There is a large range of activewear to choose from nowadays. All different types, and styles for all different kinds of activities. But what some people are not as aware of is the choice you have in the material you work out in. Different activities suit different materials better, so what you might choose to wear for reformer pilates, is not suitable to wear to go for a hike. How well you perform, how efficient your exercise is and how comfortable you are as you workout, are largely impacted by the choice of fabrics you make. What you wear must be considered carefully more than just to look good as you move! Here is a look at some of the options and what they offer.
If you are looking for activewear that is moisture-wicking and soft, bamboo is one of your best options. The pulp of bamboo generates a fabric that is all-natural, anti-static, breathable and light too. It will not rest heavily on your stomach as you work out and it also will protect you from UV rays. You can jog outside in the sun and it will help keep you cool and avoid sunburn. It is also not going to smell really bad even after a sweaty workout.
When you are looking for some decent protection from the elements, perhaps you like to hike, bike or run, for example, then GORE-TEX is a great membrane to coat your fabric for your activewear. It still lets your skin breathe but protects you from the wind and the rain. You will not get soaked in sweat and freezing cold while you are outside in this. That is why a lot of activewear for outside, footwear, gloves, jackets and such, have this coating.
Cotton is a good material to wear when you are doing activities and workouts that do not generate a lot of sweat. Yoga, and other low-intensity activities though what is low intensity to some might be a bit harder for others! That is because it soaks up sweat and other moisture making it smell more and giving you that feeling of a wet top you want to keep lifting off your skin because it does not feel good.
This is a synthetic material that is water-resistant and has the added bonus of pushing moisture through to its surface where it then evaporates. It means even on a sweaty workout the materials against your skin feel dry. For this reason, some people working out make it their base layer. It is good for thermal protection in colder months and during outside activities.
Nylon was the first synthetic material made that was commercially viable. It is stretchy, resistant to mildew, dries quickly and is breathable too. It stands up to sweaty workouts and the stretchiness means it moves as you move.
Another stretchy material great for leggings and such is spandex. It can actually stretch as much as 6 times its usual length and then will return to its former shape. It is breathable, dries quickly, wicks moisture, and allows for a complete range of motion. You often find spandex as a blend with another material. Great for bottoms especially and there is no bagginess over time.