1. Not washing activewear as soon as possible after a sweaty workout
The temptation to lounge around in your comfortable activewear long after your workout is over can be too much sometimes. You might get comfortable on the sofa or head out with friends without getting changed first, but this is a big mistake. If you want to keep your gym clothes fresh and protect their quality, you need to wash your activewear as soon as possible after a sweaty workout.
This will remove the bacteria and oils that permeate the fibres during a workout and prevent a lingering smell from developing. Not only this, it will protect your sensitive skin and prevent sweat rash and body acne from forming. High-tech sports fabrics are now super sweat-wicking which can make it feel like it's okay to stay in your activewear because it dries quickly and you soon forget how sweaty you were, but it's still best to shower and change as soon as you can due to the bacteria that will be left behind.
2. Using too much laundry detergent
It seems logical that the more laundry detergent you use, the cleaner your clothes will come out. However, this is another big mistake you could be making with your activewear. Too much laundry detergent leaves excess residue and can trap in smells, meaning your sweaty and stinky workout clothes will still be sweaty and stinky after their wash!
One telltale sign that you're using too much detergent is if there are still suds left in the machine after it's finished. Additionally, too many harsh chemicals can damage the fine fabrics of sports clothing, so less is definitely more in this case.
3. Putting sportswear in the tumble dryer
This is definitely a big no-no! Your sportswear is made from highly technical fabrics which provide sweat-wicking and multi-way stretch, so you want to make sure all these features are well looked after. Putting sportswear in the tumble dryer can make it lose its shape as well as reducing the quality of the garments.
Materials like Spandex and Lycra will be left brittle and broken by your tumble dryer due to the heat, not to mention the risk of it all shrinking! Sundried always recommends that you 'wash cool, sun dry' your activewear as this will not only increase its life expectancy, but it is kinder to the environment too. This is especially true of premium sports clothing like Lycra cycling gear, which you should really wash separately and in a mesh wash bag or pillow case to protect it properly.
4. Buying gym clothing from non-specialist retailers
These days, more and more fashion retailers are delving into the world of activewear and athleisure and offering it at a very low price. In the UK, retailers like Primark are famed for their bargain basement prices while online fashion retailers like Pretty Little Thing and ASOS now have their own ranges of women's sportswear and activewear.
However, while the unbelievably competitive prices may seem too good to be true, sadly, it's because they are. Non-specialist fashion retailers tend to put appearance over performance because their demographic don't tend to be serious athletes. While this may be fine for most, it does mean your sportswear won't perform as well as it would if you bought it from a specialist retailer like Nike or Sundried who have spent years developing and perfecting their sportswear. These specialist sportswear retailers use premium materials which feature advanced technology to enhance your sporting performance and keep you as comfortable as possible while improving the longevity of the activewear's quality.
When it comes to something like fitness wear, it's always worth paying that little bit extra so that you can benefit from the luxury materials, specialist technology, and advanced garment quality.
5. Not buying according to activity
If you are an avid Yogi, a pair of running leggings might not be best for you. Good quality activewear and sportswear will be meticulously designed with a specific sport or activity in mind so you want to make sure you're making the most of your activewear. A runner will have different demands to a cyclist and a CrossFitter. Running leggings tend to have reflective detailing for safety in low light as well as an adjustable waist so they don't fall down and breathable mesh panels in areas of high movement. For yoga, you'll be wanting softer, more seamless leggings which can bend and stretch as much as you!
Make sure you take into account exactly what you'll be wearing your activewear for so that you can make an informed decision when buying. Even better, seek out brands which specialise in specific sports, like how Sundried are specialists in triathlon. This way, you'll know that the brand leaders and designers know the sport inside out and therefore are knowledgeable about what the wearer will be wanting, needing, and expecting from the garments.