Once the preserve of professional athletes, fitness clothing has become increasingly available to the masses. In the process, it has radically changed in appearance, with designers competing to create the coolest possible kit. It’s important to remember that it’s not just a fashion statement. Choosing the right fitness clothing can keep you safer and help you get a lot more out of your workout. Don’t settle for gear that only looks good when it could be doing a lot more for you.
Let your skin breathe
Good-quality fitness clothing will never make you feel hot and sticky. Traditional cotton absorbs sweat but stays wet and adds to the weight you’re carrying as you exercise – it’s suffocating in hot weather and makes it all too easy to catch a chill when the weather is cold. Specially designed fabrics made from polypropylene help to wick sweat away from your skin without absorbing it. This means that your skin can function as it’s naturally designed to. When it’s not smothered in sweat, it will feel fresh and comfortable and you’ll find it much easier to maintain your pace.
Support your muscles
You’ll be able to do more during your workout if your muscles are properly supported, and this will also help you to build up your strength and fitness more effectively over time. Compression clothing is designed to do this, and if you take a look at a selection of Tommie Copper clothing, you’ll see that it’s available in many different forms. As well as helping you to get better leverage with your arms, legs, back and stomach muscles, it means that you can return to exercising more quickly following an injury, and you don’t have to contend with lengthy periods of recuperation that can set back your fitness goals.
Protect yourself from injury
Compression clothing can also help to reduce the risk of you getting injured in the first place, helping to prevent muscle strains from developing. What’s most important for preventing injury, however, is the correct footwear. Using the wrong footwear not only makes strains and sprains more likely but, in some sports, also puts you at risk of broken ankles. It also distorts your posture, which means that you’re more likely to damage other parts of your body. Make sure that your footwear is appropriate for your sport, good quality and a snug fit. You will need to take a similar approach if you engage in a sport that requires protective headgear.
Balance your temperature
While breathable clothing is important under most conditions, there are additional issues to consider in some sports. If you cycle, ride horses or sail, for instance, then you’ll need protection from wind chill, especially in damp conditions. If you ski or climb high mountains, then you’ll need protection from the cold. Modern fabrics are getting better and better at dealing with extremes, but you’ll still need to choose your gear carefully. Be particularly attentive to potential weak points around zips and other fastenings.
Good-quality fitness clothing is designed to let you move as freely as possible. This makes it easier to enjoy your sport, especially if it’s something like gymnastics or martial arts, which require a lot of flexibility. It also ensures that you’re moving as naturally as possible, which makes you less vulnerable to injury. Finally, it lets you engage in flexibility training, which is important to every exercise routine and becomes increasingly important as you get older. These days, you shouldn’t have to compromise on flexibility in order to find fitness clothing that works well in other ways.
Track your performance
Accessories designed to track your performance have been around for some time now, but they’re getting more and more responsive, more affordable, and easier to combine with fitness clothing regardless of your sport. They’re also less bulky, so they won’t spoil your streamlined shape. Many modern fabrics used in sports such as running and cycling or worn in the gym are thin and sleek, and you can strap pulse or movement monitors over your sleeve instead of having to wear them next to the skin.
What all these advances mean is that while fitness clothing now looks better than ever, it also works better than ever. The challenge is to filter through it and make sure that you choose gear that’s really effective. This will make sure that you not only look good when you’re working out but you also achieve the best possible performance.