Getting a good workout is an important part of staying fit and healthy. And an important part of that workout is wearing the right clothing for the activity. Whether you're hitting the gym, the basketball court, the track, or the trail, these tips will answer commonly asked questions so you can find the right athletic clothing for you.
What is compression clothing?
Compression clothing is designed to have a very tight, very supportive fit. This has many benefits. The tight fabric gives extra support to your muscles and joints as you work out, reducing the risk of injury. The extra pressure on your muscles also helps improve blood flow as you exercise and reduces the build-up of lactic acid. This tight fit not only helps you as you work out, but the extra support, increased blood flow, and decreased lactic acid build-up help you recover quicker.
Do I need specific shoes for certain workouts?
Your athletic shoes are one of the most specific things you'll wear during your workout. The type of exercise you're doing will require specific movement in your foot as well as grip on the ground or floor. A running shoe should keep your foot balanced, stabilized, and flexible as you run, while a basketball shoe will likely have a wide, flat sole to provide balance and grip on the court. Look for shoes designed specifically for the type of exercise you'll be doing.
Can I just wear what's comfortable?
Comfort is a huge factor in dressing for a workout, but what's comfortable every day may not be comfortable when you start to sweat. Look for clothing that lets you move. If you don't have a full range of motion, you may not be able to properly perform all of your exercises. Whether you go for loose and breathable clothing or compression clothing, make sure you can easily stretch, move, and jump without your clothes pinching or gathering.
When should I wear layers?
Starting your workout without your muscles being properly warmed-up can quickly lead to injuries. You should wear layers whenever you're warming up or whenever the weather outside is cool enough to prevent your muscles from staying warm throughout your workout. Once you're warm and staying warm, you can shed as many layers as you want. It is important, however, to replace layers after you exercise to keep your muscles from cooling down too quickly. Learn about all the important layers with the men's fitness clothing buying guide.
Does fabric type matter?
Different fabrics retain moisture differently. When you're working out, you want to make sure you stay as dry as possible. This helps your body regulate its temperature, prevents chaffing, and keeps you from cooling down too quickly. Look for athletic clothing with breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you as cool and comfortable as possible as you work up a sweat.