Getting fit is about more than hitting the gym or pounding the sidewalk, and for anybody serious about fitness, having the best fitness gear is essential.
What to wear
When it comes to fitness gear, the first thing that will spring to mind for many amateur athletes, male or female, is clothing. Fitness gear does not have to be unfashionable by any means, but there is a certain sense of practicality to bear in mind when choosing workout clothes. For one thing, budding athletes – even those who are seeking to improve their basic fitness levels only – should invest in a good pair of trainers.
Choice of clothes will depend to an extent on the type of workout. The clothes needed for cycling will obviously differ from what is needed for running. If someone is keen to improve their fitness outdoors, then all-weather clothing is essential. For winter workouts, the emphasis is on warm but breathable clothing, with added visibility through reflective strips. Warmer-weather workouts benefit from clothing with wicking fibers – material designed to draw sweat away from the body – keeping the athlete cooler.
Mention weights and the image of buff body builders may spring to mind, but doing weights does not mean having to hit the gym to use heavy-duty equipment. Smaller weights are available, and weight programs can be tailored to suit those who prefer a lighter workout. To give just a few examples, two- to three-pound dumbbells provide for some excellent toning, while wrist and ankle weights add an extra dimension to a walk or run.
Keeping injuries at bay
Getting fit is and should be fun but sometimes injuries arise. As the old saying goes, prevention is the best cure, and there is a range of gear to help keep injuries to a minimum and to aid in recovery time for when they do occur. Tommie Copper is one of the big names in gear for aiding recovery from, and prevention of injuries, with compression gear being one of its key lines. Compression gear works by targeting soreness and stiffness in the muscles, helping to relieve pain. The compression process aids oxygenation to working muscles, making it an obvious benefit to those who have been working out. Compression gear also contains wick material, drawing sweat away from the body. Compression gear ranges from compression socks to form-fitting shorts and tights.
A key trend in fitness gear is the proliferation in wearable devices. Thanks to breakthroughs in technology, it has become easy to track workout performance and to monitor fitness levels. Wearable devices typically track activity during a workout, but the right device will be specific to the needs of the individual. For instance, someone keen to get fit may want a device that tracks accurately the number of steps they take during a walk or run. Someone else may want a device that monitors their heartbeat. Sleep tracking, to ensure appropriate rest between workouts, may be the preferred objective of a third individual. In all cases, there are good wearable devices available.
Be inspired to get fit in this Olympic year with the latest in fitness gear.