Why Does Wardrobe Matter in Athletics?


I always wondered what difference it made if an individual wore normal clothes while working out. After doing research, I learned there are reasons for why athletes wear what they wear.

            For example, it is best for track athletes to wear a sweatshirt and sweatpants, but that of a lighter material. This is so you can keep your body warm without getting dehydrated. It is important with athletics to keep all of your joints covered while working out. Your joints have to be covered because if they are, doctors have found that the athlete is less prone to injury           

            Another tip the doctors tell is to wear more loosely fitting clothing during your workout as opposed to tight fitting. As a dancer, I was shocked when I heard this because we are required to wear only tight fitting clothing, so our instructors can see our alignment. They say this because they do not want the clothing to cut off our circulation. In exercise, an individual's blood and oxygen is trying to get to the muscles and this will prevent that.

            Warm workout clothing will help increase ones body temperature. This is important because the muscles need to be warm while working out. If your muscles are warm, they are less prone to injury.  In addition to this, if your looking to burn body fat, wearing warm clothes will help you sweat more. If you sweat more while working out, you will burn more body fat.

            It is important that you stay hydrated and only wear lighter, warmer clothing. Do not layer your clothes and make yourself sick. I found this a very great tip.





Although I've always thought wearing lighter clothes to work out was common sense I never thought about the science aspect of the reasoning. I always just associated the attire with being comfortable and basically just the "norm". My attention gravitated towards the dancing attire. I am also a dancer and I have to wear tight clothes as well but I don't think there's a danger to that because dance attire is also extremely light. Doesn't that kind of balance out the tightness of the attire? Here's a number of reasons why dancers wear tights http://www.dance.net/topic/9336167/1/Ballet-General/Why-do-dancers-wear-tights.html

My roommates and I were discussing do's and don'ts of working out recently, and you mentioned the water drinking in your article. Well, I recently learned that after a workout, one should drink room temperature water as opposed to ice water. Like your clothing being related to what's best for your muscles/ and the health of your body, so is the reasoning for the water. As I looked more into which is better for your body, the conclusion varies, whether ice or lukewarm water is better after a workout. Have you done any research on this, because I cannot seem to find a definitive answer?

I can understand the tightness of a piece of clothing having a negative affect on people while training but I think it all depends on how "tight" the clothing actually is. For example many athletes wear Under Armour or Spandex that are tight but do not cut the circulation off. Cyclists, gymnasts, runners, swimmers, etc are all athletes that use tight clothing while performing in their sports for air resistance. Basically most sports use tighter clothing. Some other important factors that should be considered in clothing would be "thermal insulation" and "synthetic wicking fabric" to help the athlete stay warm while the fabric also draws in their sweat to keep the athlete performing at their best potential level. Here is a website http://running.about.com/od/coldweatherrunning/a/wintergear.htm that goes into a little more detail of what exactly thermal insulation and synthetic wicking fabric is and the name brands that incorporate this type of material in their clothing.

This makes a lot of sense to me because as a young girl when I did ballet my instructor would never allow us to open the window. This must be because she did not want our muscles to tense up from the cold which could cause injury more easily. I find it interesting that you said that loose clothing is better for working out rather than tight clothing because as a dancer I have always worn tight fitting clothing while working out. Im just curious, if warm temperatures are good for your muslces and joints why is cold water immersion good for relieving sore muslcles. It's almost like the hot and cold can do the opposite. I found an article that shows how immersing yourself in cold water can prevent muslce soreness. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/04/13/cold-water-immersion-for-muscle-soreness.aspx

This is certainly new information to me. I keep my workout wardrobe very simple: special ribbed tank tops to wick sweat away, running sneakers, and yoga pants for comfort. I never knew that keeping joints covered was important, but I did notice I was more sensitive to injury or soreness when I wore shorts versus pants. Especially when you are going out running in extreme weather circumstances, it's important to understand what type of protection your body needs for the temperature. You could overheat or catch a cold, which is why I've avoided working out outdoors for so long. Once you have the proper preparation, it's not so bad! Especially since it's getting colder outside, here's a list of winter-friendly exercise clothing meant for snowy conditions: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/winter-exercise-gear_n_1203072.html

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