Exercising and keeping fit is tough at the best of times, but if you’re trying to work out in uncomfortable and restrictive clothing, the entire task will seem downright impossible in some cases. There are people out there who workout in jeans, and in work clothing, and then they wonder why their progress sucks and why they aren’t progressing as much as they would like. Of course wearing appropriate workout clothing and gear won’t suddenly transform you into a super athlete, but it will make life one heck of a lot easier in the gym, or on the running track, playing field, or anywhere else for that matter. Believe it or not however, but training apparel and workout gear is a great deal more complex than baggy sweats and cotton t-shirts, and if you’re looking to take your training to the next level and to make your training that little bit more efficient, you will need to find the right clothing and gear for the task at hand. It doesn’t matter whether you’re bulking up, trying to lose fat, trying to get fit, or to simply stay in shape, here’s a look at a few qualities to look for in your training apparel.
Look for a fabric that wicks
More often than not, when people workout, they wear loose fitting cotton t-shirts and sweat pants, which, although non-restrictive, is not that efficient when it comes to exercising. You see, when we exercise, providing we’re working hard enough, we sweat, and we sweat, we lose moisture through the pores in our skin. Heavy fabrics such as cotton actually absorb the sweat and soak it up, which means it has nowhere to go. This not only feels uncomfortable, and unhygienic, but it can also hinder your progress because your clothing will stick to you restricting your range of motion, plus it becomes heavier. Ideally when choosing workout gear and clothing, you want fabric that wicks. Wicking fabric actually draws moisture away from your body and allows it to escape the fabric and evaporate into the air. This means that when you sweat, the sweat will drain away from the fabric, keeping it nice and dry, and not restricting your movement.
Choose clothing that can be layered up
Not everybody does their exercising in a gym, and if your workouts or events take place outdoors, you will obviously be exposed to the elements. During the winter, or in bad weather, you will want clothing that can be layered up. Ideally you want a wicking fabric underneath to draw moisture out of your skin, but on top of that, you will perhaps want a longer sleeved shirt to keep you warm until your temperature rises. If you do foresee bad weather, or if you’re simply in locations where you are likely to get wet, or windswept, a waterproof jacket on the top would also be recommended. The key here is to choose layers that all work well together, so always take that into consideration.
Make sure you choose comfortable footwear
Whether you run, lift weights, cycle, walk, climb, or anything else, if your footwear is uncomfortable and unsupportive, the entire process of working out is not going to be productive, and it is likely to make you feel miserable in the process. The last thing you want is aching soles, or blisters on your heels, so make sure you choose footwear that is comfortable, that is supportive, and that you actually enjoy wearing. Obviously for this reason, you should make sure that you actually try the footwear on, and that you try several types to compare comfort and support. It doesn’t matter how great your sneakers may look, if they aren’t supportive or comfortable, the novelty will quickly wear off.
Choose clothing you like the look of
Whilst function and practicality is important, when you are choosing workout apparel, you should make sure that you actually like the look of the clothing on you. Obviously the idea behind working out is not to show off and look good, if we look good in what we’re wearing we feel good, and if we feel good, generally our motivation levels increase so we work out even harder anyways. Try your clothing on before you buy it, see how it fits and how it feels, and if you like the look and style of what you’re wearing, well, you could be in luck.
Look for special features
Workout clothing and gear in general is constantly changing and advancing at a rapid rate, so for the ultimate workout experience, make sure you look for clothing with special advanced features. For example, if you’re worried about body odour from sweat, you can go with clothing with microbial properties, which actually kills the bacteria responsible for creating bad odours. There are also clothing items designed to reflect UV rays for when you train outdoors in the sunshine, and much more besides.
Choose gear that is comfortable
Finally, it doesn’t matter how advanced your clothing is, and how many special features it has, if it isn’t comfortable when you wear it, you may as well not bother at all. Your clothing should be loose fitting, it should not be restrictive, it should not be heavy, it shouldn’t cling to your skin, and it should actually feel very comfortable whilst you wear it. If you are uncomfortable when you exercise your workouts will suffer, and you won’t enjoy yourself, and if you aren’t enjoying yourself when you train, you aren’t going to get anywhere fast.