Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Reebok, Lululemon and Champion all ring a bell when it comes to workout gear, but what makes one better than the other? How comfortable you are, sweat prevention, fit, what technology the clothing comes with and price are things that are most valuable to us fitness folks. My first trip to Lululemon is what sparked this post and my interest in how people choose their workout attire.
A lil’ Lululemon history (since it’s very popular these days): Originating in Vancouver BC, Lululemon started out as a hub for yogi’s, runners and cyclers to come and discuss the health benefits of exercising while occasionally participating in yoga classes. The demand for the clothing that the instructors would wear and health chats grew tremendously, thus expanding the company throughout the Unites States. Thank you Chip!
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for your next workout accoutre:
- Comfort: when trying on various piece(s) from various brands, keep in mind that while you may be one size in Nike, you may not be that same size in Adidas; brands have different sizing (plus it’s not about numbers here!) Look for clothing that has spandex on the label, which won’t limit your range of motion. Too rough of fabrics will irritate skin and lead to chaffing. Don’t hesitate to break-out some squats and plyo’s while trying clothes on! That’s how you’ll be using the clothes-yes?
glisteningPrevention: if you see the words “moisture wicking” on labels, this simply means that the clothing has fabrics to pull and absorb moisture from the skin, dry quicker and maintain the clothing for a lifetime. Hence-stay away from cotton if you’ll be sweatin’ up a storm!
- Fit: confidence in how you feel while exercising starts with what you’re wearing; if you feel content in your dad’s old baggy tee, then wear it; if a how-is-he/she-breathing-in-that-shirt/pant works for you, be my guest. Keep in mind, if you’re wearing baggy shirts and loose pants, your form may be at risk since you can’t see how your body is positioned; if you’re wearing too tight of a shirt or pant, your range of motion may be limited and you won’t get the full benefits of exercise. Black is always a flattering color to start out in; add trendy pieces (pink shirt, multi-colored head band) of clothing to your wardrobe as you gain confidence.
- Technology: as advances in technology expand, so will our clothing. Built-in reflectors, glow-in-the-dark jackets and pants, iPod holders, hidden pockets and so much more. Depending on what sport or activity you’re participating in, technology most likely will be up-to-date!
- Price: like anything you purchase these days; high-end brands (Nike, Adidas, Lululemon) come with a high-end price tag, lower end brands (Champion) come with a lower end price tag. This is personal opinion; one person buys a Nike running skirt for $50, one person buys a Champion running skirt $25; the bottom line? They’re both RUNNING!
As you can see, the theories behind workout gear are simple, can be motivating and are completely personal! My mother workouts in my dad’s old tee’s, leggings from Sam’s club and her little boy-sized high-top Air Force Ones..tied to the top and velcroed (yes, I’m serious), while I prefer more brand-name items. There are so many options, both high-end and lower-end, from stores that you wouldn’t think to sell exercise gear; GapBody, H&M, even Juicy Couture!
The most important message from this post is to be active in clothes that you exude confidence in , test and push your limits in, reach PR’s in and make you feel like a million buckaroos!