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Great Exercise Fitness Clothing

This guide will help you choose the right exercise fitness clothing for a comfy workout. I'll take you through what kinds of materials you should wear and general tips on how to feel comfortable whilst working out. There are also tips on socks and bras, get your underwear right!

Style? Well that's totally up to you! I won't be commenting on style, simply because I think my fashion sense is terrible. There is a huge variety of exercise fitness clothing to choose from. That's the problem, how do you pick what's right for you?

Armed with the basics from this guide, you can feel more confident in what you buy.

Fabric Types

The best materials to have when you're exercising, are ones that will let your body breathe (i.e. will let air circulate in and out). They should also repel sweat and quick dry, so that you don't get soaked in dripping clothes. The last thing to consider is the fit and feel of the material, you may not react well to synthetics, but there is a solution, as we'll see.

Synthetic materials.. the most common are Polyester, Nylon and Spandex (Lycra). These are the best materials for exercising as they tick all the boxes above. Most brands will contain either 100% Polyester, or a combination of the 3.

Polyester is the daddy of synthetics. You get what you pay for, as Nylon is cheaper but not as effective. Spandex, or it's famous brand name Lycra, is well known for its ability to stretch. It's usually a small part (10%) of a t-shirt, for example, or 100% in clothes such as cycling shorts.

Cotton.. it is the cheapest option available, but it doesn't breathe or stay dry as well as synthetics. A loose fitting cotton t-shirt may be fine if you don't sweat much or only do 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.

Organic.. this is a growing trend in both food and clothing. If you don't react well to synthetics and cotton is just not good enough, then this could be an option for you. Prices are becoming more competitive, and organic clothes tend to last longer.

Exercise Fitness Clothing Tips

Summer tips..

  • Try to wear mostly synthetic materials that keep dry.

  • Try to wear lighter colours to reflect the heat.

  • Wear a lightweight cap (and sun-block) to protect your head and face from the sun.

  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes in the sun.

  • Have space for a water bottle in a small hip- or back-pack, for example.

    Winter tips..

  • Try to layer your exercise fitness clothing, to remove when your hot and replace when cooling down (i.e. tracksuit bottoms with zipped legs for easy removal, and a sweatshirt or fleece).

  • Try to wear darker colours to absorb any heat.

  • In really cold weather it's best to wear a warm hat (e.g. Beanies).

  • Polyester leggings are good for walkers, runners and rowers in the cold.

  • In windy and rainy conditions, wear a loose fitting wind and water resistant jacket.

    Some of the summer tips also apply to winter. Sun protection is still vital and so is water. Keeping warm straight after your workout is also essential in cold weather. If your clothes are wet and there is a cold wind, you will lose heat dangerously fast.

    General tips..

  • My basic exercise fitness clothing tends to be Lycra cycling shorts (to reduce chaffing and provide some extra support on top of my underwear), exercise shorts (long swimming shorts work for me), a polyester t-shirt and exercise shoes.

  • Sizes? You'll need to know your body sizes in inches, before you buy online. All the best online stores will have a size guide, relating their "small, medium or large" to inches. They do vary so make sure you double check.

  • Clothing care will be important as you'll be washing them often. Always read what the label says and stick to it. Synthetic materials are less likely to shrink.

  • All your clothing should allow you to move freely, be comfortable and confident. This will help you get the best out of your workout.

    Focus On Underwear

    Socks.. your feet are your most important tool. They do so much for you, and do it so well that most of the time you take them for granted. Well I did, until I started getting blisters. It's often the case, you don't realise how much you need something, until it's not there or you can't use it.

    Everyday care of your feet is crucial. Whether you are running, walking, cycling, swimming, or even just in the gym. The right pair of socks will go a long way to keeping your feet healthy, no matter what your activity.

    What is the right pair of socks? Well ones with acrylic within the fabric are best, this will move sweat away from your feet and keep them dry.

    There are speciality socks for certain activities. These tend to be more expensive but do last longer. They will also provide that extra bit of protection for your feet. So if your workout is focussed on that one activity (that they are designed for), then I would recommend you invest in them.

    The first pair you buy may not be the right pair. It might take some experimentation of several different types to find what works best for your feet.

    Sports Bras.. the wrong bra can result in painful chaffing, amongst other problems. If your bra serves you well in your workout then stick with it. However, if it doesn't then you should look to buy a sports bra that is right for you.

    A synthetic fabric in the bra, like polyester, will keep sweat away from your body. This will feel more comfortable, be easier to take on and off and help reduce chaffing. Also look for sports bras with outer seam linings.

    Straps and clip hooks can be a problem too. Slip on (hook-less) bras will solve both problems. There are many different design shapes for these. Choose what suits you best. Make sure the straps are wide to prevent them falling off your shoulder and for increased support.

    If you're going to wear your sports bra as a top, then be sure to check it doesn't become see-through when it's wet. If people are staring then you'll know why!

    Above all else, make sure the bra is comfortable and provides enough support. Finding a sports bra that restricts movement (bounce) without suffocating you is pretty hard. It may take some shopping around.

  • Final Word
  • Choosing your exercise fitness clothing is pretty straight forward now you know the basics. There is a huge variety out there, so in terms of style, know your taste and go for what catches your eye.

    If you're buying online then be sure to read the returns policy and procedure before you buy. Have fun choosing the best exercise fitness clothing for you.

    Return to Fitness Equipment Apparel Guide from Exercise Fitness Clothing.
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