Choosing The Right Fabric For Exercising
While some people choose to throw on any old thing when they are working out, the right exercise clothes really do make a difference. Selecting attire that feels good, fits appropriately and allows you to move well can boost your mood and your performance. What is the best fabric for exercise clothing? The question is trickier than it seems because the answer depends on what type of activity you prefer.
The most commonly used fiber in America, cotton offers plenty of advantages. This all-natural fiber is soft, durable, inexpensive and breathable. It washes well, layers easily and is available in a dizzying array of colors. Although cotton alone doesn't offer much stretch, many garments blend cotton with spandex to deliver form-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely. However, cotton does have its downsides. Prone to shrinking and wrinkling, it absorbs sweat, so it can grow wet and heavy during an intense workout.
As its name suggests, tri-blend fabric is a combination of three different materials. Cotton brings softness. Polyester, a synthetic fabric made from plastic, adds increased strength and flexibility. Rayon, a semi-synthetic fiber created from natural polymers and cellulose, contributes extra softness and a cool, refreshing feel. While the exact mix can vary, tri-blend fabrics generally offers the best qualities of all three fabrics, resulting in clothing that is pleasant against the skin, drapes beautifully and washes well. In addition, since synthetic fibers don't absorb moisture, sweat tends to evaporate instead of weighing you down. If you're planning to work up a real sweat, tri-blend fabric may be a better choice than plain cotton, especially for your base layer.
Moisture-wicking fabric is specially engineered to keep you dry by pulling sweat away from the skin and onto the surface of the garment so that it can evaporate quickly. Several athletic brands offer their own variations of moisture-wicking fabrics. Gym Lunatic's Dry-Wick, Nike's Dri-FIT, and Under Armour's HeatGear all promise to swiftly move moisture away from the skin so that wearers will stay cool and dry throughout their workouts. If you're exercising under extreme conditions or planning challenging sessions, moisture-wicking fabric may be a more comfortable option that allows you to better sustain your performance. When you're working out, be sure to choose clothing that fits the activity that you're performing. Consider the garment's style, its durability, its response to moisture and the range of movement that it allows. With the fantastic variety of fashionable options available today, you're certain to find workout gear that suits both your style and your preferred form of exercise.