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Performance Wear: Does It Really Affect Performance?

September 03, 2020

For the on-the-go lady or gentleman, you already know about how many outfit changes and different styles of clothing you go through on a weekly, or even daily basis. You have to put on the enforced dress code to go to work. You have to put on your favorite casual wear after work when you go out and about to blend in with the occasion and not look overdressed. Then you have to put on a whole new outfit to exercise. 


Unlike corporate attire or casual apparel, when you are in the gym sweating away all of your calories and bulking up, it isn’t just enough to look the part of someone working out. You want to also feel comfortable while you stretch your body in all different sorts of directions. 


This is where performance wear comes in handy to save the day. 


But, while restocking your closet, you may be wondering, does performance wear really affect performance? 


 

Improves Performance

 

Your performance wear should actually benefit your performance, or it is defeating the purpose. This may sound obvious, but how often do we just grab the first thing we find and throw it on because we don’t care if it gets messed up or not during a work out? 


The issue is when you buy a pair of shorts that are ill-fitting and too loose, the crotch area on them is going to sag lower. It may not be restrictive in the sense of how tight it is, but just the opposite. When the crotch rides lower, your body doesn't have the necessary freedom to move properly, especially while doing a compound exercise.


If you have any doubt that performance wear works, then you can get that confusion cleared up by looking at swimming outfits that have been banned in competitive swimming because they make the swimmer too dynamic and swift in the water. 


Another example would be running shoes constructed with the appropriate materials and bottom traction for the intended sport or activity. Would you wear spikey cleats on a basketball court, or heavy hi-top sneakers during a track and field race? Not if you want to perform properly. 



Helps You Stay Motivated


Performance clothing has a way of keeping you motivated when you need to consistently find a reason to go to the gym. When you invest in brand new performance wear track pants, or a fashionable quarter-zip pullover, you are giving yourself two instant motivating factors to use your gym membership. 


The first inspiration is that now that you have spent your money, you might as well get some real use out of these specialized pieces of apparel. The second motivator is that now you want to actually look good in these clothes instead of using them to hide parts of your body that you aren’t so confident about. 


When you are in the gym, you are surrounded by mirrors. You will either like what you see or use the image staring back at you to improve through physical fitness and reaching your goals. 


In order to remain motivated to keep working out, you need to have performance wear for all four seasons if you live somewhere that has drastic temperature and seasonal changes.


Don't forget to purchase apparel that can be layered on top of or underneath another article of clothing when you need to make adjustments during the same day. Windbreakers and nylon shells are a good way to have something you can tie around your waist when you are feeling overheated, and then throw back on when it gets chilly outside. 


  

Regulates Your Body Temperature


Having a highly intense gym session will make you realize the importance of having proper performance wear that can support your body’s temperature changes. Who wants to be stuck on a treadmill sweating their entire life away in a cotton shirt that is doing nothing for them except keeping them from being topless, absorbing all that excessive perspiration, and making them feel heavy and damp? 


Opt for light, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics that draw moisture away from the body, adding comfort that you appreciate even more when you truly need it. 


Lasts Longer

Buying performance wear for athletic use is the better choice when it comes to durability because it has actually been constructed for that particular purpose. Apparel companies and those who make athleisure for men and women are incentivized to create apparel that is worthy of being worn by Olympic athletes and professional sports players to further promote that promise of the brand and its products. 


Great workout gear is generally going to be long-lasting and extra-durable compared to what you are going to come across on some discount department store shelf. 

 


Reduces Injuries


The performance wear that you choose should have the ability to protect you from injuries. Shorts and t-shirts may be the first styles of apparel that may come to mind when you are working out because of how free they make your body feel. 


But don’t forget about those times when you may be going jogging in an early autumn or winter morning or a spring evening when it is fairly chilly outside. Do you really want to freeze your body and have to cut your session short, or worse, get sick? 


By adding sweat-wicking track pants and hoodies to your performance wear wardrobe, you are able to keep your health front and center as a top priority. You may even want to pick up a full mask and some athletic gloves for use during those even lower temperatures that you could experience. Even a quality rash guard is handy to have in your workout collection--it’s not just for the beach!


The same performance wear preparation for weather can be said for people living in consistently blazing hot parts of the world. You may need some comfortable caps to shield you from the beaming sun and keep it out of your face. Also, keep some light long sleeves in your collection to protect yourself from sunburns. 



Protects Your Skin


Stay away from low-quality performance wear that contains harsh fabrics that will irritate your skin and expose you to itchiness, rashes and chafing during a workout. The likeliness of skin irritation is already being increased as is because of the surging flow of blood to your skin.


Your skin needs to breathe. Dehydration, sweating, and wearing restrictive clothing prevents your skin from breathing. 


Make sure that after your workout, you aren’t washing your clothes in detergents that contribute to skin issues. Rashes can happen if uncomfortable fabrics that your workout clothes are created with are clogging your sweat glands.


 

Increases Your Confidence


Confidence doesn’t just come from macho bragging and puffing your chest out to appear dominant. True confidence is a much more private, organic, psychological process. When keynote speakers are delivering a speech in front of thousands of people, they feel more confident when they know what they are talking about, and when they are in acceptance of their appearance and they own it, instead of getting stuck feeling ashamed and trying to hide themselves. 


When you believe in yourself, you open the door for other people to believe in you too, which is going to radiate a feeling of comfort in your life. Picking performance wear that looks good, feels good, and makes you look and feel good, is going to help bring a big boost to your confidence.



Post-Work Recovery


Compression leggings and socks are popular forms of performance wear because of the ways in which they contribute to the recovery process after a workout has concluded. 


Form-fitting compression garments can prove helpful for post-exercise recovery when you have run your body ragged in the weight room and are looking to let your body recover and reduce the chance of injuries. Even when you are running, you are experiencing miniature tears in your muscles that you aren’t even aware of. But you definitely feel the burn of the process in the form of soreness. 


The volume of the water in your muscle cells enlarges as soon as you stop moving, summoning that familiar pain to occur. Compression garments help circulate and remove muscle metabolites, enhancing the transportation of that muscle cell water, as well as its elimination. In addition, compression garments reduce the space that is available for musical swelling and assists with the muscle recovery process. 


You can even measure the benefits of compression as it occurs during the recovery process in the blood, through decreased levels of both inflammatory molecules and an enzyme called creatine kinase, which increases after intense exercise, or serious heart problems or skeletal muscle injuries.



Summing It Up


In order to perform well in team sports, singular fitness routines, or even during outdoor outings with your family, consider performance wear that is geared towards your specific activities, that can be used for different seasons, has the flexibility to make you feel comfortable, is moisture-wicking to keep you dry, and is not going to prevent you from living your best life as you work towards living in your best health!