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4 types of activewear that could work against you

4 activewear elements that could be damaging to your health

A young couple wearing activewear laugh together as they walk down an empty road
A young couple wearing activewear laugh together as they walk down an empty road

It’s the weekend uniform of Aussies from coast to coast – and whether you’re donning a muscle tee and stretchy tights for an actual workout, or you simply need the added spandex to account for all the avo’ on rye you’ll be downing at a brunch date, here are four activewear elements that could work against you.

Synthetic fabrics

Although there are some high-tech exceptions to this rule, generally natural fabrics – like cotton, hemp and silk – are the healthiest option. Synthetic fabrics like acrylic, polyester, rayon and nylon have been found to be treated with toxic chemicals as they’re being produced, some of which have the potential to be absorbed through the skin. If that’s not enough to make you choke on your soy latte, Ghent University studied whether natural or synthetic fibres trap more sweat. The team of researchers found that polyester shirts ended up harbouring more of the ‘stink’ bacteria, Micrococci. So, if you’re wearing synthetics, not only could you be absorbing more chemicals than a Ninja Turtle, but you could also be exuding a not-so-subtle stench.

Try and mix up your traditional gym gear with a cotton t-shirt and before you don a new pair of polyester tights make sure you give them a wash.

A young couple wearing activewear smile at each other as they stretch outside

Daggy dacks

Need a good excuse to whip out the credit card and go on an activewear spending spree? Just quote Adam and Galinsky’s research on ‘enclothed cognition’ – these blokes use psychology to explain the link between what you’re wearing and your fitness.

"When you wear athletic clothing, you become more active and more likely to go to the gym and work out," Hajo Adam said to The Atlantic.

When you wear athletic clothing, you become more likely to go to the gym and work out.

So, donning your new tights or running shorts might actually be the motivation you need to get you to the gym.

Loose clothing

Loose clothing is to the gym what loose morals are to your parents – to be avoided at all costs.

Unless you’re partaking in a yoga class, opt for more fitted attire when working on your gains. Not only is it harder to check your form when you’re wearing baggy attire, but loose clothing can be a safety hazard as there’s a chance it could get snagged in the equipment. We’d hate for you to get your shorts caught in the gym equipment and turn into the next viral meme…

Overlooking colour

Want to get competitive? Pack a red shirt. Red is associated with dominance and a number of studies have shown that competitors wearing red are more likely to win their match than those wearing another colour.

So, if you’re wearing your activewear to play sport, bypass the standard blue, black and white attire and opt for something a lil’ more attention grabbing.