What You Need to Know About Clothing for Dance and Exercise

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Dec 132013

clothing-for-dance-exerciseMaintaining focus and attention is one of the important things to keep in mind when exercising or engaging in any physical activity. Whether you are dancing, playing a team sport, or training on your own a lapse in attention can really break your stride. You can keep your head in the game with the help of the right clothing. Picking the right clothing for athletic activities, in particular dance or other aerobic exercise, is necessary for success and improvement. There are many options and each is best suited to a particular use. As you will see, a unitard is just the beginning.

Know what the fiber content means

Athletic clothing is almost always made of cotton, polyester, or a blend of cotton and polyester.

Cotton is a very comfortable fiber to wear and allows the garment to breathe; air can circulate easily and keep the wearer cool and comfortable. Cotton is also very durable and is the perfect wash-and-wear fabric. However, cotton is likely to shrink when exposed to high temperatures during washing and drying. That favorite shirt may not fit correctly after a year or so.

Polyester is used for athletic pants, jerseys, and other pieces of outerwear. It does not breathe and so can be too warm to wear next to the skin. It is cheap and easy to clean so it is a good option for sports gear. It will not shrink though some people do not like the feel of polyester. It also has a tendency to absorb smells; frequent washing may be necessary.

Cotton-poly blends combine the best of both worlds. You are likely to find t-shirts, socks, sweat pants, and other exercise fundamentals made of cotton-poly blends. Clothing made from a blend will resist shrinking and allow for cooling air circulation, too.

Close fitting or loose clothing?

Running, weight lifting, and most team sports can be comfortably engaged in while wearing fairly loose clothing. This allows for maximum range of motion without impediment. Loose clothing can also draw sweat away from the body, allowing you to feel cooler even when you’re working hard.

Though loose fitting clothing is often thought of as more comfortable, some activities are easier to do when wearing something that fits close to the body. Dance in particular requires a close fitting body suit or long sleeve unitard. This allows the dancer to see exactly what their body is doing. The instructor can provide more detailed input when the body is visible and not hidden under a loose shirt. Dance-appropriate tights provide a degree of support to the legs that cannot be achieved any other way. Without close fitting clothing, dance training is not as effective or as straightforward.

Cycling is another activity that can require close fitting clothing. Even though you could wear just about any everyday outfit to ride a bike, people in training for a triathlon or bike race rely on close fitting clothing that has been specially designed for cycling. These garments help keep cyclists comfortable and focused.

The clothes you wear help prepare you for the activities you wish to engage in. This is especially true when it comes to exercise, dance, training, or playing a sport. By selecting the right clothing you will be preparing yourself for a more enjoyable fitness experience.