While the Olympic athletes of old asserted their physical superiority in the nude, the competitors in the modern revival of the games in 1896 competed in uniforms. More than a hundred years later, sportswear has become a wardrobe staple for many people who live an active lifestyle. This type of clothing has become so integral to physical activity that there are even feature articles about the uniforms the athletes wore in the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
What a person wears while working out and competing can have an impact on their overall performance. Now, while you’ll need much, much more than top-of-the-line workout clothes to find yourself competing in the Olympics against the world’s best athletes, wearing the right clothes can help you train safely and comfortably. This, in turn, can help you focus on improving your performance and getting your routines and moves right every single time.
If you’re planning on investing in your workout clothes, here are some of the items you should get:
Compression socks are more commonly seen in medical settings where they are used to treat venous disorders. However, they’re also starting to gain popularity as training socks. Men’s compression socks, when worn the right way, can offer adequate support to the feet and legs. The additional compression helps keep the blood flowing properly even if you have to stand, move around, or even sit for hours on end. It’s no wonder why many people who need to sit all day for work find compression socks to be an essential part of their daily outfit.
Sports leggings are an essential clothing item for men and women who engage in sport and exercise. Much like compression socks, sports leggings offer extra support to the lower extremities. The added compression helps sustain proper blood flow even if you have to maintain the same position for some time. In addition, the leggings can also help minimize the strain without restricting your movement. They can even prevent slipping or chafing, giving you less to worry about while you’re working out. Make sure you choose a pair of sports leggings that has good moisture-wicking properties, helps regulate body temperature, and has breathable fabric for maximum benefit.
Some men wear shorts on top of their leggings, while others mainly wear shorts and no leggings at all. Your choice of bottoms while working out is completely up to you, though you should also consider your activities and the clothes you feel comfortable in.
Nowadays, gym shorts come in all shapes, materials, and sizes. When choosing the right gym shorts for your getup, consider the material that the shorts are made of. You’ll want to go with a fabric that allows you to move freely, has thermoregulation and moisture-wicking capabilities, and has antimicrobial properties. Also, check if the shorts have a 4-way stretch to make sure that they will move with you. If you want a pair of shorts that will absorb sweat and help you stay dry at the same time, then choose dry-fit fabric over cotton, which tends to absorb and retain moisture.
While cotton shirts can be absorbent and comfortable on the skin, you probably wouldn’t want to get stuck wearing a wet shirt throughout your 1- or 2-hour workout. To stay as comfortable as possible while exercising, go for technical shirts.
To be specific, you’ll want a shirt that has excellent moisture-wicking capabilities so you won’t feel like you’re soaked in sweat during the tail end of your workout. A shirt that retains its shape and prevents chafing is a great option as well, particularly if you’re an avid runner or jogger. Some shirts even have anti-odor qualities—great to have if you’re planning to go elsewhere after your workout session.
Wearing the right shoes and socks can help you avoid possible injuries. That said, make sure your choice of footwear can offer you adequate levels of support and comfort. While looks do matter, check if your gym shoes fit you perfectly. You want shoes you can comfortably move in and will allow your skin to breathe. Depending on your routine for the day, you might want to pay attention to the grip of your shoes.
Take note that there are shoes that are designed for specific activities, such as Cross Fit. These models have subtle differences in their design and structure, and you mustn’t use gym shoes for Cross Fit or vice versa.
Fitness trackers are not exactly made of fabric, but they’re wearable accessories that can help you achieve your goals while you’re working out. Use your tracker while training and take note of your achievements and challenges. This can help you track how much progress you’ve made and motivate you to keep up your routine.
What other wearable items do you consider to be a part of your workout and how do they help you perform better and focus on the task in front of you? Which of these items are you planning to invest in? Whatever products you choose to buy, just make sure that you do your research before making a final purchasing decision. Here’s to more productive and enjoyable exercise sessions!