When it comes to fitness, finding the right gear is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked. From clothing to the equipment, working with fitness gear that is either ill-fitting for your body or inappropriate for the activity that you’re doing, may result in an uncomfortable workout – or even worse, prompt an injury.
Consider finding the right fitness gear for you to be the first step in your fitness journey. Here’s what to look for to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workouts.
Finding the right clothing for your workout will highly depend on what activity you’re doing, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Breathability is crucial - choosing a fabric that allows your skin to breathe will help keep you cool. Though cotton may appear to be a good choice for working out – since 100% cotton gear is comfortable and soft – cotton actually absorbs moisture, which will cause your sweat to cling on you. This can lead to skin irritation, chafing, and chills. Instead, consider moisture-wicking fabrics, which include polyester, lycra, and spandex, especially if you are running long distances.
Though loose-fit clothing will naturally seem like the more comfortable choice, but form-fitting clothing will move with your body as opposed to being in the way of you and your workout. For women, a good sports bra that provides support and comfort is as important as the rest of your clothing.
The right shoes will also make a world of a difference. Depending on your level of activity, you will have to find the shoes specific for your needs. The size of your feet, their shape, and your gait are important factors for finding you the perfect fit. Like other types of shoes, you should always try the shoes on, since every brand will fit differently. If you’re unsure, most specialty fitness shoe stores will help assess your gait, to help you find the best fit. Whether you just started to run regularly or you’re a seasoned athlete, it’s important that your footwear matches your body.
There are a number of heart-monitoring accessories available now, designed to enhance your workout and help you maximize your workouts. These tools can also help you calculate your total calories burned and track your intensity. Other accessories that can elevate your workout include good quality, sweat-proof headphones that will help keep you going, and undergarments and socks that are comfortable.
A good water bottle that can keep your water cold can also be helpful for your workouts, as staying hydrated is crucially important for any physical activity. Good post-workout practices will help with recovery time and prevent injury as well. A foam roller can help alleviate sore muscles and get you back to working out sooner.
Home workouts are becoming more and more popular and many of these workouts require equipment such as free-weights and bands. Getting your fitness gear from a reputable brand can be helpful but be sure to always seek out reviews on the product, to ensure that you aren’t seduced by the brand name alone.
For such things as free weights, be sure to purchase weights that are within your abilities. Asking a trainer or staff member at the gym or fitness center you’re a member of can be a good way of getting recommendations on equipment from the people you trust.