Gym wear for the over 50s

Whatever your age, it’s no secret that being physically active is good for you and can help you lead a healthier and happier life. What you wear to the gym can also affect this. Nice activewear can make you feel better about yourself and improve your confidence whilst working out.

A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that the clothing you wear influences your attitude and behaviour because it carries a symbolic meaning. When you put on your new activewear, you’re actually subconsciously changing how you act – leading to a boost in confidence and better performance in the gym.

As we age, our bodies and minds change, we think differently about our bodies and we dress differently too. Tim Allardyce, one of the UK’s top physiotherapists from Surrey Physio suggests, “It’s normal to lose some body confidence over the age of 50. Things are starting to hurt, you have more stress and less energy, and you spend longer hours working but are not getting younger. One of the best ways is to pick yourself up, literally… lift your chin, straighten up and gently bring your shoulders back a little. Lifting your body up will make you feel better and as you improve your posture, you will feel much more confident.”

This also applies to the gym, if you hold your head up high while working out, you’ll feel confident and, in turn, you’ll reap the benefits in the long term.

When it comes to your clothing, gym wear isn’t always flattering and can often draw attention to problem areas that you wouldn’t normally notice as much in normal clothes. So, what do you wear to the gym if you’re over 50? We believe fitness clothes should be ageless, forget your age and enjoy exercise! However, we’ve got some recommendations below for those who want to feel confident when working out.

Long-sleeved tops

If you’re self-conscious about your arms and the thought of wearing a tight fitted vest that shows off your arms makes you shudder, you can wear a loose-fitting long-sleeved top. Not only does a long-sleeved top keep you covered, but it’s also comfortable and great for working out in colder conditions too.

Most long-sleeved tops that have been designed for the gym will be equipped with moisture-wicking technology, so you don’t have to worry about sweating while you work out.

Matalan’s Souluxe sportswear range offers a great selection of affordable moisture-wicking clothing, designed with comfort in mind to help you get the best out of your workout.


Double layered tops

Tight gym wear isn’t always flattering and can highlight problem areas that you don’t normally notice as much when wearing normal clothes. Double layered tops are a perfect choice if you feel like you have this problem. These tops tend to be a lot more flattering on the body and soothe those lumps and bumps that can gather around your sports bra.

This M&S Double Layer Short Sleeve Sport Top is made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric with Cool Comfort technology that regulates your body temperature while you work out.


Control sports bras

A sports bra is the ultimate workout essential, especially for older women. You want to make sure you’re comfortable during your workout and that everything stays in place, especially during vigorous exercise.

Boobydoo boasts the UK’s largest range of sports bras and allows you to shop by activity so that you can find a sports bra that’s perfect for you. This Firm Support Front Closure Sports Bra from Anita is ideal for women with mobility issues who may struggle to reach behind them to do up fiddly clips or get into an over-the-head style bra.


Anita has been striving towards delivering products that are timelessly fashionable, of outstanding quality, and also boast exceptional fit and hanger appeal since 1886. Their daily objective is to give the wearers of their product’s additional quality of life, comfort and style.

Wearing a sports bra helps protect delicate breast tissue from being overstretched during exercise and causing irreparable damage. If, for example, you have frozen shoulder issues or early-onset arthritis, a sports bra designed to open at the front allows you to easily and comfortably get the support you need without struggle.

Being comfortable and properly supported makes exercise more enjoyable and you are more likely to persevere in regular activity if you know it is easy to get changed into your gym wear.

Active leggings

According to Readers Digest, women over the age of 50 tend to have incredible legs because, past the age of 50, your legs don't seem to hold fat as much as other areas do. If you’re proud of your legs, patterned leggings are great if you want to add a pop of colour to your outfit and accentuate your best features.

Lucy Locket Loves are well-known for their amazing activewear and casual wear leggings that are available in sizes 6 to 22. All of their leggings have a super-elastic high waist, guaranteed to stay in place and the blend of comfortable, durable materials (88% Polyester and 12% Elastane) gives them moisture-wicking properties, as well as making them squat-proof.


If colour isn’t your thing and you prefer darker colours to avoid standing out and showing off your legs, there are just as many options. These Modibodi Activewear ¾ Leggings are not only sweatproof, they are also leakproof too, great for those who may suffer from light bladder leakage when exercising. They are highly durable and flattering, so not only will you look great, but you’ll feel great too without having to worry about any leakages.


Cushioned trainers

Investing in a good pair of trainers for your workouts is important. No matter what your age is, it’s vital to look after and support your joints. If your gym routine involves more high-intensity activities like cardio and classes, we recommend finding a good pair of trainers with decent support, that way you won’t feel the full impact on your knees and other joints which can affect your back. Major sports brands like Nike, Adidas and Asics offer a wide range of trainers that are perfect for activities like running, gym and yoga.


Sports socks

You may not think so but having the perfect pair of workout socks makes a huge difference. Wearing sports socks helps keep your feet protected and can also absorb sweat, preventing feet fungi[1].

These workout trainer socks from Sweaty Betty are a perfect example of protection and comfort. Made of breathable fabric, they have a cushioned heel and toe to absorb impact during exercise and have ribbed ankle cuffs to reduce friction and prevent blisters.


Getting your gym wear sorted is important to feel confident. When you’ve got your gym wear sorted, why not read our interview with Chris Zaremba who provides tips and the best exercise routines for the over 50s.