As a mattress company, we know how important great sleep and having the right gear is to getting the most our of your workout routine. Just like the right mattress can promote muscle recovery and leave you feeling rested and refreshed every morning, the right workout clothes can give you the tools you need to have a kick-a$$ workout, every single day. Let’s take a look at what you truly need to get the most out of your workout gear.
Workout gear used to be simple: an old t-shirt and sweatpants were enough to do the trick. If you were feeling fancy, you might switch it up to a nicer shirt and a pair of shorts. Now, with the emergence of premium workout gear, a simple women’s sports bra or men’s running short comes with a laundry list of product features that can become overwhelming. With price points all over the spectrum and multiple factors to consider, it’s hard to tell what’s important and what isn’t. Great gear is a vital part of getting the most out of your workout, but buying it shouldn’t be a challenge – and it doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag.
Perhaps you sweat; perhaps you glow. Either way, you don’t want that moisture sitting on your skin. It can contribute to overheating or, in cold weather sports, leave you feeling chilled. Moisture wicking workout clothes are meant to absorb the sweat from you skin to keep you dry – so it’s important to look for pants, tops and sports bras that won’t get waterlogged once you get your heart rate up. There are a variety of materials that are great for breaking a sweat, but cotton isn’t one of them. Cotton doesn’t absorb moisture the way synthetics will, so sweat sits on your skin. Cotton workout clothes will most likely leave you be soggy and uncomfortable, but there’s more: bacteria will build up on your skin and you’ll be subject to chafing. Nothing ruins a good workout quite like irritated skin.
So, if cotton is out, which material is best? Synthetic materials such as polyester, polyester/spandex and polyester/nylon blends are the best options for pants, tops and sports bras. Polyester is a great material that will dry quickly and wick away excess moisture. For underwear – and this applies to men or women – poly blends are great options, and you can even get some that are 100 percent polyester. However, for comfort purposes, a poly/cotton blend is going to be your best bet. When shopping, keep an eye out for clothing marked as “cool dry” or “quick dry” so you know the material is moisture wicking.
For cooler weather running or outdoor activities, merino wool is a preferred material. While wool doesn’t have the same cooling effect as synthetic materials, it will keep you warmer on those colder days and help regulate your body temperature. Wool is also antimicrobial, so if you sweat a lot, wool may be your new best friend. In addition, if you’re heading out on a multi-day hike or trek, merino wool can be worn for multiple days without smelling, so you won’t offend your hiking mates. Merino wool comes in micro, mid and heavy weight, so pick some versatile options that will work for cooler climate. Keep in mind that layering is also an option, so choose clothing that will work in conjunction with a shell, jacket or fleece.
We might be biased, but don’t think picking out the right mattress should be difficult – and we feel the same about picking out our workout clothes. In fact, selecting workout clothes is easy so long as they’re comfortable and made of the right material. Material type is one of the most important things to consider, so keep your eyes peeled for moisture wicking options. The rest depends on fit and budget – but great workout clothes don’t have to break the bank. Sometimes it’s a better idea to save that money for the next adventure on the books.