Dressing well is one step to a great workout because when you look good, you’ll naturally feel good and it’ll lessen that sense of dread when you hit the treadmill or head to the gym. Naturally, you’d want to choose comfort over style but with activewear being what it is today, who said that you have to compromise?
Here are some of our top tips and picks when you choose your workout attire.
Right kind of shoes
Many exercise-related injuries occur not only because of the incorrect way of performing a routine but also due to poor choice of apparel. As many sports require you to be on your feet, it is important to choose shoes of the right size and with proper cushioning support for your soles.
Of course, if you’re going to be doing a lot more walking than running, then you’ll be looking at different thickness of the midsole. It also depends on how you land and roll your feet while walking or running. That’s why you should look at the bottoms of your current pair to determine what sort of shoes to buy the next round to prevent injury. Even after you’ve gotten that new pair of shoes, do take note of the condition of your shoes every now and then as you will need to replace them even they’re overly worn out. Even a good quality pair will wear out if worn for a lengthy period of time.
If in doubt, seek the advice of an expert if you are unsure of the type of shoes needed for the various sports that you do.
Cotton or Synthetic?
Cotton and Synthetic fibres are two of the most popular and recommended fabric for sportswear. Choosing the right fabric depends on the aspects that you are most concerned about. Your decision relies on two aspects – keeping dry or smelling fresh.
Cotton is one of the common fabric in terms of casual outfits because it is comfortable, absorbent and breathable. Due to its extreme hydrophilic property, it is not suitable to be worn as activewear unless it is combined with some wicking application to absorb sweat. Thus, wearing cotton alone will leave you with a sticky sensation after a vigorous workout. This definitely reduces comfort and is more suited to your post-workout attire.
Synthetic fibres consist of materials such as nylon and polyester. Polyester, however, is hydrophobic, allowing the release of perspiration from the skin leaving the person feeling dry. It is also flexible, an important aspect to consider when purchasing sports apparel as it will allow unrestricted movements or you’re practising yoga or pilates.
Moreover, most manufacturers these days have developed synthetic fabrics that have increased wicking effect. Therefore, synthetic clothes such as polyester would be an ideal fabric of choice to keep you drier and therefore, smelling fresher. Remember to always wash your sportswear and make sure it is the right fit!
Ladies, it is important to give your chest the support it needs too. Similar to regular bras, you’re looking for a set of sports bra that isn’t too tight nor too loose. Since most sports bras go from S-L instead of specific sizes, here are a couple of tips to look out for.
A lot of activewear brands have come up with really nice sports bras with unique mesh back designs but this is more suited for those who are small to medium chested. If you’re top heavy, look for a sports bra that has more coverage both in front and at the back, similar to the Lorna Jane Luminate Sports Bra as seen above. Cross-back bras with thicker straps are also a better option for those with largest chests as it ensures ample support.
Even those who are a little smaller will still want to look for straps that are sturdy and with a good elastic band at the bottom to ensure support while ensuring freedom of movement.
Tight vs. Loose attire
It is important to buy clothes that fit well for a workout. Baggy clothes are not advisable because it will interfere with gym equipment which will cause casualties such as snagging or tripping. Do also note that cotton clothes tend to lose their shape over time and will become more loose while synthetic fibres tend to be a bit more body hugging and does not lose their shape that quickly.
Would you wear this to workout? Hazard in the making!
But of course, you shouldn’t wear something that is too tight as that would negatively impact your health. Although there are many breathable and stretchable fabrics, if certain areas of your sportswear are too tight on your body, it can cause problems especially if you have any pre-existing medical condition. If your pants are tight at the hip area, it can cause complications at hip joints and negatively affect your spine.
Meralgia paresthetica is a condition caused by damage at the lateral cutaneous nerve of the high thigh due to diabetes or neuropathy injury. Thus, people with such conditions may feel pain and tingling sensation if they wear tight clothing over their joints. The pressure caused by long hours of exercise may worsen may cause issues with joints such as hip replacement.
Too tight or loose – both have its own risks. Hence, it is best to consider any pre-existing medical condition before purchasing any sportswear and wear what is most comfortable to you.
Photo Credits: Footlocker, JD Sports and Lorna Jane