Special care should be taken when choosing your fitness workout clothing with regards to the fit, color, and fabric. It makes a positive difference.
You should also know the types of socks and shoes to choose to give you that extra comfort and grip when you train and are into aerobic or anaerobic physical activity.
Ideal exercise workout clothing should allow for certain factors to give you the maximum benefit. These parameters explain how you should choose your exercise clothes whether you are exercising at home, outdoors, or at the gym.
Choose exercise clothes that abide by the following features:
- The clothing should provide a proper relaxed fit that keeps you comfortable.
- It should be light in weight
- The fitting should be loose enough to allow for free movements, but not too loose to make you trip when you’re exercising.
- The fabric of the clothing should allow for wicking of sweat so that the sweat is absorbed by the clothes and evaporated from the fabric’s surface – in short, it should be a breathing fabric.
- The style of clothing should improve your appearance. Wearing workout clothes that improve your appearance acts as a great motivator psychologically and makes you want to exercise.
Wearing clothes during workouts with appealing colors sets the mood for your exercise. The right colors make you look good and you feel motivated and psychologically more inclined to exercise.
Black looks good for any size. Black shorts that extend up to the middle of the thighs and a colored top, preferably sleeveless will look great. The color of the top could be anything that looks cute with the black shorts – light green, or pink, or peacock-blue.
In summer, wear light-colored clothes because they reflect heat and keep you cool. Black absorbs heat and makes you feel hotter.
Choosing the Right Fabric
When you exercise, you sweat. Intense activity will make you sweat more. It is necessary that the sweat is not allowed to remain, but should be got rid of, otherwise, the clothing will get soggy and heavy, making you feel uncomfortable.
For yoga and stretching exercise, polyester and spandex are good for these types of exercises as they allow for stretching and bending.
For cardiovascular exercise (aerobic) such as running, nylon will be the fabric of choice as it allows for the wicking of sweat.
Cotton used to be the fabric of choice once but it only absorbs and traps the sweat and has no wicking action, making the fabric heavy and soggy. It is therefore not advised.
Nowadays, synthetic fabrics are available which have fibers made of plastic and are nonabsorbent and allow for wicking action. The moisture travels along the fiber to reach the outer surface of the clothing and gets evaporated. If you prefer fabrics made of natural material, wool and bamboo also have wicking properties and can be great fabric material for workout clothing.
For high-intensity anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting, both men and women should make sure they have proper support for their lower back, lower abdomen, pelvis, and genitals. This can be done by wearing a weight lifting belt.
During such an exercise, there is a risk of developing a hernia due to an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. Wearing the belt will decrease this risk and also support the muscles of the back which come under pressure. Secondly, knee support is also necessary as the knees have to bear extra weight.
Additional care for women exercise wear
Besides the features for exercise wear mentioned above, women should wear a sports bra that fits comfortably – not too tight nor too loose to support the breasts. The breasts do not contain any muscle and are held up by the pectoral muscle and the skin only.
Women with large breasts should wear workout bras that have customized straps to ensure a proper fit. Use support bras with mesh fabric, which will help the skin breathe.
Workout Clothes for Summer and Winter
It is necessary that you stay and feel comfortable with the temperature, especially when exercising outdoors.
In cooler temperatures, wear a layered exercise outfit. You could wear a T-shirt made of a material that has a wicking action over which you could have a pullover for additional warmth. For protection from the cold wind, wear a windbreaker or a nylon shell on the outside.
Polartec Thermal Pro is one synthetic fiber that creates air pockets, which act as insulation and retains body heat.
In warmer temperatures, your workout clothing should be such that it protects your body from overheating and allows for evaporation of the sweat. To facilitate these factors, try to exercise early in the morning or in the evening.
A breathing fabric becomes more important in summer. Wear clothes of synthetic material such as silk, which does not retain heat and allows for sweat to evaporate.
In summer you will sweat more during your exercise because of the heat. You are also advised to drink more water which again adds to your sweating. Wearing clothes with the right fabric becomes important. Ideally, wear fewer clothes as possible. Fewer clothes help more evaporation keeping you cooler.
Coolmax is a light breathing fabric that has a high wicking action helping you stay cool.
No sunscreen during exercise
Do not use sunscreen because it affects the production as well as the evaporation of sweat. For the same reason do not put on any makeup. However, if you have to, use a tinted moisturizer or tinted lip balm to add color to your face.
Choice of socks during exercise
The socks definitely need to be of a very breathable fabric. Your feet are covered with shoes and not exposed to the air as the rest of the body. You tend to sweat more inside the shoes.
Socks that have become wet due to sweat do not fit well and keep rubbing against the skin of the feet and sole. This causes blisters that are painful and can even interrupt your regular exercise schedule.
Your socks therefore should be of moisture-wicking material like spandex, lycra, or acrylic. This will prevent moisture from gathering in the socks and keep your feet and sole dry. If you are exercising on an absorbing material mat, doing your workouts with naked feet would be ideal.
Choosing Workout Shoes
Choosing an exercise workout shoe is almost a science because of its importance. Use aerobic or cross-training shoes, which are made for just this purpose. Just make sure the fit is right and you feel comfortable when you run or exercise in them. Running shoes should be light-weight and of stretchable material and about half or one size larger than your regular size. Pay attention to the soles of the shoes. They should be shock absorbing and springy.
You should change your old workout shoes every 6 to 12 months depending on the wear and tear. This is because old shoes do not offer enough bounce and ankle support. Buy from a sports shop as you will have a wider choice. Brands like Nike and Reebok offer a wide range.
Follow the instructions given above to choose the right and proper fitness workout clothes, socks, and shoes. This will go a long way in getting the best benefits from your workouts.