Can you remember when the latest trend in fitness apparel used to be leg warmers and obnoxiously bright colors? How about the knee-high socks and shorts that were too short? Workout clothes, and fitness gear in general, has come a long way. Not only are workout clothes much more fashionable and even appropriate to wear outside of the gym, but they are evolving with the technology around it.
Fitness apparel tech is becoming as commonplace as weight loss apps. 2018 is perhaps one of the most exciting years for exercise gear and fitness apparel trends as new launches are literally changing the industry. Let’s take a look at the top 5 fitness apparel trends that are revolutionizing how you look at workout clothes.
Bio-Metric Tracking Workout Clothes
Have you ever wondered just how your body is performing during a workout? Sure, there is the basic heart rate monitoring, but what about your maximum oxygen uptake, number of calories burned, or average speed in the specific muscle you are exercising? A simple watch or cellphone app can give you a good guess, but to understand true performance metrics, you need something that will be with you during your workouts. This is where bio-metric tracking workout clothes can come into play.
Resembling your standard polyester and spandex blend workout clothes, bio-metric tracking apparel provides you with real-time physical performance feedback in the actual muscle groups you’re targeting. This isn’t a one size fits all piece of tech; bio-metric tracking clothing is able to provide valuable information in each muscle to see the neuromuscular connections.
This information is sent to your cellphone, letting you know whether you need to step it up or slow it down. What’s more, you can take the readout from the bio-metric tracking workout clothes to help improve performance during future workouts.
Not to be confused with tight exercise leggings or ordinary tight workout shirts, compression clothing is uniquely designed to provide an exact amount of constriction around muscle groups to provide a few health benefits. Wearing compression clothing, especially during workouts, has been shown to improve blood flow.
When you increase the rate of blood flow during workouts, you might be able to support repair and recovery. Better blood flow may help to increase oxygen delivery to oxygen-hungry muscle tissue. What’s more, the enhanced blood flow from compression apparel can improve nutrient uptake or the assimilation of nutrition into the cells that need it.
Compression clothing can also be used for those living sedentary lifestyle or who frequently travel. By wearing compression-based workout clothes during travel or while at home, you dramatically decrease your risk for blood clotting.
Recent studies have demonstrated that spending time in a sauna can provide a number of health benefits including greater tolerance to extreme temperatures and enhanced longevity. For most of us, a sauna isn’t readily available in the United States. The country lacks a sauna culture compared to Finland where many people have saunas in their homes. You can go to a spa, but the cost can add up quickly, so what to do if you want to capture the benefits of a sauna without the price tag? Buy a sauna suit.
The best sauna suits are made from neoprene, which is the same material you’ll find in deep sea diving suits. Diving suits keep divers warm and toasty as they go in frigid and ice-cold waters. Now imagine what it can do for you on land?
Sauna suits can capture a similar temperature range as an actual sauna. With this safe and effective increase in body temperature, neoprene-based sauna suits have been scientifically shown to capture the same benefits as a sauna including more weight loss, greater endurance gains, and overall wellness. The key is to focus on neoprene, not the cheap plastic or potentially dangerous material, PVC.
Smart Yoga Pants
Have you ever been in a yoga class and holding a pose while wondering if you were doing it correctly? Thanks to innovations in bio-metric clothing, much like what was discussed above, people can confidently perform yoga postures as their clothing guides them with subtle cues. Sound too good to be true?
With smart yoga pants, instructions are provided through haptic feedback or gentle vibrations that signal you to move or stay. Holding your leg in the air too long? The smart yoga pants will let you know when it’s time to bring it down. Not sure which knee to flex? Smart yoga pants have your back.
The best thing is the durability. Despite what seems like ultra-sensitive technology, smart yoga pants are surprisingly durable, making them ideal for advanced stretches and postures.
Video games and fitness don’t seem compatible, right? Spending hours in their living rooms or on their computers, it seems impossible that workout clothes will matter much to gamers, but virtual reality is looking to change that. Companies are producing action-based video games that sneakily incorporate full-body muscle activation, ensuring the wearer gets a complete workout while gaming. Some of these games are currently available with incredible reviews to go with them.
Although controller-based games are currently king, it won’t belong before virtual reality officially dominates the gaming market, providing countless new business opportunities for wearable gear and games. Imagine having to walk, jump, duck, swing, and punch your way through your favorite online shooter or survival horror video game. The possibilities for both entertainment and fitness apparel are exciting, so keep an eye out for the first generation of VR workout clothes.
What Fitness Apparel Are You Most Excited About?
Have you tried any of the new fitness apparel technology this year? Which one was your favorite? Do you know about new workout gear that’s coming out next year?