5 Women’s Activewear Fabrics to Add to Your Wardrobe
Posted byDiane Hoffmaster
Working out is key to staying fit, and the right women’s activewear can make or break your exercise routine. In addition to allowing you to bend, stretch and run comfortably, your activewear needs to be made of the right fabric. The type of material your workout clothes are made of will determine how well it breathes and how wet you actually feel after working up a sweat. Here are five fabrics to look for when choosing workout outfits that allow your body to breathe so that sweat and odor won’t get you down.
Bamboo fabric is a great choice for your workout clothes. According to Shape, bamboo is a “natural fabric that’s light, breathable, and moisture-wicking—it also protects your skin from ultraviolet rays.”1 That makes it perfect for outdoor activities in the high afternoon sun.
Nylon isn’t just for pantyhose anymore! It makes a great material for women’s activewear, because it’s soft, lightweight and breathable. It also helps wick sweat away from your body so that it evaporates quickly, says Shape.1
This synthetic material is one of the most common fabrics for workout clothing. It’s lightweight and breathable. However, it tends to foster the growth of odor-causing bacteria, meaning your tops and bottoms may still retain odor, even after a run through the laundry, notes National Public Radio. It may take a concoction of vinegar and baking soda to wash out the funk.2
This material is common for skin-hugging workout clothes. Spandex is breathable, wicks moisture, and dries quickly while providing an amazingly close fit. If flexibility is important to your workout, Spandex may be a good choice. A study published by the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance says that compression clothing may assist in athletic performance and recovery, because it may reduce muscle swelling and discomfort, assist with blood lactate removal, and increase body temperature.3
Cotton, if you wear it right, is good for your workout outfit. The biggest benefit to cotton is it tends to not absorb odors. The downside to cotton is that it holds moisture when you sweat, leaving you a wet, soggy mess. For low-sweat workouts like yoga or weight training, cotton is a good choice, suggests Shape.1
After You Work Up a Sweat
Wearing the wrong material during your workout can leave you feeling damp and smelling not so great. Make sure that you don’t stay in your sweaty workout gear once the exercise routine is over. Damp underwear creates an environment that’s friendly to yeast growth. Dr. Donnica Moore, speaking to The Huffington Post, says, “A warm, moist environment is the perfect place for yeast to grow.” Cotton underwear in particular stays wet, so change ASAP.4
1Bruning, Kara. “10 Fitness Fabrics, Explained.” Shape. http://www.shape.com/fitness/clothes/10-fitness-fabrics-explained
2Shute, Nancy. “Stinky T-Shirt? Bacteria Love Polyester In A Special Way.” National Public Radio. September 5, 2014. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/09/05/346055067/stinky-t-shirt-bacteria-love-polyester-in-a-special-way
3Born, DP; Sperlich, B; Holmberg, HC. “Bringing light into the dark: effects of compression clothing on performance and recovery.” International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. Jan 2013, 8(1). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23302134
4Schwartz, Sara. “8 Underwear Mistakes That Are Bad For Your Health.” The Huffington Post. September 24, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/8-underwear-mistakes-that-are-bad-for-your-health_us_5602b6dbe4b00310edf95264
- Posted by Diane Hoffmaster
- On July 14, 2017