to say might sound a little strange but I have some supporting arguments to back it up.

I believe gym clothes are the perfect expense and you shouldn’t feel bad about spending money on them.

Here’s why.

Look good, feel good, play good

There was a study done by Barbell Apparel that questioned 2,000 gym-goers on how they consistently find the motivation to go to the gym and 88% of them stated that simply putting on their workout clothes was a key factor in their consistency.

I can relate to this because in college when we’d have a 5 am weights or conditioning session, I would sometimes sleep in my workout clothes to remove that feeling of dread in the morning. I don’t fully understand why it worked but it did.

In that same study, 85% of people said that having “cool looking” clothes helped them feel more confident in the gym.

It’s no secret that as a whole, society struggles to remain active and take care of their health. There’s many reasons that play into that but I would guess that lacking confidence and the ability to be consistent are two of the biggest factors as to why this is.

The happiness hormone

When you’re thinking about buying something, you’re anticipating a reward once you take action.

When that purchase is actually made, the happiness hormone, dopamine, is released and you feel great. You’re happy with what you just bought and love the feeling that it brings.

However, more often than not, that feeling starts to wear off after awhile and we need to buy something else to experience that hit of dopamine again.

If you’ve experienced this yourself, it’s okay — you’re not the only one.

But what if those purchases led you into another source of dopamine rather than feeling the urge to go back and buy more things?

This is precisely what gym clothes are able to do.

According to the American Psychological Association, many experts are led to believe that consistent exercise is as powerful in treating anxiety and mood disorders as antidepressants.

Evidence shows that physical activity triggers a release of dopamine and serotonin, which can drastically improve your mood. So rather than searching for that next hit of dopamine through spending more money, gym clothes fulfill that initial craving and the influence that gym clothes have on behavior around attending the gym pushes you into a different kind of dopamine hit through exercise.

Two birds, one stone

When you go out and buy gym clothes, you’re knocking out several things at once.

The first part of this is that you’re spending money on something so you’re experiencing that hit of dopamine that many people become addicted to.

But since you’re buying something that can improve another area of your life, it’s not the same as buying another thing that’ll take up space in your home or ultimately leave you with a feeling of regret.

In the same study that I mentioned earlier in this article, they found that 79% of people believe owning good gym clothes to be an important first step toward accomplishing your fitness goals.

By spending money on gym clothes, according to these statistics, you’re more likely to become active and start living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s a win-win.

You’re satisfying a potential desire for dopamine, you’re buying something that’ll make you look and feel good, and by doing so you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll go to the gym and stay consistent with it.

Call me crazy, but I think that’s a good use of $50–100

The bottom line

Health, happiness, and money are three of the biggest factors in our life. Almost every decision is tied to at least one of them.

If you can begin to align your decisions while satisfying these three things, you’re well on your way to living a fulfilled, happy life.

The decision of buying gym clothes can be a great investment (money), they can improve your likelihood of regularly going to the gym (health), help you feel better about your appearance (happiness), and as a result of working out you’re rewarded with dopamine and serotonin (happiness).

I’ve thought about this for awhile and I don’t think there’s many other expenses that can hit all three of these pillars so precisely.

So next time you’re thinking about buying a new pair of leggings or Nike Free’s, consider it an investment in yourself — you’ll see the benefits in many areas of your life.

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