A survey from the University of Missouri found that people are exercising less and are gaining more weight during the pandemic. These results aren’t exactly surprising. When the pandemic started, lockdowns and quarantine orders led to lower physical activity since people couldn’t go out. Not to mention, eating is a popular coping mechanism during this time.
Excess weight gain and physical inactivity contribute to one’s risk of obesity. And obese people are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. To prevent this risk, more people should start being physically active again. You don’t have to go to a gym just to start working out. You can do it in the comfort of your own home. You may think that you don’t have to be picky with workout clothes. After all, no one’s going to see them. And there is no dress code that you must follow.
But proper workout clothes and shoes exist for a reason. Even if you’re exercising only at home, you must still wear the appropriate attire.
Ensure Comfort During Exercise
During workouts, you need to feel as comfortable as possible. And you can achieve this by wearing the right workout gear. Say you plan on doing aerobic exercises by watching a workout video on YouTube. If you’re already wearing a cotton shirt, you might consider using it, instead of changing clothes.
But a cotton shirt is less than ideal when exercising. It’s breathable, but it absorbs sweat easily. And after a few minutes of aerobic exercise, the shirt will be drenched in sweat. So it will be heavier and will leave you feeling sticky and stuffy. To have a better workout experience at home, consider wearing clothes made of the following fabrics instead: polyester, nylon, and spandex. These materials will be more comfortable than cotton.
Allow Easy Movement
Some exercises need particular articles of clothing so that you can move easily. Take yoga for example. It’s a low-impact exercise. Technically, you can wear anything comfortable when you do yoga. For example, even if your shirt’s a little baggy, you can still do yoga in it.
But some of its poses can become difficult to execute if you don’t wear the proper attire. For example, when you do a forward fold, your baggy shirt can slip down and block your mouth and nose. The bagginess of your shirt can also make your arms feel heavier when you do arm movements. Thus, for ease of movement, you need to use the appropriate workout attire based on the kind of exercise you plan on doing.
Prevent Skin Problems
As mentioned earlier, cotton shirts easily absorb sweat. Unfortunately, wet and sweaty clothing can cause skin irritations. A sweaty shirt is a magnet for bacteria and dirt. When they rub onto your skin, it will develop rashes and become itchy. You’re also at a higher risk of a yeast infection if you stay in sweaty clothes for too long.
If you have no choice but to use cotton shirts, just make sure that you change clothes immediately after. Wash them thoroughly or take them to a reputable laundromat. But if you have the budget, buy yourself some workout clothes with the right material. For example, polyester can’t absorb sweat and dries quickly, thus lowering the risk of developing skin problems due to sweat.
Workout injuries are common. Even if you take a 30-minute walk, you can still get injured. Exercising at home doesn’t lower your risk of injury. In fact, the lack of a dress code on your home workouts might even increase your risk.
Let’s go back to cotton clothes again. When your cotton top and bottom start to get drenched with sweat, they will no longer be breathable. You’ll feel stuffy, and if you’re working out in hot weather, you are at risk of sustaining a heat injury.
You are free to exercise on your bare feet at home. Some exercises don’t require shoes anyway, such as yoga and Pilates. But if you do cardio exercises with your feet in direct contact with the floor, you might slip and injure yourself. Meanwhile, wearing the wrong shoes can lead to ankle sprains or calluses and blisters. So as much as possible, you should also wear the proper workout shoes.
Working out at home is ideal since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. But even if you’re at home, wearing the proper attire still matters as it can help you have an enjoyable and productive workout session.