Why Exercise Focuses On Fitness
Suitable exercise clothing gives workout an upswing. In Africa, outdoor activities are much preferred. What this means is that light and airy clothing are crucial to a comfortable and enjoyable exercise. Wearing the right type of exercise clothing is very important. That is if you’re keen to get the desired benefits. However, be prepared to sweat a lot, and look unglamorous, and dishevelled. This is with the satisfaction that after all the pain and sweat comes the harvest – radiant glowing skin and a post-exercise feel-good effect.
What To Look For In Exercise Clothing
So, what should we be looking for in any exercise clothing, particularly if you live in a continent that’s hot 10 months out of 12? For starters, exercise clothing must make you feel great, at ease, and un-inhibiting. The exercise clothing must not itch when you’re hot but rather cool you down. The material must absorb sweat readily and be allergy-free. Your footwear may just be a pair of sandals, padded fabric, or a rubber slip-on. That is in general terms.
Specific Sports That Need Proper Clothing
There are however some activities that really do need you to go an extra mile for appropriate exercise clothing and footwear. The major popular ones are listed below:
In a game of football, appropriate exercise clothing gives workout an upswing. Football is a major form of exercise in Africa, more popular amongst men than women. From children to adults and to the much older citizen, football is the easiest to participate in. You need a ball, a pair of laced shoes, and a comfortable top and bottom. It doesn’t have to be the real ‘football shoes’, or expensive branded jerseys. A field is essential, but then again you can play football in your backyard or front yard, or in a public park. It’s fun, it works your muscles, particularly your legs, with great cardiovascular benefits.
In swimming, the right exercise clothing gives workout an upswing. If you’re a serious swimmer, you’ll be better without a bikini or any of the fashionable teeny-weeny swimwear. You’ll need something that will not pull off the shoulder making you instantly ‘topless’. Or make you spend the rest of the day trying to adjust the straps. Swimming suits with padded cups, a loose fit, or made with heavy material are a definite no! no. This is because they will likely hinder easy movement in the pool or lake.
A professional one-piece suit in cotton or Lycra that clings to your body like a second skin is best. It may be far from being a glamorous style or colour, but it’s practical, stretches well, and is pretty. At least makes you look like an Olympic swimmer. Men don’t have much of a problem when it comes to swimming trunks. It’s either the boxer shorts type or the tight fit. A pair of goggles is essential if chlorine irritates your eyes, but do remember to choose a good practical brand that gives a clear view underwater.
You certainly need a pair of shorts that fit, not the loose type which can get tangled easily in the bicycle wheels. It shouldn’t be too long and restrict knee movement. Your knees need to be free to cycle properly. If you’re a serious cyclist, then go for the long or short-tight bicycle pants designed for the sport. A dress or skirt is definitely out of the question unless you don’t mind the whistles, the ho and ha when the wind blows up your skirt and reveals sexy underwear.
Wearing a safety helmet, and knee and elbow pads are non-negotiable when cycling. This is because of the risk of getting knocked down or pushed over by an overzealous driver. A good pair of trainers, tennis, or jogging shoes is a must. Sandals or slippers are not recommended as these can easily slip and make you lose your balance.
Any type of clothing works here, with a few exceptions, so long you can move comfortably. However, appropriate exercise gives workout an upswing with a good pair of jogging shoes which will make your running feel like walking on cloud nine. Most injuries linked to running occur because of unsuitable footwear. A pair of jogging shoes is your one essential investment. The soles must be firm, thick, and preferably a little higher at the heel than at the sole.
This is most vital for first runners whose calf muscles and Achilles tendons need adjusting to the constant pounding on the ground. Also, make sure there is plenty of room for socks. Socks help shock absorption and are great for getting the sweat and the smell of stale sweat away from your shoes. It’s unwise to go without.
As in jogging, any type of clothing works if you’re at ease in them. Be it a dress, joggers, skirts, or shorts. Whatever takes your fancy. However, your shoes should have a firm thick sole, to protect your feet from lumps and bumps in the ground. Serious walkers prefer a leather upper just in case you need to walk to work and back, which are more acceptable in many offices than trainers.
An investment in an expensive walking shoe brand is recommended if you’re a serious walker and often go on hiking trails. Personally, I find the trouble of wearing a pair of trainers when walking tedious, more so because it’s itchy when it gets hot. Good sandals or sports slippers tend to do the job well when I am walking in the city. They are refreshingly comfortable allowing my feet to breathe.
Wear anything comfortable, but certainly not skirts or dresses, as you have to do a lot of jumping, leg kicking, and raising. If you find you need an expensive designer exercise outfit, go ahead. Whatever it is, make sure it has a good stretch and keeps your backside covered through all the exercises.
My personal experience here is that there are times I feel the need for an emotional push. On such a day, I go for something that flatters my toned body. A glance in the gym mirror gives me instant energy, and that’s when I am at my best. At such times, the early inertia is soon replaced with enthusiasm. It’s a good trick on days you’re feeling down. Try it. Show some curves. It works.
If you’re in the heavy size you need flattering outfits the most. They can look really good on and give you the impetus to ‘just do it’. I have seen some large women in cool two-piece keep-fit wear that makes them look stunning. Even though there are times, you want to hide your body inside baggy exercise clothing. Once in a while show some skin, particularly if it’s flawless. It’s great at lifting moods.
The conservative official dressing of lawn tennis all-white clothing is on the decline and being replaced by expressive, flamboyant wear. Thanks to the tennis stars’ sense of style. Aside from this, playing for leisure allows whatever clothing makes you comfortable, in any colour or style. Comfortability makes movement around the court easier, without constantly having to pull your clothing up or down.
Apart from the investment to acquire a set of golf clubs, you can easily push aside the traditional pair of golf slacks and shirts. You can also do without the golf cap and pair of sunglasses – which are normally worn to protect the face from the sun. Wear anything you feel comfortable in. A good walking shoe is however essential, as you will be doing a lot of walking on uneven terraces.
Exercise clothing gives workout an upswing in bodybuilding. You need a lot of Lycra stuff that will stretch with your body as you move. Minimal clothing is key as you sweat a lot, coupled with the fact that you’ll love to see, and want everybody to admire, those nice bulging well-defined muscles. A pair of leather ‘finger free’ hand gloves is essential to prevent calluses on fingers caused by frequent weight lifting.
For other physical activities such as dancing, skipping, rugby, fencing, mountain climbing, gliding, rowing, horse riding, and others, wear clothing that allows you to enjoy the activity. Most importantly clothing that protects you from injury, helps you become your best, helps you do justice to your desire to feel great, and most importantly upswing your goal for fitness.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons.