Whether you spend hours each week sweating it out at the gym or prefer a more laid-back approach to fitness like a weekend hike, getting the most out of your workout is a must.
And while it may seem as though the number of reps you put in or the miles you cover are what make or break your workout, success starts before you even begin moving. From the moment you get dressed, what you choose to wear can be the difference between strengthening your body and suffering an injury.
Keep reading to learn more about why the right workout gear makes all the difference when you’re trying to get fit.
Perhaps the most obvious reason to wear the right gear is the ability to work out in comfort.
While your favorite old T-shirt might seem like the perfect choice for an afternoon run, know that cotton won’t provide optimum comfort, as this material tends to dry slowly and holds onto moisture. In other words, it will soak up your sweat and hold it against your skin, leaving you hot and uncomfortable. Instead, opt for clothing that helps wick away sweat to keep you cool and dry.
With so many options for workout clothing, it can be tempting to be swayed by the latest cute styles. But while it’s great to buy clothes you love, you want to have workout gear that’s also cool and functional. For instance, a sleeveless, moisture-wicking shirt is a better choice for a sweaty gym session than a stifling long-sleeved shirt that could leave you overheated.
Moisture-wicking layers aren’t just important for hitting the gym or running outdoors in the summer. Cold-weather workouts also call for gear that wicks away sweat and moisture from your skin, preventing it from lowering your body temperature to dangerous levels.
Hypothermia isn’t the only dangerous injury that can be caused by wearing the wrong workout gear. Perhaps the gear that makes the biggest difference in keeping your workout safe is your choice of shoes. Whether you’re hitting the trails for a hike or the pavement for a run, the right shoes or boots can prevent twisted ankles, give your legs and body the support it needs, and keep you from slipping on slick surfaces.
Never assume a pair of shoes that work for one workout will also be the right choice for another. Before starting a new workout, do your research and choose the right shoes for the job.
Keeping Your Arms and Legs Free to Move
In the same way that your favorite running shoes might not offer enough ankle support to safely take on a steep hike, some workout gear may be too restrictive for your chosen workout. As a result, your arms, legs and the rest of your body won’t be able to move freely.
Not only can this lead to injuries, but it also means you won’t get the full benefit of your workout. The outfit in which you choose to work out should leave your body able to move freely, but without hanging so loose that you risk getting it caught in a machine or it otherwise getting in your way.
Choosing the Right Workout Gear
From preventing injuries to leaving your body free to move and staying comfortable, owning the right workout gear is essential. Before you hit the gym, trail or pavement, make sure you choose the right clothes for the job.