Your gym clothes say a lot about you and if you turn up for your workout looking and feeling fresh, chances are you'll have a better workout. We look at how to keep your gym clothes looking, feeling, and smelling fresh so that they last longer and perform better in the long-term.
Why wear gym clothes?
When it comes to gym clothes, there are a lot of expectations for performance, comfort, style, and more. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with turning up for your workout or group fitness class wearing a baggy old t-shirt and sweatpants, you will benefit far more from specially designed technical gym clothes that fit well and perform under pressure.
Fabric choice is everything for gym clothing, as some fabrics dry quicker than others and you don't want to end up with sweat rash and feeling weighed down by a soggy top. Additionally, your old clothes might not stretch as much as you need, leaving you feeling restricted or exposed. Ladies gym wear and mens gym clothes are often made with 4-way stretch materials which move freely and give you unlimited freedom of movement to stretch, squat, and jump as much as you need without feeling inhibited or held back by your clothing. Gym clothes also now come with sweat-wicking as standard which means your sweat is drawn away from your skin to evaporate so that you can stay dry and avoid chafing as you tackle a tough workout.
Finally, proper gym clothes will feature even more advanced features and innovative technology such as temperature control, which will stop you overheating in the warm but will keep you insulated in the cold. They also might even feature compression technology which is thought to improve performance by improving circulation to the muscles.
So with all that said, it's pretty clear why you should invest in proper gym clothes that offer exceptional performance and comfort while still looking sleek and stylish and giving you confidence.
How to store gym clothes
How you store your gym clothes will have a huge impact on how fresh they stay and how wearable they are for your next workout. If you get home from a great gym workout, drenched in sweat and ready for a shower, but just throw your clothes in a pile on the floor and forget about them, chances are they'll end up stale, smelly, and will lose their shape too.
Due to the hydrophobic nature of high-tech sportswear with its sweat-wicking capabilities, gym clothes are more likely to absorb oils from your body. As such, leaving them in a pile on a chair or the floor will allow bacteria to grow and spread which will leave your gym clothes smelling stale in a way you can't get rid of.
The best way to store gym clothes is in a cupboard, wardrobe, or hanging on a clothes rail. By allowing them to hang up and air out after you wash them, you will help the technical fabrics to keep their shape and protect the special materials which help make your gym clothes so good at performing when you train.
How often to wash gym clothes
The simple answer to this is that you should wash your gym clothes after every use. Even if you feel like you didn't sweat much, your body will have still secreted oils and other bacteria which you will want to wash away. Even on a normal day, you can sweat up to a litre of water per day. Leaving sweat and bacteria festering in your gym clothes - even if they feel or smell clean - can lead to irritated skin and even yeast infections (if you keep your sweaty leggings on for too long).
If you're worried that washing your gym clothes after every use will shorten their life, you need to invest in better quality gym clothes! Cheap gym clothing which is made of cotton is certainly more likely to lose its shape, colour, and comfort after a few washes, but more expensive, well-designed, and carefully crafted premium activewear will last for plenty of washes.
If you are prone to leaving your gym clothes on for a long time after a tough session, say to meet a friend or just to wear for the rest of the day, think again. If you leave sweaty gym clothes on your skin, you could end up with sweat rash and even body acne.
Thankfully, companies like Sundried are paving the way for innovation in the sportswear world with all-day active gym clothes. This activewear is specifically designed to be worn all day with advanced sweat-wicking technology and recycled fabrics which dry 200 times faster than regular gym clothes and feature natural anti-odour properties from the premium materials. These luxury gym clothes can be worn all day without a worry due to their high specification and premium fabrics.
How to stop gym clothes smelling
There are lots of creative ways you can get the smell out of your gym clothes, such as adding lemon juice or baking soda to your wash. However, there are plenty of other ways to stop them smelling in the first place.
Wash your gym clothes inside out as the oils and sweat will be mostly on the inside of the clothing. Let your clothes air out instead of stuffing them into a wash basket or hamper, but better yet, wash your gym clothes as soon as you can once you've finished your workout. Finally, don't use a fabric softener with your workout clothes, as this leaves a coating on clothing which can lock in the smell instead of washing it out.
What your gym clothes say about you
There are so many different types of gym clothes and sportswear out there that it can be difficult choosing the right ones for you. Some will opt for more fashionable gym clothes while others will prefer the rugged look of stringers and sweatpants. But what do your gym clothes say about you? It's something you might never have thought about before.
If you're struggling to decide what to wear for your first fitness class, try not to stress too much! Everyone is there for a shared experience and for the same reason: to get fit. Ultimately, you should be comfortable in your activewear and that is what matters most.
There are lots of new fashion trends in activewear this year such as men wearing leggings and taking your activewear out of the gym by wearing athleisure. No matter what you choose to wear, your gym clothes will always just say that you want to get fit and are prepared to work hard to achieve that!