Fifth Friday of the new year and five Fitness Friday posts in a row.
Not on a roll I wouldn’t say but it is progress.
I have been running and working out a long time and, as far as running and gym apparel goes, I believe I have seen it all. From sports bras, short shorts, skirts, boots, khakis with a belt, flip flops, polo shirts, a dress shirt and tie once, and (everyone’s favorite) form fitting pants that leave little to the imagination, very little surprises me anymore.
Actually, as long as people are working out or running so they can better themselves, I truly don’t care what they wear, I have more important things to worry about.
Anyway, to the question posed in the headline and the subject of a few conversations I have been a part of lately.
Short answer: Yes!
The first and foremost reason we men should wear running tights is comfort. When chosing workout apparel, comfort should be the number one priority, and there is nothing more comfortable than running or compression tights. No bagging, sagging, bunching, bulging, twisting, flapping in the breeze, or hanging on you like a wet bath towel when they get sweaty. After wearing them only once, I quickly figured out why women like to wear yoga pants all the time, they are definitely on to something.
The second reason tights should be worn is because they are the one go to garment that is ideally suitable for all weather conditions. Their thermoregulating properties help keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. They wick moisture away from the skin to keep you dry. Their elasticity allows a full range of movement and provides support no matter what physical activity you engage in. And, they add a layer of protection from the wind and sun.
Thirdly, and while the research is still fairly new, there is a substantial amount of evidence to show that compression wear can lead to improved recovery and physical performance. Whether they are anecdotal or can be backed up with science, there are countless stories (including mine) of people crediting compression tights with reduced muscle soreness and increased endurance. They also improve blood flow which helps flush the toxins that are produced when muscles are fatigued, leading to faster recovery recovery times.
Now, for my personal tips:
1. Black, black, black. Lighter colors may look cool but are much more revealing and cast more shadows in places you don’t want them than black or perhaps navy.
2. The outline of your *ahem* package will be visible to varying degrees depending on what, if anything, you wear under the tights which should not be a big deal unless you wear them around junior high kids or people with the maturity of junior high kids.
3. You may wear compression shorts under, I do when it’s cold, for modesty reasons but shorts over look and feel ridiculous.
4. Regardless of what you may think, people will not stare at you. They may notice but they will quickly move on and get on with their lives.
5. If you wear them running, no one will care, most people get it. If you wear them to the mall or out to eat, that’s a different story, only women seem to be able to get away with that.
Bottom line here is that men should wear tights if they are comfortable and confident doing so and should never be stigmatized for it. Running tights and compression wear are legitimate workout gear that are both comfortable and functional, there should be no shame in that.
Regardless of what you think about this, and what you chose to wear, it’s important that you get up and get moving. You only have one body, you need to take care of it.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
– 1 Corinthians 6:19