Fitness Tips: Get into The Right Gear!
Can the sports clothing you wear help improve performance?
The benefits of clothing in sports is a hotly debated subject. Supposed scientific claims and counterclaims by various manufacturers can leave you confused.
As you would expect from Sport Punk, we take a no-nonsense approach. After all, it’s just common sense.
Fact: When working out, you are likely to sweat a lot.
Therefore, having appropriate clothing that can help the body deal with this natural reaction makes sense.
Examples of breathable material and their benefits:
Moisture management – Lightweight breathable fabrics help reduce sweat
Moisture-wicking material – Assist the body’s natural cooling mechanism helping to evaporate sweat
Quick-drying materials – Like moisture-wicking the material is complementary to the body’s natural system
Fact: Controlling the body’s temperature is critical to performance.
Overheating and, not being warm enough, can open you to potential strains and stresses.
Too Hot – Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body. The activity, air temperature and humidity can increase your core body temperature. The body sends more blood to circulate through your skin, leaving less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate.
Too Cold – Dehydration during cold-weather exercise carries the same risk as it would when exercising in the heat, but you won’t feel as thirsty as the cold can diminish thirst by up to 40%! When you’re cold your blood vessels constrict preventing blood flow to the extremities, like your hands and feet. The body does an excellent job of maintaining a constant temperature, but extended exposure to cold can overwhelm its auto-regulation mechanism.
Fact: Like the wrong shoes can lead to blisters, the wrong clothing can be a restriction to performance.
Choosing clothing that makes you comfort in terms of the fabric and style, makes a world of difference. You’ll feel confident in what you’re wearing, which allows you to direct your full attention to your workout instead of feeling self-conscious. Plus, it won’t cause you any discomfort that negatively impacts your performance. Let’s face it; you aren’t going to go for a run in a pair of skinny jeans. The point being is that’s what the wrong workout clothes are going to do to you because they’ll hold you back.
Common Sense Workout Clothing Tips:
- Wear clothes that are loose and comfortable. But if you are running or biking, avoid wide-leg or baggy pants that could get tangled up in the pedals or your feet. For activities such as yoga or Pilates, stretchy, fitted fabrics that wick away, sweat is the right choice.
- In warm weather be sure to choose fabrics that allow your skin to breathe and wick sweat away. Dress in clothes that are cool and comfortable, and easily removable
- In cold weather dress warmly, but keep in mind that you’ll be exercising and boosting your heart rate and your body temperature. Dress in layers that you can remove, and always dress for weather that’s warmer than what the thermometer outside says. Keep sweat-wicking clothing on your inner layer adding an insulating layer on top of that. In extreme colder conditions cover your head, ears, and hands to protect them from the cold.
- When it’s wet or windy nothing can ruin an outdoor workout faster than getting soaked in the rain or caught in a strong wind. Wear an outer layer that protects your skin from the elements.
In summary, forget scientific mumble-jumble!
When choosing the right clothing for your fitness regime, use common sense.