When it comes to shopping for activewear, there are so many more considerations to keep in mind than when shopping for regular clothing. It is, of course, still important to ensure that something fits, looks good, and is affordable given our budget, but there is so much more to take into account. How will this item stand the wear and tear that comes with exercise? What will happen when we get all sweaty while wearing it? Will it get in the way of our activities by limiting our movement, flexibility, or comfort?
The following will explore some of the things you need to keep in mind when trying to select the right activewear for your daily or weekly exercise needs. In addition to the below, it’s crucial that you take into consideration any specific healing requirements you have. Don’t select activewear you can’t combine with braces or other necessary forms of support. Your long-term health and wellbeing are too important to be sacrificed for workout clothing trends.
Understand Your Activity Requirements
Of course, every activity is a little bit different, so be sure to include the specifics of your chosen sport or workout when you’re pursuing this list. Bobsledders need drastically different outfits than long-distance swimmers. For safe and healthy exercise, you should take into account the specific activity you want to use the clothing during. Any sport that is fast-paced needs no flowing loose pieces that can get caught and twisted as you whizz past a branch or jump over a hurdle. If any part of your outfit can get caught on something, you run the risk of becoming seriously injured. There’s a reason you don’t see people running with scarves on.
Likewise, some activities require you to flip or turn upside down for a period of time. If this is your chosen type of workout, ensure that the top you choose isn’t going to slide down and cover your eyes when you turn upside down. You should be able to see what you’re doing and have both hands free for the pose or move you’re working on instead of one flailing about wildly, trying to hold your shirt to your stomach. Form-fitting clothes tend to be preferred by athletes because of these needs.
Consider Your Pre And Post Workout Situation
Some of us need activewear that we can wear to the grocery store after we leave the gym or on the subway on our way to the yoga studio. For example, Evolve Fit Wear recommends seeking out patterns, colors, or designs that you wouldn’t mind being seen in outside of your workout. This can make a big difference in how often you exercise, as anything that causes discomfort (even if it’s simply social discomfort on the way to the pool) can act as a deterrent.
Understand The Conditions
Depending on where you live and where you workout, you might need to take the weather into consideration. Working out outside has endless benefits for our bodies and our minds, but it can quickly get too uncomfortable for a habit. In wet or cold climates, you want to be sure that you have an outer layer that repels moisture (like a waterproof running jacket and waterproof socks). You might also want some warm layers.
If you’re going to be out in the direct sunlight, you might want light, breathable, long-sleeved items that keep you cool but protect you from a sunburn. There’s no point in buying a gorgeous workout outfit if you’ll never be able to wear it without being the wrong temperature and the incorrect dampness. Anything that ruins the experience of working out needs to be avoided as it will increase the chances that you skip a day (or, you know, seven).
Think About Matching
If you’re someone that works out often, you might need more than one set of activewear. If this is the case, consider seeking out items that all match each other. This can save you stress and time digging through the laundry for the sports bra that goes with your neon leggings. If all your sports bras go with your neon leggings, life is so much simpler, and you have one less excuse not to workout.
Don’t Mess With Circulation
While it’s ideal to have form-fitting activewear, this does not mean clothing that is so tight it cuts off the flow of blood. Circulation is a crucial part of any type of exercise. It’s what is going to move oxygen (and those epic endorphins) throughout your body, fueling your muscles and keeping you from getting fatigued too early. If your clothing is so tight that it causes dents or marks on your skin (visible when you take the clothing off), it’s too tight. The blood close to the surface of your skin wasn’t able to move at an optimal speed which is damaging for your health and your workout. Keep this in mind when selecting your undergarments as well. Blood flow is key for literally every part of your physical existence.
Consider Organic And Eco-Friendly Options
Do your research when it comes to the clothing you buy. The garment industry is one of the biggest contributors to landfills. Do your part to sell or donate old clothing once you’re done with it, and follow care instructions to keep your items around for as long as possible.
You also want to learn about what goes into materials to make them stretchy. It is estimated that up to 10% of workout clothing contains material that is toxic to humans. Learn how to shop for safe materials and how to wash clothes to keep plastic-based synthetics from seeping into the water supply.
The above information should set you upright when it comes to shopping for activewear. Remember, at the end of the day; it’s far more important that you exercise than it is that you look put together while doing it. Don’t buy activewear you aren’t comfortable in, or that inhibits the movements you need to perform, as this completely defeats the purpose of activewear. You want clothes that do everything they can to encourage healthy habits.