During any given time, walk into one of the many gyms on post and you will most likely be surprised to see the men and women working out and wearing a wide-array of clothing.

Soldiers dressed in tan, cotton T-shirts paired with their Army combat uniform pants are often found in the weight section. The Army Physical Fitness uniform are usually on the treadmills or elliptical trainers and most Family members and off-duty Soldiers are sporting the latest Nike, Under Armour, Asics, New Balance - you name the brand of running tops and bottoms throughout the gym.

It is no wonder the question has been asked – What should I wear to work out?

Believe it or not, work-out clothes are less about fashion and more about improving your workout. People need to have the most energy possible to get up, get out and get fit. Wearing the right clothes can actually motivate a person to go for a run, hit the gym or knock out that workout of the day. Proper work-out clothing can also make someone feel better. Ensuring that work-out attire is comfortable and functional will help people to make exercising more enjoyable and improve their results.

“On a practical level, you need special workout clothes simply because street clothes are either too constricting, or they’ll rip, or they are made from non-breathable fibers,” said Victoria Moran, author of Fit from Within: 101 Simple Secrets to Change Your Body and Your Life.

The most important part of the entire exercise outfit is the shoes. Make sure to have the right shoes for the workout. Always opt for quality and ensure the shoes have the right support. One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to what is on a person’s feet while exercising.

Wearing that cotton t-shirt from the latest 5K race or your college fraternity from years past will actually do more damage than good. When wet, the cotton t-shirt will most likely make you uncomfortable and inclined to cut your workout short. Opt instead for workout shirts and shorts made from performance fabrics. They are designed to breath, wick moisture and dry quickly. Also, by wearing compression/bicycle shorts under your pants or shorts, men and women can guard against leg chaffing to further their time working out and get the most out of their time exercising.

Last year, the U.S. Army decided to change its physical fitness uniform. In February 2012, Soldiers were given 20 days to weigh in on a new PFU. The input was used to develop a possible replacement. More than 76,000 Soldiers responded and suggested changing the fit, fabric and weight of the uniform. The improved PFU was developed based on this input. During the latest survey in October 2012, Soldiers were asked for their opinion about the colors and graphics for the new uniform. So far, improvements in the new uniform are: reduced fabric weight, tag-less labels, removal of the reflective features (all Soldiers are required to wear a reflective belt), better patterns and removal of the elastic in the pant legs and liners in the shorts and pants.

For those people who are exercising at any of the fitness centers on Fort Bragg, it is important to know that there are guidelines for what constitutes appropriate work-out attire and what is acceptable for wear. Patrick Quigley, Dahl Physical Fitness Center facility manager recommends all patrons check the dress code before coming to the centers to ensure they are abiding by the rules. Personal trainers located at the Fort Bragg physical fitness centers are available for anyone with questions about what to wear to improve their workouts.

For more information about the gyms on Fort Bragg, go to www.fortbraggmwr.com/gyms/.

Fort Bragg Dress Code

The following Fort Bragg Dress Code will be enforced at all times at Fort Bragg physical fitness centers. Unauthorized are the following:

Clothing worn as an outer garment which is obviously intended to be worn as an under garment.  Sports bras with or without hooks or snaps are considered under garments.
  Clothing with obscene, slanderous, or vulgar words or drawings.  Also clothing which advocates the overthrow of the U.S. Government.
  Colored bandanas worn with clothing such as baseball caps, matching jackets, or other same color clothing that suggests gang membership; clothing depicting pictures or messages of violence; or emblems, patches, and/or other items worn to indicate membership in a gang.
  Articles of apparel, which include, but are not limited to T-shirts or hats which depict drug paraphernalia, or which advocate the use of drugs.
  Attire that is immodest or degrading to other patrons.
  Bare feet, sandals, slippers, or flip flops. Patrons using the facilities will wear appropriate footwear.
  Items of distinctive military uniforms worn by unauthorized persons or mixed with civilian clothing.
  Plastic or rubber suits must not be worn due to the danger of heat exhaustion.