Why Specific Activewear is Important to the Success of Physical Activity
Athletic clothing for sports and dance helps prevent injuries, improve breathability, keep your muscles warm, wick away sweat, protect you from the elements and fuel your fitness mentality.
The Clothes Make All the Difference
The clothes you wear for a workout can make a difference in how you feel during and after exercise. Fabrics play a large part in how comfortable you will feel when working out and cooling down and are hugely dependent on the type of exercise you will be doing.
Therefore, millions of dollars are spent each year creating and testing new activewear/performance apparel products and accessories for sports, and dance. This is a highly successful industry because it can make a difference between a good workout and protect from injury.
The right sportswear and dancewear can improve performance and range of motion and the type of fabric and overall fit will affect the activity performed. Good quality compression wear has proven to help protect the muscles from inflammation as well as injuries, while also increasing blood flow to the heart, and delivering much-needed oxygen to working muscles.
The proper attire of leggings, tights joggers, shorts, shirts, tops etc. can prevent injury during exercise and can help the recovery process in-between workouts. Wearing sportswear during training can significantly reduce the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and muscle cramps compared to wearing non-specific clothing that may look like activewear but was not made with physical activity in mind.
Increase Blood Flow and Oxygenation
Leggings and tights made for dance and sports improves muscle support and recovery. Compression tights support and stabilize your muscles while you train by absorbing some of the strain as you squeeze your muscles. They also increase blood flow and muscle oxygenation. This speed up the muscle repair process and reduces muscle fatigue after workouts. For other activities, like Hip-Hop, joggers made for exercise help the range of motion and allow the material to breath and keep the dancer from overheating.
However, when talking about dance, wearing clothing not made specifically for the activity, for instance, leggings, tights, or joggers purchased at a retail store for wearing to school, or out and about running errands is not going to give the support, sweat wicking abilities, range of motion, overall fit, and compression that leggings, tights and joggers made by a dancewear manufacturer specific to the activity will provide.
Shoes are More than Just a Fashion Statement
This also goes for the type of shoes. Most of us know that wearing fashion sneakers instead of sneakers made specifically for running, playing basketball, soccer, or any other physical activity, that requires sneakers, can have negative effects on the arches, overall support of ankles, weight balance, agility, etc. and put you at risk for injury.
Dance requires specific types of shoes as well as clothing depending on the style of dance and needs to be purchased from a dance and activewear store that carries shoes and attire specifically designed for each genre of dance performed. For example, The FIT dance and active wear located at FOCUS Dance Center, offers merchandise available specifically for ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, pilates, stretch and strength, Hip-Hop, running, yoga and more. Specific types of sneakers for Hip-Hop can also play a role in keeping the dancer grounded and in control of their movement over other types of sneakers, so wearing your street sneakers into your workout is not advised. Often our normal pedestrian activities breakdown the support of the shoe and can jeopardize the effectiveness of the workout activity.
Of course, the overall look and style of workout wear also plays an important role in the psychological effects on one’s comfort, self-esteem, and confidence. Feeling good in what you wear, how you look, and knowing that it is made for the type of physical activity you are going to participate in will give you the motivation and confidence going in. Knowing you are setting yourself up for a successful physical dance and sport activity better prepares you for the challenges and rewards that come with wearing the correct activewear.
So when you are signing yourself or your children up for an activity such as dance, be sure to take into consideration whether you are setting them up for success with apparel that has been made specifically for that physical activity.