We all know that having the right fitness equipment on hand is essential to achieving the results we seek when exercising. For example, you can’t continue to bulk without increasing the level of weights you lift, and a baseball game played without bats and balls would be pretty useless.
But what about the clothing we wear and the accessories we utilize when working out?
- Do they have the ability to improve our performance?
- Will a lack of such products hinder us in our attempts to reach peak levels of fitness?
- Do pricy athletic garments really make a difference?
Honestly, the answers to these questions depend entirely on you. But here are a few things you may want to consider before you run out and spend a fortune on apparel and accessories, or alternately, write them off altogether.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then it stands to reason that athletic apparel and accessories came out of some kind of need expressed by the athletic community. Take, for example, microfiber materials. Many that are made expressly for athletic purposes have special properties, such as the ability to wick away wetness or maintain optimum body temperature (not too hot or cold) depending on both the wearer and the external environment. Of course, not all such garments live up to their claims, but many will improve your level of comfort as you exercise, which could certainly contribute to longer periods of sustained activity, and even improve your overall performance in the meantime.
Workout Clothes That You Can’t Wait to Wear
Joggers, cyclists, and other athletes have long suffered the detriments of pants, shorts, and even underwear that ride up and get soggy during intense exercise. This can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating, slowing you down and shifting your focus from the task at hand. But with appropriate garments, you may not face these issues at all.
In addition, spending a lot of money on your athletic apparel could motivate you to get your use value out of it. Whereas you couldn’t care less if your raggy old tees and sweats are used more than they already have been, shelling out the dough for pricy athletic clothing could make you want to put it on and use it more frequently so that you don’t feel like you’ve wasted money. Although you can often find clothing coupons that let you get these items for less, you might still want to get your money’s worth out of any garments you buy specifically for exercise.
Even if you’re the type of person who doesn’t necessarily feel like targeted clothing is required to get in a good workout, you have to admit that advances in the textile industry have created a slew of new fabrics that could make exercise more comfortable at the very least, if not improve performance to some degree.
But what about athletic accessories? Can they help to improve the results of your exercise? Likely you’ll come to a split decision on this one.
Arm bands, for example, are pretty useful for anyone who likes to listen to music while working out. Will they improve your overall performance? Maybe. Fancy sweatbands, on the other hand, might not really provide better value than, say, tying a cheap bandana around your head to keep the sweat out of your eyes. Gloves can potentially protect your hands from calluses, but do you really want to look like a hobo when you lift?
In this case you’ll simply have to decide for yourself whether the performance benefits you stand to gain are worth the expense.