Does it really matter what you wear to the gym? Aren’t a pair of cutoffs and an old cotton t-shirt fine for working out in? Yes, it does, and no, sorry, but they aren’t. There’s a good reason why activewear made with performance fabrics has become so popular in recent years. Those fancy gym clothes actually do improve your performance.
Appropriate athletic clothing can give you more confidence when working out, and that can translate to improved performance. But the right garments made from the right fabrics also offer your body the support it needs for optimum performance. Garments with antimicrobial and sweat-wicking properties, as well as compression qualities, can keep your blood flowing and keep you feeling cool and dry. You’ll be more comfortable, and you’ll have complete freedom of movement when you’re wearing the right athletic clothes.
Nice Activewear Improves Confidence
You really will feel more confident at the gym if you’re wearing some nice workout clothes that make you look and feel good. It’s called “enclothed cognition,” and it’s a shift in mental perspective that occurs when you put on certain clothes. It’s the same reason why you feel more ready to work after you’ve put on your work clothes in the morning. Your clothing can change how you act on the subconscious level, and that can translate into better performance at the gym. You subconsciously expect to have better performance because you’re wearing the right clothes for it, so you actually do perform better when it’s time to work out. You’re mentally prepared to do so.
Your Body Will Get the Support It Needs
The right workout clothes can improve your performance another way – but giving your body the proper support. Clothes with sweat-wicking properties pull moisture away from your skin and allow it to evaporate quickly from the fabric, which helps regulate your body temperature so you don’t overheat, and are able to keep giving your best effort. Clothes with compression qualities help support adequate circulation to your extremities, which supports your heart functioning and allows you to work out harder. Compression clothing can even help prevent lactic acid buildup in the muscles, so you’re less likely to be sore the next day.
Of course, wearing the right clothes for the right workout is essential. Running shoes won’t do you much good on the soccer pitch, for example, because they don’t have cleats that help you keep your traction on grassy and muddy ground. For that matter, you wouldn’t want to wear running shoes for a hike, either – hiking boots have extra support for the ankles and increased cushioning and traction to tackle longer trails. If you’re going to be doing water sports, you need a rash guard that will protect you from the sun, dry quickly, and wick sweat. If you’re going on a long bike ride, you’ll be more comfortable and perform better in a pair of actual bike shorts. You can even buy swimsuits that will help you move through the water faster.
Performance Fabrics Keep You Cool and Dry
Most performance fabrics are highly attractive to moisture and fast-drying, so they’ll pull moisture away from your skin and encourage evaporation. This helps regulate your body temperature so you can stay cool even when you’re working out on a hot day. Many performance fabrics use antimicrobial zinc ion technology to help fight body odor, keep your skin healthy, protect you from viruses, and help the fabric last longer. Of course, you may also want to buy clothes that offer additional sun protection, so you can exercise outdoors without slathering your whole body in sunscreen.
Today’s Activewear Offers Comfort and Freedom of Movement
Today’s leggings, tank tops, and sports bras fit snugly to encourage good blow flow, but offer a full range of movement and a degree of comfort that has seen athleisure grow into a significant fashion movement. You’ll never feel restricted. You’ll be able to move in whatever way you need to for the activity you’re doing. You won’t have to worry about baggy clothes getting tangled on gym equipment or wardrobe malfunctions that leave you exposed.
The days of wearing a cotton t-shirt and sweatpants to the gym are over – or at least they should be. Today’s performance fabrics are offering a full range of features to keep you comfortable and supported during your workout, and encourage you to do your best. Whether you’re a devoted yogi, a marathon runner, or a bodybuilder, performance fabrics are for you.