Exercise helps improve your mental health, physical wellbeing, and your day. After all, if you complete a challenging workout, you know you can face other challenges that come up. But how can you improve how you feel when working out?
One of the ways to feel good when working out is having the right athletic apparel. Athletic apparel refers to the clothes, accessories, and other workout items that aid your workout.
It is not about looking good in athletic apparel but feeling good. You want to feel comfortable and have the right clothes to maximize your workout.
But the US athletic apparel industry is the largest globally, expected to reach over $248 billion in worth by 2026. So, you have a lot of choices, which can be overwhelming.
So, where do you begin? Read on for everything you need to know about finding the right athletic clothing for you.
No matter what athletic clothing you try, be sure to move in it. You might not be able to perform your usual workout routine, but you want to check it is functional. Move about, squat, jump, and walk to check how it adapts to your body.
You want athletic apparel that works well with your exercise and feels good. You do not want to feel restricted or worry about breaking clothing during exercise. The best athletic apparel will not get in the way of activity; instead, it will enhance it.
Consider The Fabric
An outfit might look great, but it could be hiding a secret or two. These secrets usually come in the form of cheap fabrics, which can quickly ruin your workout.
Poor quality fabric can even irritate the skin, especially during a workout when you get hot. This is not only a distraction from your workout but uncomfortable, which is not how your exercise gear should make you feel. To avoid this, always check the fabric of athletic clothing you are interested in.
For example, you should pick breathable fabrics. Any clothing such as plastic-based or rubber-based materials will stop sweat from evaporating and not let your body breathe. Your body temperature will stay high, and your clothing will stay wet.
Instead, pick wicking materials such as synthetic fabrics. They help sweat evaporate quickly and keep your body cool, so you have no interruptions to your workout. Look out for synthetic fabrics that use technology such as COOLMAX® or that contain polypropylene.
You can also consider cotton for certain activities. It is breathable and absorbent, plus easy to maintain. However, it does not dry fast, so clothing can feel uncomfortable and heavy if you sweat a lot in it.
Pick Based On The Activity
Athletic apparel can be multi-purpose but also look for gear that serves a specific purpose. You want the kit to be the right type for your workout. For example, some workout trainers are specifically for weightlifting and will not give you the support you need during a HIIT class or run.
Picking the right gear for your workout will help maximize your results. It will provide better support, functionality, and form. After all, it was designed with the specific activity in mind, so it is tailored to those specific workout needs.
Usually, an athletic apparel provider will indicate if an item is best for a specific activity. However, you can follow some general rules, mainly that you do not want clothing to get in the way of an activity.
Avoid wide-leg or loose clothing when running or cycling, as these could cause you to have an accident. Depending on personal preference, you might want stretchy or loose items for activities such as pilates or yoga.
You can also check out gear lists to get inspired for what athletic apparel you need. For example, it can be helpful to have weightlifting gloves for grip in the gym.
The same goes for items such as multivitamins and protein powders. For example, you can search for the ‘best multivitamin for men’s bodybuilding’ to find the most suitable option.
Remember The Seasons
If you live in a location with changes to temperatures, be sure to factor this into your athletic apparel. It is not so important if you mainly do indoor workouts; however, you still want to have the right items to throw on before or after a workout.
For outdoor activities, pick athletic clothing that suits the season. During the summer months, focus on breathable and wicking fabrics that allow you to move with ease. You might want to pick looser items, such as looser shorts, which help you keep cool and comfortable.
During winter, pick easy layers that you can remove as you need without too much interruption to your workout. You need warm items to help prevent injury until you have warmed up.
Also, if you live in an area prone to wet or windy weather, purchase an effective outer layer, such as a windbreaker, which will protect you.
As you progress with your training, your nutrition needs may change too. For example, people often choose wintertime to build muscle mass. This may impact what protein powders you choose too.
Location, Location, Location
Before you pick athletic apparel, think about where you work out. It is not just about the temperatures where you workout but also the location. You want to feel comfortable and safe.
If you exercise outside, be sure to pick noticeable gear. A lot of athletic clothing has reflective elements, or you can buy equipment that helps, such as headlights.
Also, before you pick a certain outfit, consider if you will feel comfortable wearing it out to the gym or your exercise class. There is more freedom with home workouts, but also consider what will work best in the space.
Decide On Athletic Apparel Colors
Colors impact our motivation, emotions, energy, concentration, and productivity. And color psychology also claims certain colors can help workouts. For example, red is considered a color to increase your heart rate, whereas blue is said to boost concentration levels.
So, you might want to pick bolder colors for high-intensity workouts and neutral colors for when you are practicing yoga, for example.
If you work out outside, colors can also have a bigger impact on your overall temperature when you work out. Black is a well-known color that absorbs more light and can make you sweat more on warm days.
Embrace Multipurpose Items
If you participate in various sports or do not have a specific workout routine, it is also good to pick athletic apparel that is multi-purpose. You can use a lot of athletic clothing in a variety of settings, so pick items that have flexible forms and functions.
The same goes for athlete supplements and shoes. You can pick the general best multivitamin for women instead of focusing on the different specialized supplements you can buy. Over time you will learn what specific items you require to progress with your fitness journey.
Read Customer Reviews
When you are deciding on the right athletic apparel for you, it can also be helpful to check customer reviews. It helps determine whether the company’s promises live up to its actions. There are many independent sites with reviews to read.
You can also check social media handles or contact the company directly if they do not have reviews listed. Reviews help shed light on what is the best item for the workout you do and what is the most popular with customers.
Do Not Forget Other Products
While your athletic clothing will help enhance your workout, remember to research what gear and accessories will help. For example, there are many vitamins for athletes on offer. Vitamins and supplements help aid your recovery and keep you well.
Like with athletic clothing, take the time to research what works best for you. Maybe you want to begin with a protein powder or a general multivitamin. However, other products on offer can also aid mental well-being and keep you on top of your workouts.
Always check the ingredients of supplements and follow the other tips of this article, such as checking customer reviews and company reputation. The same goes for athletic equipment, which you want to make sure aids your workout is simple and safe to use.
Remember Your Workout Shoes
When picking workout shoes, consider all the factors we discuss in this article. However, if you want workout shoes for a specific activity, such as running, it is helpful to analyze your gait first. Many shops offer this service free of charge.
It helps to have an analysis done so you can be sure to get the right type of workout shoe and the right size. For other activities, you should also consider some workout characteristics.
With weightlifting, you want a pair of shoes that feel firm and have a flat grip. Whereas in a cardio class, you will want shoes that provide support but also cushioning.
Over time, try to get the right workout shoes for the activity. It will save you from injury and ensure you can continue to progress with your training plan.
Check The Price Point And Company
Price is important to consider when picking athletic apparel. You want to pick affordable items that are also a good investment. There is no point in picking expensive brand items, which could impact your budget and increase your stress later.
The good news is that the most expensive athletic apparel does not equal the best. And the cheapest items certainly do not equal the best deal. Instead, consider the quality of the items on offer and what fits in your budget.
Also, it is important to pick an ethical and reputable company. Do not just check a brand name and trust it.
It is also nice to consider a company that shares where its profits go. Here at Division 42, 42 percent of all profits are divided up and equally donated to the non-profits we feel strongly impact mental health initiatives. Read more about our story here.
How Do You Feel?
It is important that everyone can speak up about how they feel, which helps keep an open conversation about mental health and wellbeing. And there is no exception to this when it comes to deciding on athletic apparel.
Yes, it is important to consider different factors so you can stay safe and comfortable while working out. However, it is also important that you feel good, or even better- great in athletic apparel.
There is no use picking an outfit or item that seems to tick the boxes but makes you feel uncomfortable. When you work out, you want to feel unstoppable, so do not settle for gear that makes you feel any less than that.
There is a lot of inspiration online with the rise of social media. However, if you do not feel great in it, it will not serve its purpose. In fact, it will likely end up at the back of your wardrobe very quickly, or it will become an excuse to skip the gum.
Remember to check in with yourself and ask how you feel about items. If you feel great, it is likely a good choice.
Find the Best Athletic Apparel For You
There is a lot of athletic apparel out there, which can be overwhelming. But this article will help you find the right athletic apparel for you. Take your time, do your research, and enjoy the process.
And you do not have to search far to find the athletic clothing and athlete supplements you need. Division 42 is here to help with a range of clothing, equipment, supplements, and vitamins for athletes. Everyone who works out is an athlete in their own right, so we want to provide the gear that makes them feel that way too.
We are here to help support you with your exercise journey and mental health. All our items are picked to help you maximize your workouts and manage your mental health. Check out our men’s and women’s products here to learn more.