Health and Fitness, through working out is the new favourite sport, across a large cross-section of the society, as per recent research! And it is not surprising that people take it up seriously, right from choosing a proper place, to choosing the right clothes, shoes and even water-bottle! Many of the leading sports brands have a range of workout accessories, right from wrist-bands, head-bands to water-sippers and the like!
Though the accessories need not always be a necessary option, when it comes to clothing, it becomes important to pay attention to our choices!
Though it is common to see ladies wearing traditional outfits like salwar-kameez or saree, when out for a walk outdoors, when it comes to working out at health club facilities, most ladies seem to be pretty confident about sporting trendy sports wear like track pants and T-shirts. Most health clubs also strictly require female members to do that, since it helps reduce injury and mishaps due to the clothing that could get caught in between machines. Men, even otherwise do not have to go through major transitions as far as clothing is concerned!
However, even if one has chosen to wear sportswear, the quality and type of the material used, also becomes of primary importance! While the traditional instruction has been to wear ‘comfortable cotton’ apparel, since it soaks up the sweat which almost always accompanies a workout! Needless to say, silk or purely polyester options are then definitely out of the question!
However, what fitness experts over the years have come to observe is that, cotton materials may be good at absorbing sweat but they are not good at managing it, so as to make the person feel comfortable. Also, since cotton gets wet, when drenched in sweat, it covers the body with a cold, wet layer of clothing which could lead to temperature differences between the body and the surrounding!
The type of clothes, and more specifically the material they are made from, are very important factors to be considered, not just from style or comfort point of view, but also from a scientific point of view.
Since, every exercise activity is associated with the release of sweat, it becomes necessary to find effective ways to manage it. Sweating is mechanism to cool the body, and hence the clothes worn by you must absorb it in them, since otherwise the layer of wet clothing clings on your body and stops the process of evaporation and prevents the body from 'breathing'!
· Let's start with the appropriate clothing for winters -
The cold temperatures of winter, cause a huge temperature difference between the body and the environment. While it is obviously impossible to wear sweaters and woolen clothing to help keep you warm while working out (wool and the allied synthetic materials are good isolators and restrict the heat within them, thereby proving to be bad at transferring the heat outside!), multiple layers of clothing is a good way to keep yourself warm, and at the same time ensuring good transfer of heat to the environment.
· There are many materials (like Dri-Fit etc. by some leading brands) available in the market these days, that claim to have excellent sweat absorbing abilities and help keep the body dry.
People are known to change their T-shirts, in the middle of a workout, if it has gotten wet and uncomfortable. Lycra cotton is also very commonly used to make sportswear and exercise clothing. The key is to wear ‘breathable’ materials.
· The type of clothing may also differ slightly based on the kind of workout too, like for example, a Yoga workout may need extra stretchable clothing, and synthetic clothes may hinder the movements.
The clothes also need to be loose enough to accommodate all movements, but at the same time, not be too loose that it hinders the workout by getting stuck in any machines etc.