When I started working out a few years ago I used old shirts, denim shorts and Chuck Taylors as exercise apparel. At first, I didn’t know that soaked-to-the-bone shirts, chafing and painful feet I was experiencing were because of my poor choice of apparel – I thought they came with the territory of exercise!
These exercise “side effects” can be depressing and frustrating especially for newbies who have a hard enough time staying on track during the first few months.
Exercise apparel can make or break a workout – that’s why it’s important to choose the right kind of clothing for your chosen activity. While the kind of apparel you need depends on the kind of exercise you’re doing, there are some general things you should consider when buying fitness apparel such as:
- Comfort. It doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive pair of running shoes in the world, if your feet feel like hell during and post-workout, it’s not the way to go. There are stores that offer a high tech solution to finding the perfect shoe by using a machine that measures your running gait. Websites like Runner’s World also a useful “Shoe Advisor” questionnaire. When it comes to apparel, stay a way from too-tight fabrics that chafe and irritate skin during exercise. Go for breathable fabrics that that allow movement.
- Fit. Obviously, exercise involves movement and you want to be able to move freely while having the reassurance that everything stays in place. Here’s a great tip: while in the fitting room, put your hands up, run in place or stretch. Just to make sure that nothing will pop out while you’re running!
- Breathability. Our bodies release sweat during physical activity in an effort to keep us from overheating. Apparel made from polyester, lycra or any synthetic material has the ability to keep air circulating around the body. They dry fairly quickly as well – allowing you to go on longer and more comfortable.
- Layerability. Making exercise a habit is the key to staying fit all year long. That’s why you should make sure that your exercise apparel is able to carry you from winter to fall! During the colder months, layer your tank top (for wicking sweat) underneath a fleece pullover (for warmth) lightweight, hooded windbreaker (for waterproofing) and pair them with shorts and/or leggings.
- Activity Appropriate. Last but not the least, the apparel you choose should help you excel in the type of exercise you choose. Loose, mid-riff bearing tops may be inappropriate yoga and basketball shoes won’t you running very far. Choose function over fashion! The good news is, there are a lot of stylish workout wear available nowadays so you may not have to choose between both anymore!
We hope that the answer to the question is a resounding NO! Activity appropriate apparel is important in maximizing every workout! Don’t be afraid to invest in some key pieces that will last you a long time.
Visit Suddora.com for more about sweatbands, sweat technology and other sports gear