The clothing you wear for exercise should be specifically fit for that exercise. It should be comfortable and not too tight or binding at the joints. Though appearance is important to everyone, comfort in exercise is more important than looks. Clothing should not restrict movement in any way. Preferably, the clothing that comes in direct contact with the body should be porous to allow for sweat evaporation. Some fabrics (e.g. Gortex) allow heat loss and sweat evaporation while protecting against wind rain. Some women, especially those who need extra support, should consider using an exercise bra, and men may benefit from an athletic supporter. A warm-up suit over other exercise apparel is recommended because it can be removed during exercise if desired. Some exercise apparel marketed to promote weight loss, resulting from increased sweat inside preventing the cooling effect that results from the normal evaporation of sweat, should not be worn.
Absorbent socks that fit properly should be worn during exercise. Socks that are too short can cause ingrown toenails, and loose-fitting socks can cause blisters. Not wearing socks can result in blisters, abrasions, odor, and excess wear on shoes. Some activities require special protective apparel. For example, helmets are recommended for bikers and inline skaters. Statistics indicate that there is a 75 percent decrease in risk of injury when wearing a bike helmet. Special gloves, pads and padded clothing can also help reduce the risk of injury. These may be especially important for beginning rollerbladers since there is a high rate of falling for novices. Bikers, joggers, and walkers should consider reflective clothing and shoes, especially if the activity takes place when the light is restricted. Some experts now recommend water shoes to protect the feet for those who do extensive water aerobic exercise. It would be wise to investigate proper apparel and equipment needs for new activities in your activity program.
The essential characteristics of all athletics shoes are
Support: The heel stabilizer and the heel counter provide stability and control foot movement. The heel tab protects the Achilles tendon from trauma. The heel in running shoes should not be too narrow. Adequate width in the heel provides stability and protects against ankle turns. For court games such as basketball, a high-top shoe is recommended for additional ankle support.
Cushioning: It is generally agreed that good cushioning is important, especially in the heel and midsole. However excessive cushioning is not recommended. Too much cushioning may increase the risk of injury by inhibiting the reflexes that help the body protect itself against the impact of the foot with the good.
Performance: A lightweight shoe requires less energy output over lengthy exercise periods. Good traction for a given sport is also important. For lengthy performances, a shoe that is at least partially made from a material that can breathe, such as nylon mesh, helps sweat evaporation and inhibits shoe weight gain.
Fit: The toe box should be roomy enough so that you can wiggle your toes. Regardless of the types of shoe, exercise shoes should generally be a one-half size larger than your regular shoes. If you wear two pairs of socks while exercising, you should wear two pairs when trying on the shoes. It is important to try on the shoes and move around in them before making a purchase. Make sure they feel good to you. Probably the biggest mistake made regarding footwear is not replacing them when they wear out. The important cushioning areas of the shoe (heel and midsole) typically wear out before the sole or the fabric. Thus, it may be necessary to replace shoes before they appear worn out.