As life continues through the pandemic, never before has active wear been more ubiquitous as it’s now. Fashionable and functional in equal measure, active wear, no more relegated to the gym has gradually nudged its way into mainstream fashion and our everyday lives. And if you have been guilty about splurging on one pair too many, here’s some good news:
the latest research shows quality active wear can actually help you achieve your fitness goals, by motivating you to work harder. We spoke to the experts—a psychiatrist and three homegrown brands—who shared their point of view on these latest findings.
Sunishka Goenka, founder, Myriad Activewear not only agrees with this but also lets us in on a term for it. “It’s called cognitive clothing—what you wear motivates you and makes you feel confident. So, yes, owning good gym clothes is a crucial step towards meeting your fitness goals. What you wear affects you psychologically and eventually, physically.” So, quality performance wear will not only motivate you to sign up for that cross-fit program, but also make sure you’re giving it your all. In fact, a good pair of gym clothes is particularly helpful if you’re someone who’s starting out and needs a shot of confidence. Aneesha Labroo, founder Kica Active believes that the gym can be a daunting place for beginners—”Feeling confident can help you overcome that feeling and just show up. Wearing that old set of pyjamas or a ragged T-shirt is probably not going to make you feel good or give you the motivation to put yourself out there.” Her personal trick to stay disciplined is to get into her active wear in the morning when she’s getting ready for her day. “That way, even if I plan to go to the gym in the evening, I’m already halfway there by getting dressed!”
Related:- Catch Hold of All That is Latest in News
The power of a well-designed gym outfit is not to be underestimated. The human brain is conditioned to follow cues. Just like the morning sun signals your brain to wake up, your brain can be trained to associate gym wear with a workout. Dr Sonal Anand, psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospital, believes your choice of clothes can send signals to the brain. “Once your gym clothes are on, the brain knows it’s time for a workout and starts preparing the body, so half the battle is won. The system of cue understanding works on dopamine neurotransmitters and even motivation. Looking good at the gym increases your confidence and gives you that motivation to push harder while also being a catalyst for improving self image.” Sonakshi Bagla, founder, Shakti Warrior, compares it to putting on your favourite dress. “Clothes are empowering—when you buy a new dress, you’re excited to go out and the same applies to active wear. It gives the wearer a perceived psychological edge which makes them perform better. Once you start working out, the adrenaline and endorphins push you to keep going—and the results make you keep coming back. And the reason behind this whole cycle is that new pair of flattering leggings!”
You can trust your yoga pants and T-shirt to take you through everything from a Zoom call to a grocery run to of course, your workout. Blurring the lines between active and lounge wear, athleisure is here to stay. And as active wear continues to evolve, so do brands and designs. For Kica Active, the aim was always to provide clothing that’s functional and stylish. “We stick to bright and bold colours and silhouettes that work for the Indian body. We love to give a range of different cuts and fits, as we know everyone has different preferences. Our goal is for every woman to feel confident and comfortable in our clothes,” shares Labroo. Shakti Warrior also brings together functionality and fashion. As Bagla puts it, with their designs, you can go from lunches to brunches! “We also include hoodies, tanks and tees that can be worn to work out or just out with a pair of jeans. The leggings are designed so you can live in them all day, as they are very comfortable,” she shares. Goenka takes it a step further as she explains that Myriad Activewear was designed to transition from the gym to lounge—”Inspired by fashion and committed to performance, we make active wear that’s without limitations and that can transition from studio to street, office to cross fit, meetings to mat and barre to bar.”
When buying your fitness gear next time, the first factor you need to consider is comfort. Breathable fabrics and a good fit that allows movement are non-negotiable. Goenka suggests choosing the wardrobe depending on your activities. So, opt for a medium or high support sports bra depending on the intensity of the workout. Also, fabrics that are moisture wicking (dry fit) will keep you comfortable. Choose cuts and colours that boost your mood and are versatile to style. For instance, Labroo’s favourite way to style leggings and a sports bra is throwing on an open shirt over it. “When I’m ready to work out, I throw it off and get right to it!” So, the next time you’re buying active wear, think of it as an investment—one that works as hard as you.