Physical fitness and exercise is not easy at the best of times, but if you’ve ever tried working out in uncomfortable and inappropriate clothing, you’ll know right away how much harder the entire process can become. When it comes to working out, generally people seem to work under the assumption that clothing, as long as it is loose, is perfectly acceptable for training, when in reality, this is not always the case at all.
Of course loose-fitting sweats are going to be better than jeans, but if you’re really looking to maximize your potential in the gym, on the running track, on the playing field, or anywhere else for that matter, the fitness and athletic clothing that you choose will make one heck of a difference. To help you get the most out of your training, here’s a look at 5 qualities to look for when buying fitness clothing.
First and foremost, when choosing training apparel and exercise gear, the first quality you need to look for is comfort. It doesn’t matter how loose something is, or how tight it is for that matter, if you aren’t comfortable in what you’re wearing, your range of motion will be limited which will put you at a greater risk of injuring yourself, plus your head won’t be in the game because you’ll be focussing on how uncomfortable you feel. The clothing you wear should feel comfortable to you, and it should allow you to move freely without feeling restricted.
If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘wicking’ it is basically a term used to describe the process of removing excess moisture, I.E sweat, from your clothing during exercise. Cotton t-shirts, for example, are popular amongst fitness enthusiasts because the cotton is cheap and relatively comfortable. However, cotton does not wick at all, which means that it holds moisture in, so when you sweat, the material clings to you, it feels uncomfortable, and it isn’t too hygienic either. Instead, you want synthetic fabrics such as polyester, which will wick moisture away from your body when you sweat. Plus, they keep you cool in warm weather, and they retain heat in cold weather, making them ideal for outdoor activities.
Ok, we all know that we go to the gym and we exercise for health and fitness purposes, but we also go to look good as well, and although the gym is certainly not a fashion show, there is nothing wrong with looking good as you workout. For this reason, you should choose workout clothing that you like the look of and that makes you feel good about yourself in the process. If you feel good, you’ll work harder anyways, so if you can find appropriate exercise apparel that also looks great, you’re already onto a real winner.
Can it be layered?
Not all workouts take place indoors in gyms, so if your training does involve being outdoors and exposed to the elements, you need training gear that can potentially be layered. Ideally for cooler weather, you want a wicking layer to remove moisture from your body, and an insulating layer to help keep you warm to begin with. The idea here is that once your core temperature rises and you do warm up, you can then remove your top layer and workout in the layer underneath instead. For outdoor sports in harsh weather, you may even want a waterproof layer to protect against the rain and wind.
If you exercise for prolonged periods of time, you are going to sweat, there’s no denying that, and if you don’t, you aren’t working as hard as you could be. Sweat does not smell pleasant, and if you’re worried about odour caused by sweat, deodorant body spray just isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you’ll want workout gear with microbial features which actually destroy bacteria that causes our sweat to smell in the first place. Other pieces feature UV protection to protect from the sun, as well as venting technology to allow sweat to drain away and for the skin to breathe when you exercise. You can even purchase clothing which naturally contains synthetic insect repellents, so when you do exercise outdoors, you needn’t worry about being bitten by bugs and insects.