Owners of workout facilities around the country should rejoice to find that nearly one in six Americans is a gym rat. Another industry that will be happy to learn about this fact is the exercise apparel industry. However, as an athlete, you need to make sure the companies that you buy from have your best interests in mind.
To ensure that you wear the best exercise apparel when you’re working out, follow these five rules.
1. Know Your Routine’s Demands
Every athlete puts different demands on their body when they work out. The same goes for the demands they put on their workout clothing. When you have a workout that requires you to stay cool but protect your body, you’re going to need something special.
Athletic clothes are supposed to support your body and protect your skin while allowing you to perform at your best. If your current clothing isn’t cutting it, do an assessment next time you work out. Make a list of what works about what you’re using now and what doesn’t.
Exercise apparel also doesn’t have to be purely functional. When you work out, your clothing should make you look good and feel good about your body. Even when you’re at your most strained, you want to feel connected to your body.
Every routine is different and every workout day is different. Some days you’re pushing yourself to 110% and others you’re giving about 50%. Your clothing should feel just as comfortable either way.
2. Understand Your Body Temperature
Each body runs a little differently. Depending on your diet, whether you drink, smoke, or stay hydrated enough, you could sweat more than other people. As your body temperature goes up, so does the sweat.
If you tend to run hot, you might actually need more coverage than other people. You’ll need to ensure that the sweat is being wicked up so that you don’t injure yourself slipping in a puddle of your own sweat.
Your body temperature will determine the material that you need to have your apparel made out of as well as the type. If you stay cool, you might need to wear something that covers more of your body. But if you’re feeling like you’re too hot with what you’re wearing now, consider a little less coverage.
Your body’s temperature can be managed by drinking more water before you exercise, during your routine, and afterward. Even if you have a fairly light approach to exercise, your yoga routine could get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. That sweatband and those thick socks could end up making you more uncomfortable as you workout longer.
3. Pay Attention to What Other People are Wearing
Watch what the other people you’re working out with are wearing. If you can ask them what they prefer (without making them feel uncomfortable of course,) that’s a good way to start. People who have been exercising the way you do for longer will be able to tell you what works over time.
You could spend your whole first year as a runner going out in Converse All-Stars but soon enough, you’ll start to notice some discomfort. You could exercise in just about anything but you’ll notice that the people who are more serious about it will take things to the next level. The right apparel allows you to perform better, more comfortably, and refrain from the injuries that could happy with the wrong clothing.
What’s in stores is just a preview of all of the types of apparel available. You can find even more online from lots of retailers who specialize in exercise apparel on the internet.
4. Buy Quality Apparel
Buying cheap exercise apparel is a reasonable idea given that these aren’t the professional clothes that you need people to take you seriously in. Many people throw on an old t-shirt, some gym shorts, and go to town. However, there’s a reason that exercise apparel is constantly being reinvented.
The kind of technological advances that have been made in the textile industry in the last few decades is incredible. There are fabrics that can wick sweat, counteract your body temperature, and even protect you from injury. You won’t get that from your high school gym shorts.
Look at the stitching and flexibility that your apparel offers before you buy it. You’ll need something that can meet the intensity of your work out, go through the wash, and still come out good as new. Rather than having to constantly replace items, buy quality the first time so that you have something to depend on.
5. Be Brand Agnostic
While you might think the top sports brands in the country have all the best technology, they must also meet the demands of a thousand different executives. There’s no way that everything they produce is the best of the best. While they might make a great shoe, that doesn’t mean they make the best socks.
Get to know which brands you can rely on for which things. You don’t ask the people who make your car to make your underwear. Why would you put the same demands on a shoe company that you’d put on a company that makes sports jackets?
Try on a few different things from a few different brands to see what works for your style.
The Right Exercise Apparel Can Improve Your Workout
If you’re wearing high-quality exercise apparel, you can ensure that your workout will be improved. Having clothes that keep you comfortable when you should be the most uncomfortable is a great feat. Brands that make the best exercise gear have the method down and you’ll notice it when you workout with their gear.
If you’re wondering whether or not muscle shirts will work for you, check out our guide to find out.