read Workout Gear: A Beginner’s Guide to Fitness Essentials

Workout Gear: A Beginner’s Guide to Fitness Essentials

Workout gear

The right workout gear goes a long way to help optimize your fitness regime. And if you are an absolute beginner, you need some help to find out what the right clothes and shoes to wear are,  or how best to track your workout progress.

Here’s a checklist that will help you navigate the unfamiliar world of fitness gear.

Workout clothes

Comfort is the primary factor to consider when you are shopping for workout clothes. The apparel should make you feel at ease and not disrupt your training. Some of the parameters to look out for are fabric, fit, durability, and cost.

Fabric: The cloth material should be light, breathable, and sweat-absorbant. Check out the range of materials you can choose from.

MaterialProperties
NylonSynthetic fiber
Stretchable
Quick-drying
Mildew-resistant
Breathable  
PolypropyleneSynthetic fiber
Water-resistant
Stain-resistant
Breathable
SpandexSynthetic fiber, blend of different fibers
Stretchable
PolyesterSynthetic fiber
Durable
Wrinkle-resistant
Lightweight
Breathable
CottonNatural fiber
Easily available
Absorbs sweat and becomes heavy
BambooNatural fiber
Soft
Breathable
Different fabrics for workout clothes

Fit: It’s a good idea to buy gym clothes at a sports shop, as your performance will depend a lot on the fit. Too tight or too loose, and it will impact your progress.

Sweat control: The fabric needs to be breathable as excessive sweat retention can impact your performance. Generally, polyester and nylon are preferred for working out. 

Cost: Remember, expensive is not synonymous with quality. Gun for gym wear that score on all counts rather than just the price tag. 

Depending on your workout type and personal choice, you can choose to wear a tank top, t-shirt, track pants, shorts, or cross-training pants. 

Also read: Why You Must Start Exercising Today

Underwear

As far as undergarments go, women must invest in quality sports bras. They provide good support as breasts move in a figure of eight pattern while walking, running, or jumping. The Cooper’s ligaments in the breast, which help maintain its structural integrity, can’t come back to their original size once stretched. This can lead to premature sagging and injuries. The straps of the sports bra should be tight enough for optimal support without digging into your shoulders. 

Men can opt for a supporter, which is a skin-friendly elastic undergarment. It provides support to the genitals by restricting movement and avoiding unnecessary strain.

Footwear

When we talk about workout gear, the right kind of footwear is an absolute must-have. You might think a pair of fancy branded sneakers is all you need to work out, but you are wrong. Many physical and biological aspects such as blood circulation in the foot, weight-bearing, and support to the joints rely on the type of shoe you wear. As far as sports shoes go, each type is designed to meet the requirements of a particular activity.

There are different types of training shoes to choose from.

 Shoe parameterRunning shoes Walking shoesTraining shoes Weightlifting shoes
HeelLevelled  The front and back of the shoe is levelledLevelled  Raised as it allows to squat in deeper positions
CushioningHighLowLowAbsent
SoleStiffFlexibleFlexibleStiff
WeightLightweightLightweight, but heavier than running shoesLight Heavy
Different types of workout shoes

Socks

Wear socks made from polyester, acrylic, or acrylic blend. Unlike cotton socks, they don’t retain moisture. Sports socks must provide a dry, comfortable and supportive environment to protect and stabilize your feet during intense activity and continuous movement. 

Technology

Tracking your progress and sharing it with like-minded people on social media can become a motivating factor for some. Here are a few workout gadgets you can choose from. 

GPS watches: They record information such as location, distance, pace, and time. Advanced versions record heart rate, cadence (steps per minute), and stride length.

Fitness apps: These are an alternative to GPS watches and can be downloaded on the phone. They record your pace, route, distance, calories burnt, and track statistics to analyze your performance. Some apps also come with nutrition trackers to help maintain your diet.

Heart rate monitors: They help control the intensity of your run and keep the heart rate within the desired target. It could also help detect early signs of overtraining, fatigue, and potential heart issues. Heart monitors can be wrist or chest-strapped. The former measures the flow of blood in the artery of the wrist, and though widely used, is not very accurate. Chest-strapped monitors are strapped against the heart and give accurate readings.

Pedometer: It counts the number of steps taken during a run via a GPS tracker or built-in sensors.

Gym bag

Apart from workout clothes and shoes, some of these workout gear should also find a place in your gym bag: 

1. A microfiber towel to wipe and absorb sweat
2. Water bottle to stay hydrated during and after a workout. Use a steel or copper bottle instead of plastic to do your bit for the environment as well 
3. Deodorant, because you really don’t want to stink
4. Snacks such as nuts, fruits, or yogurt to recharge yourself after an intense workout 
5. Grip gloves if you are involved in lifting weights, so your hands don’t get calloused

Now that you have a checklist of all the gear you need for your workout, it’s time for some shopping. Pick stuff that reflects your personal style, but score high on comfort and utility as well. Fitness, after all, is as much about fun as it’s about health. 

References
1. Fetters KA. Why You Need Different Workout Shoes for Different Workouts. Self. https://www.self.com/story/workout-shoes (accessed Feb 18, 2021).
2. Achwal A. 12 Gym Bag Essentials That You Absolutely Need. First cry Parenting. 2019; published online Feb 1. https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/12-gym-bag-essentials-you-cant-afford-to-be-without/ (accessed Feb 18, 2021).
3. 15 Things to Consider When Buying Gym Clothes. Squat Wolf. https://squatwolf.com/blog/buying-gym-clothes/ (accessed Feb 18, 2021).

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