By Sally March
Gym clothing was never more prevalent than now, thanks to high-end names and fashionable styles. Thanks to the goods’ comfort and style, men, women, boys, and girls are all joining in on the fun. Is it merely a money-making fashion phenomenon, or do these outfits genuinely make a difference in the quality & success of our workouts?
The fabric used for clothing, is what makes it ideal for the job it is required to do. For example, wools and leathers are great for keeping you warm. The fabric used on most workout clothing specialises in keeping the sweat away from your skin. This helps to keep you cooler throughout your workout, due to the breathability of the materials, and also helps to keep prevent chaffing and rashes from sweat being wicked away from your skin. Cotton clothing often absorbs the sweat, meaning that when you exercise in a cotton T-shirt, as opposed to a specific gym top, your clothing can feel heavy and wet as you begin to sweat. This can leave you feeling sore and itchy, so the material used in your gym wear clothing can make a difference to your workout
Depending on the type of activity you are partaking in, will depend on the desired fit. For example, if you are running or cycling, it can be nice to wear looser fitting materials, to keep you cool. However, ensure your trousers are not loose fitting as they may end up being a trip hazard. Equally, if you are enjoying Yoga or Pilates, you need to ensure your clothing is stretchy. You want to be able to enjoy the postures, without feeling restricted or self-conscious about your clothing, or the fitting of the clothing. Ideally, these fabrics will also be sweat wicking, as you can still build up a sweat during these types of workouts
If you work out all year round, you are likely to need to ensure that you have clothing which keeps you cool, and warm. The easiest way to achieve this is with layers.
During the Summer, looser fitting clothing can help to keep you cool.
During the colder months, you will need to ensure you still have clothing to keep the sweat away from your body, however, you need to appreciate that you will be much cooler at the start of your workout.
To help to prevent injury and to protect your muscles and joints, compression clothing can help with this shift of temperature. Wear layers which can easily be removed once you have warmed up.
Compression sleeves, zip tops and workout gloves are all prime examples of these.
Over-heating during a workout can often make the entire workout feel so much harder than if you manage to keep your cool.
Equally, when you are finishing a workout, you want to ensure that your body does not cool down too quickly, as this will also put your muscles and joints at risk, so prepare to add additional layers as you cool down. Therefore, the clothing you wear during the different months of the year, can most definitely affect your workout.
Wearing something you feel stupid in, is never going to enhance your workout. If you are the kind of person who likes to go to the gym, to hide in the corner, on a treadmill, to avoid being seen, then wearing a fluorescent pair of leggings may not be the ideal choice.
Equally, if you find that loud patterns and bright colours excite you, you may find that these items of clothing would help to motivate you. Shopping for your size, shape and personal preferences will help your workout.
Your body is capable of so much more than you realise, you need to find a way to convince the mind that you can do it, and clothing which you feel confident in will help you to get there.
It can be hard to choose the ideal clothing, due to the reasons described above: different workouts, conditions and weather can mean you require different items for different situations. However, that said, you can generalise if you’re looking to stick to a budget and minimise the items required, you could opt for a fitted pair of capris, with compressive and sweat wicking materials, to suit for a range of weather conditions. These will also be suitable for running, yoga, cycling or strength training, and a are available in a range of colours, designs and styles to suit your personal tastes. High waisted options are often a popular choice, as they prevent you exposing yourself in deep stretches, and prevent losing your clothing when running. Strappy vests can also be a popular choice for a range of activities, and work well with layering, during the colder months. Pursue Fitness have a stunning range available, in a selection of colours. These can be matched with plain or garish bottoms, allowing you to display your personality to your hearts content.
Hoodies are a fine choice, however zips make items easier to shed mid workout, and also can be used as a mid-layer for those extra cold days. In short, it is clear to see, that workout wear really can positively impact your exercise regime. From offering support to your muscles and joints, helping to prevent chaffing and discomfort on your skin, and also giving you added motivation and confidence, finding the correct gym wear, is well worth the effort.