Ultimately, your cardio performance is going to come from your heart and mind.
That said, if you’re feeling comfy and looking good you’ll begin to exercise with more regularity and confidence.
Your outfit isn’t going to increase your reps on stations in the circuit class, unless you were previously wearing hiking boots. What your cardio outfit can do is ensure comfort and breathability, as well as foot, ankle and joint support while you work out. Stick with us for some definitive dos and don’ts when it comes to picking your training gear:
Don’t train in smart shoes, trousers or a shirt, ever. Comfort when training isn’t just to feel good while you exercise, but it’s also to allow you to exercise safely. If your range of motion is restricted you could more easily lose balance, or even rip your clothing. More frequently, tight clothing which isn’t made from a lightweight, stretchy material will cause irritation in the form of sweat and heat induced rashes. Let’s avoid those.
# Ensure clothing gives you full range of motion
# Make sure clothing is either lightweight and loose, or if a tight ‘second skin’ style, it is a lightweight and stretchy material such as spandex, nylon or polyester.
No one wants a sweat rash or the painful runner’s nipple. Choosing the right fabrics isn’t hard, make sure you choose a training top that allows perspiration wicking. Polyester is the most popular fabric to allow the wicking process - allowing the heat and sweat to travel through your gear and evaporate externally. Polypropylene or silk are also great options. Increasingly these ‘second-skin’ style, technologically advanced garments are what all the cool cats are wearing to cardio classes. Who doesn’t want to look good while they train?
# Ensure your top and bottoms are made from material that allows perspiration wicking, to avoid heat or sweat rash.
# Look for Moisture Management, Stretch and Lightweight product benefits when selecting your items.
3. Bosom support
For some women a sports bra can be a necessity, but for others they still provide extra levels of support and comfort. For more intense fitness classes involving fast and sudden movement, you’re going to be better off with a more robust compression system. Look for Breast Support in product benefits to ensure you’re fully supported.
# Sports bras provide extra support and comfort regardless of your cup size.
# Decide on the level of support required based on your training routine.
4. Foot support
Correct footwear is crucial. While there are many different shoe types across various cardio-heavy sports, for cardio-specific workouts such as group fitness classes which will combine running, jumping and calisthenics (body weight exercises), you’ll want a multi-functional shoe. Nearly all of these exercises require flexibility, and proper support. Cardio fitness shoes have been developed specifically for this cross-discipline type of exercise. These shoes make use of Multidirectional Flexibility, which adds grip support for quick changes in movement direction, and extra Cushioning to support the forefront and particularly the ball of your foot. Look out for these terms in product benefits.
# Don’t skimp on exercise specific footwear, there’s a reason the pros wear them.
# Correctly fitting shoes are essential, get your feet measured and discuss options in store.
5. Joint support
Many of us suffer from joint pain, apart from getting some anti-inflammatory nutrients such as turmeric, fish oil, or CBD oil into your diet routine, sometimes we need extra help. Joint supports range from sports tape to ready made ITB and knee supports. Sports tape can be applied to other joints, which can particularly useful for high impact calisthenic style exercise. Knee supports are great for sports involving running or biking. Ultimately you want to be able to build back up to exercise without support, but sometimes injury can get the better of us. These products can give us the extra boost and shave some time off our rehabilitation.
# Sports tape can be great for injuries across the body.
# Knee specific joint supports can help heal or prevent injuries to the knee.
While some of us hate to admit it, we’re going to be more motivated to train if we’re looking good. This is particularly true in communal training spaces. Wearing sport specific gear, alongside correctly fitting and scientifically optimised materials and supports won’t only make you look better, but will let people know you know your stuff. Still unsure? Just ask.
# Look good, train good.