Exercise plays an important role in leading a healthy lifestyle. It's important to find the right exercise routine to achieve your fitness goals. Whether it's running, cross-training, weights or yoga, the type of clothes you choose to wear is key. Many people don't factor in that wearing the proper active wear is crucial to their exercise routine. Why does it matter? How can poor quality active wear hinder or take away from your overall workout experience? Here are some things to think about when selecting the right workout apparel.
Overall, sportswear is designed to be lightweight and form fitting to the wearer. For example, if you are an athletic who cycles or skis, you need to find apparel that isn't too bulky or creates drag. Another important aspect to clothing is that it not be too restrictive or impair movement. Certain materials such as spandex are good for sports including gymnastics, wrestling, track, dance, swimming and anything requiring speed.
While you can go out and buy a cheap pair of stretch pants and workout top at any department store, quality matters. Fabrics used in sportswear range from the cheapest thin fabrics to supporting sportswear fabrics that use qualities such as sweat wicking. This type of fabric draws the moisture from your skin to the outside of the material, which helps keep you cool and comfortable. Quality materials also help to keep the athlete's temperature ideal, and give just the right amount of support and pressure. It’s also important to have clothing that allows for heat control, so you feel cool when it’s hot and warmer as the temperature drops. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing workout apparel is wash-ability of the fabric. Sportswear needs to be able to recover from numerous wash cycles and keep its form.
Who ever said that looks don't matter? Yes, they do! If your someone who spends a lot of time in the gym or competing, you want to wear apparel that's flattering. Nothing makes you feel better than wearing a great looking training garment. One of the most visible trends in the sportswear field recently is adding a little extra color to work out attire. Athletes may even wear all-black training garments, but choose to compliment it with some colourful shoes. Another trend seems to be leaning away from big bold logos and choosing a more discreet take on sportswear such as mesh detailing, printed panels, ergonomic seams and shape altering strips. There are plenty of styles out on the market for someone wanting to jazz-up their look.
Nowadays, workout clothing is not only worn to the gym. Many customers like to wear designer sportswear to the mall or even out on the town. The sportswear industry is booming and designers know that sportswear needs to be multifunctional and versatile, so it can be used for many purposes. This is why athletic pieces are becoming increasingly popular as fashionable clothing, especially for those who live and breathe sports. People are pairing athletic gear with casual day wear. You may see trendy running shoes paired with a great pair of jeans and jacket or sweat pants dressed up with a pair of heels. It's important for your training wear to look and feel good, whether you're going to the grocery store or going shopping.
Gone are the days of wearing your old sweat clothes to the gym or for a run. Today, buying an awesome sports outfit is in! Sports and training don't have to play an important part of your lifestyle to indulge a little and spend money on quality materials and a great fit. Companies are now led by design and style and try to create silhouettes that offer benefits pre, during and post-exercise So when you're looking for the right exercise apparel, treat yourself to premium materials and innovative construction that's designed with ergonomics in mind. Not only should you get a better performance, but you can also look great in the process.
With that in mind, view the Sundried collection here.
Music trailblazer. Baconaholic. Proud fitness guru. Coffee fanatic. Problem solver. Certified travel fanatic.
Jane Grates is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and owns Nicershoes. Apart from managing the website, she also participates in a couple of races every year.
So January is around the corner and that can only mean one thing, an influx of new gymbies. We love it. For those of you who are new to the gym, or if your gym bag just needs a little spruce up, here’s our top 10 must have gym wear items
Every woman needs a sports bra and every woman should wear one, but you won’t believe the number of clients who would come to me in their regular underwire bra.The average woman in the UK wears a 34D bra. A 34D equates to around 500g of weight, per breast, so the average woman in the UK is carrying an extra kilogram of weight across their front, a kilogram of weight flying around whilst you’re working out can cause a substantial amount of damage and once that damage is done, there’s no going back as the ligaments are not elastic. A sports bra is designed to prevent the chest from moving, causing pain and disruption during your workout. The Sundried Breithorn Bra is designed to lock down movement and reduce the impact on the shoulders by redistributing the weight across your back. The mesh racer back is great for keeping you cool when you build up a sweat - it looks great too!
Sweat - Wicking Top
Saving an old T shirt for the gym is a thing of the past, your gym wardrobe can now help make your workout easier, with sweat wicking materials which work with you - rather than against you. Sweat wicking materials are more comfortable, retain their shape and stay lightweight. Ultimately they keep you comfortable, when you're otherwise uncomfortable because let’s face it, working out isn’t easy. The Sundried Dom Tee is our most popular technical gym top with advanced sweat wicking technology, a flattering performance fit and even a secure pocket for valuables - or a gym locker key!
Gym leggings are not just in fashion, they’re practical too. Close figure hugging materials protect from slips, trips and chaffing. Tighter fitting clothes move with your body easier and allow you to monitor form throughout your workout. Now, gym tights are made to flatter, to compliment a casual wardrobe as well as a gym wardrobe, so buying a high quality pair is a worthwhile investment. The Sundried Ruinette Tights are designed with plenty of little extras, as well as sweat wicking, adaptable materials. From the multiway secure waistband to the hidden secure pocket and reflective trims for dark winter months.
Blister Blasting Socks
Protect yourself with the right activewear from top to toe, literally. The right socks aren’t always top of your list when it comes to activewear, but they are important. Blisters can really set your training backwards and long training sessions are very dependant upon your feet. Sports specific socks are usually sweat wicking, with extra padding or protection in areas prone to blisters, they sit slightly higher up the ankle to protect the heel and prevent rubbing.
Super Comfy Trainers
Finding the perfect fit of trainers is tough and it’s a very individualised task as what works for one person, may not work for another. When it comes to selecting a new gym trainer - always try them on and take a walk/ jog. Not just one shoe either, both. You can read our reviews of some of our favourite trainers here.
Weather Resistant Jacket
As we’re in the UK, we’re not short of dodgy weather so a jacket that's prepared to face the elements is an essential bit of kit. New technologies have been developed that allow weather resistant jackets to do just that. Waterproof coating allows you to keep dry as rain slips off the jackets surface and wind resistant weaves allow no air to pass through leaving you chilly.
1 in 6 people has a fitness tracker and whilst some may be better than others, they’re all good for monitoring your progress and motivating us to move more. Personally, I use my heart rate tracker to make sure I’m training in the right heart rate zone with the right intensity, your heart rate can’t lie.
With all this special kit, you’re going to need somewhere to put it. Having a nice large gym bag is essential. Regular bags may pick up a smell, but a gym bag is designed to be odour resistant. We recommend you pack up your gym bag the night before, that way when it comes time to workout, you’re ready and raring to go, rather than scrambling around wasting time looking for your stuff. Keep your pre-gym routine as simple as possible to avoid allowing yourself the opportunity to find an excuse to not bother.
When your training at intensity, you lose a lot of water, so it’s essential to keep yourself hydrated. Grabbing yourself a reusable bottle prevents wasting used plastic bottles and helps minimise the load in our landfills waiting to decompose, not only that but plastic bottles contain harmful substances PET.
My old gym used to be no towel no train. I can even remember ripping my gym buddies towel in two once when I forgot one. They were that strict. Rightfully so, it’s all part of gym etiquette, no one wants to sit on a machine splashed with someone else's sweat. Carry a towel with you while you workout to mop your bench and your brow. A small hand towel will do perfect - you hardly need to be lugging around your beach towel, but each to their own. It really goes without saying but, be sure to wash this towel after every session.
This year fashion and fitness have fused, silhouette hugging leggings and sweat wicking tops have dominated our shopping carts, both in the highstreet and online, but why?
Social media has made fitness a community, you may follow and talk training with hundreds of people you’ve never actually met, but you connect over a shared passion. Fitness is very much the ‘in thing’ at the moment as we love to watch other people's progress, workouts and of course ‘belfies’. That’s a selfie of your bum to show your #glutegains, incase you didn’t know.
There are tons of ways to connect through fitness, whether it's via social media, liking a person’s fit pics to following along to a live workout. Then there’s the in app based community worlds of Nikeplus, Strava and Myfitnesspal - to name a few, we’re constantly comparing our stats to others, battling for the best time, best burn or best results.
Then there’s the communities who develop into tribes, pledging allegiance to particular fitness trends or classes such as Soulcycle, Barry’s Bootcamp and CrossFit.
It seems whatever we’re doing fitness wise, someone is watching or tracking, if they’re not it’ll be saved for a later post on facebook. With eyes on us at all times, we’ve got to look good when working out and part of that is having fashionable, on trend activewear.
2.Celebrities are endorsing fitness products
Celebrities are turning to fitness and fitness is turning into celebrities. It seems a new workout dvd is released by a celebrity every month, each promising you results in less and less time - we’re down to 3 minutes now! Equally the world of fitness has turned our fitspo faves into celebrities themselves, with a reach of 450 thousand +, the following of fitness, be it fad or lifestyle, is huge.
The combining of athletic apparel for leisure and everyday wear has exploded the activewear market. From the gym to the office and from the office to happy hour, millennials more relaxed approach to fashion has transformed fitness clothing into a trend we can adopt and wear for almost anything. It’s led to trendier, more stylish designs and with the catwalk and celebrities following trend, it appears athleisure is here to stay.
Athleisure has made activewear social. Whereas before, the excuse to not workout would simply be “I’m going out” meeting friends, now it’s become the norm to meet your friends for a fitness class or a workout and a coffee.
It’s not just the clothing that’s become huge in the last year, we’ve started concentrating on an overall picture of health and wellbeing. 1 in 6 people own a fitness tracker. We’re constantly tracking our every move, it’s trendy to book into fitness classes with your friends. Fitness has become a cult, whereas before it used to be embarrassing to go to the gym, now it’s something to brag about. Wearing the right clothing, tracking activity and doing the right workout is all very on trend.
5. Health is Wealth
The rise in activewear and focus on fitness wearables has come as part of a shift in culture to focus on health and wellbeing.
Wellness is becoming a widespread epidemic as the movement from healthcare to well being grows. Our clothes, watches, wearables and phones are allowing us to be connected to our own personal wellness ecosystems 24/7 and brands are creating more and more activewear to keep us looking the part.The quest for wellness has become more popular with people have taking more active roles in seeking to improve their health outside of the gym from wearing a Fitbit to clean eating. It’s also become more popular and more normal to brag. We don’t think anything of people posting pictures in which are borderline pornographic in their undies if it’s accompanied by #progresspic or #legsday. Our health and wellness values have changed and looking good is as important as feeling good, if not more.
2016 has been the year of active wear, rising in popularity to the point where athleisure has now secured it’s spot in the dictionary.
A poll by Verdict retail completed in February 2016 found that:
- 53.7% of consumers purchased activewear over the last 12 months, with the highest penetration among 25 to 44 years age group.
- 43.3% of consumers prefer to wear activewear over other clothing.
Athleisure is defined as casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use, and this is exactly what makes it so popular, it’s a fashion trend that easy to adopt and there’s something for almost every body type. The wide appeal of activewear has spread across consumers because they can manipulate one trend for almost every situation, from grabbing coffee, to training in a gym, grocery shopping and even at work in the office.
It is becoming more and more acceptable to wear your gym apparel for both physical activities and social events, particularly since retailers have invested in making ranges far more fashionable and trend-led. Just a few years ago I remember saving my eldest, tattiest T shirts for gym sessions. If I spilled dinner down a top, it would then go into the gym pile - after all, I was only going to sweat in it anyway, but nowadays I wouldn’t dream of it, what would people think!
The past year has seen a significant rise not only in the popularity of gym wear, but of fitness wearables, from heart rate trackers to watches which measure your water intake. There’s been a shift of focus since the 2012 Olympics and the gym is only one part of the overall picture of health and fitness we’re striving for. Fitness clothing is designed to be worn outside of the gym, as we strive for a healthy lifestyle which continues away from barbells and treadmills and runs into our everyday lives.
This prioritising of health and fitness has spread into the office as well, offering a more relaxed dress code which allows for lunchtime workouts, or a quick dash from work to the gym for an evening workout.
We’re more conscious of the dangers of sitting, being constantly reminded that we’re not doing enough to move, and so it’s become more popular to dress so we’re ready to be active when the opportunity arrives.
Are Gym Outfits The New Trainers?
There was a time, where you wore trainers if you were training, or a laborer. Today, with fewer jobs requiring men to be suited and booted and the catwalks full of relaxed tailoring and sportswear, trainers are more popular than ever, from casual converse to Adidas Yeezy’s. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own at least one pair of trainers. Are gym outfits heading the same way? It’s becoming more and more acceptable to be seen in your gym gear outside of the gym, so perhaps our activewear will become the new trainers.
The rise of activewear has been accompanied by a rise in fitness technology, with gadgets developed to monitor everything from your sleep to your water intake. Due to this constant consciousness of our physical state, we’re more likely to worry about wearing fitness wear which enables us to be more active throughout the day. One in 6 consumers currently wears wearable technology.The UK market for activewear is predicted to rise over the next 5 years to surpass 8 billion, according to new research by Key Note.
As a health and fitness brand, obviously we want you to wear fitness clothing as much as possible, but the hints in the name. However, recent trends have made it acceptable to be wearing fitness clothing when what you’re doing is not so ‘fitness’. So when is it okay to wear your fitness clothing and when is it a complete wardrobe malfunction?
Times when it’s probably okay to wear fitness clothing:
When you need the extra motivation to actually go to the gym.
If you wake up early before work and really don’t feel like training, kitting out in your gym wear can be the deciding factor into whether you go or not. Think “ I’ve got the gear on, I’ve got to workout now”. It’s a great way of bullying yourself into a workout. Like it or not.
When you are all day active.
If you’re the kind of person that just might run on their lunch break, or cycles home from work, or dashes off for a quick coffee break, then smart activewear is for you. There are designs out there which can take you from office to active, so that you can jump at any opportunity to be healthy and active. Literally.
When you’re doing something physically active outside the gym.
Physically active can pretty much be anything more than walking, unless of course that’s a power walk. Why wouldn’t you wear clothing that’s designed to move with your body AND be comfortable. As long as you’re doing something active, then your fitness clothing is fit for purpose.
And of course when you’re actually training at, or heading to and from the gym.
Times when it’s probably not okay to wear fitness clothing:
Stood outside the gym smoking.
This one is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at the gym. A man dressed head to toe in quality fitness gear, from the tights to the compression shirt and Fitbit, smoking a cigarette. Let’s save the full on rant and settle for, isn’t this a complete conflict of interests? Madness.
When you just want people to think you’ve been in the gym but really you’ve been curled up on the sofa.
Sly. This one's probably not okay, whilst it may be comfortable to wear your activewear to chill, so is staying in your PJ’s. Fair enough joggers but a crop top and leggings is pushing your luck really, isn’t it?
When your going to grab a kebab/ Maccy D’s or (insert fast food chain name here).
Whilst activewear fabrics do stretch to allow for freedom of movement whilst your training, it’s not meant to be for extra stretch for over eating!
What do you think?
For now, at least it seems, fitness clothing is the new black.