Activewear is the new black. We wear it to the shops, out to lunch, and even when we go out at night. Occasionally, we wear it to exercise as well! New innovations in activewear are being released every day, claiming more futuristic and high tech advancements with each new product. But does wearing your thermodynamic-soul-feeding-pressure-flexible-streamlined-body-synced leggings actually help you get a better work out in the long run?
It can sometimes be crazily expensive, and you can go for a run perfectly fine in your track pants and old t-shirt, so is it all really worth it? Turns out, it genuinely can have positive benefits, besides making you look like you take your workout more seriously!
1. It increases blood and oxygen flow.
Tight, form-fitting activewear can help improve the flow of blood and oxygen around your body when you work out. It does this by applying a balanced surface pressure, which triggers acceleration. Better oxygen flow means you breathe easier and your body feeds better. Better blood flow means your heart pumps harder, you burn more fat, and your create more muscle.
2. It helps you get more out of what you put in.
A photo posted by Nikki Blackketter (@nikkiblackketter) onSep 18, 2015 at 7:14pm PDT
Compression gear can improve energy expenditure. It’s suggested that it does this by decreasing muscle oscillations and altering your natural running posture. The change isn’t something that would result in a major difference in your workout (Sydney Morning Herald), or even a difference that you’d notice, but they’re a favourite of professional sports people, anecdotally hastening recovering and improving performance overall.
3. It helps to draw sweat away from your body.
People who wear gym gear when working out somehow never seem to look as sweaty or exhausted as those who don’t. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fitter than you - many pieces of activewear actively manage sweat dissemination. It’s designed to not show moisture patches, absorb sweat faster, and get rid of it through evaporation faster. Whilst this doesn’t have an obvious effect on performance, it usually does make you more comfortable, and ensure that you don’t look like you went for a swim by the end of your workout.
4. It can change the way you think and act.
Ever heard of the good old placebo effect? Sometimes, if you believe something hard enough, it can actually make it true. Studies suggests that those who dress up in specialised fitness gear are more likely to be more motivated and get a better work out, simply because that’s what they expected wearing activewear to result in. The technical term is “enclothed cognition”, but it basically comes down to the power of positive thinking (Her Campus). Although this probably won’t work in quite the same way for gym wear skeptics!
Sheri is a Media and Communications graduate, who has a love for pop culture, writing, and fashion. She has been a scout since she was young, enjoys dancing everywhere and anywhere, and is always looking for exciting new people and places.