We all know we need to be more active, and if most of us are being honest, it’s something we’re more than likely to struggle with. We’ve made our New Year’s resolutions (again) we have the best of intentions, but somehow, at the end of a long day when it comes to the choice between hitting the gym or slumping on the couch watching Netflix, Netflix wins every time.
If you’re tired of falling off the exercise bandwagon, then consider this: wearing activewear can actually make you more active. While it may not be something you’ve considered before, activewear is a useful strategy to try to help you become the active person you’ve always wanted to be.
While you might be tempted to work out in your baggy trackies and old t-shirt, there are many very good reasons why investing in some activewear might be a good idea. There’s a reason that the market for clothing specifically designed for working out has expanded significantly over the last few years. It’s more than just an exercise in vanity – with surveys showing that over 85% of women have found that wearing flattering and comfortable workout clothing gives them more motivation to exercise. Clearly, what you wear and how it makes you feel is a powerful motivator towards exercise – and anything that makes you more inclined to get moving is a positive thing. Experts have even coined the term ‘enclothed cognition’ to explain the phenomenon.
The idea behind enclothed cognition is that the clothes we wear can influence our behaviour and the way we feel. So, wearing a lab coat makes you feel more professional; wearing a leather bomber jacket makes you feel more like a rebel. In this situation, when you wear activewear, you are more likely to go to the gym and work out, and thus you become more active.
Of course, this isn’t to suggest that you can’t be active if you don’t have trendy activewear to put on – because you certainly can! But for the vast majority of people, wearing activewear can boost your motivation and get you in the right headspace for working out.
Making you more mindful about your choices
You associate wearing activewear with being active, so you tend to be more mindful about making healthy choices and to be more likely to exercise.
Harnessing the power of science
‘Enclothed cognition’ embodies the principle that you experience a mental shift when you wear particular clothes that is related to the symbolic meaning of the clothing. So, what you wear, subconsciously changes how you act. For instance, if you wear a fun, colourful print, you’re more likely to feel more “fun” and “happy” than if you wore an all-black outfit. When you wear activewear, you’re more likely to be active.
Reducing your excuses not to exercise
Once you’re wearing your activewear it’s easier to head to the gym/park/sporting field because you’re already dressed and ready to go.
Giving your brain a boost
You become more motivated, confident and energetic when you’re wearing activewear to a workout. And when you expect to have a better performance, you usually do.
Improving your active performance
Having properly fitting and supportive running shoes can improve your performance and make you less likely to get injured. Wearing correct hiking boots rather than running shoes when hiking gives you additional grip, stability and shock absorption properties that will allow you to climb longer and harder trails and get the most out of your time. Choosing proper bike shorts for when you are riding a bike will definitely improve your performance by reducing friction and chafing from the bike. You get the idea – good activewear is by nature chock-full of in-built properties that will enhance your performance. Thus, you are more likely to enjoy being active and to continue with an active lifestyle.
Protecting you from weather extremes
You’re also more likely to look forward to getting active if you know you’ll be able to exercise in comfort. Exercise in winter can be made much more tolerable by wearing warm, insulated fabrics that keep the cold at bay. Similarly, in summer you’ll be more likely to exercise even on hot days if your activewear is breathable and sweat-wicking to keep you cool and dry.
Improving your confidence
When you wear activewear, you look the part, and what’s more, you feelthe part. Particularly if you haven’t been active for a long time, wearing the right gear can help you feel more confident and to feel that you fit in more, which can increase motivation levels. And the more confident you feel, the more likely you are to go to the gym – and keep going.
While wearing activewear has a range of benefits, no-one is under any compulsion to wear it. If you’re comfortable working out in whatever you have lying around, then great! But for a lot of people, wearing activewear and feeling like we ‘fit in’ can make us feel good about ourselves and be a big motivator, and is definitely worth considering.
And keep in mind that while long-lasting and quality activewear can be expensive, there are also lower-cost versions of every type of activewear available that will still work to give you more confidence and motivation. Feeling good about yourself is what counts. When it comes to getting active and maintaining an active lifestyle, the choice lies with each individual to find the motivation, find a type of activity you enjoy, and keep at it. And if wearing athletic clothing makes you feel motivated, positive and confident, then the whole process becomes a lot easier.
So while pulling on your activewear might not make you a star athlete, there’s a good chance it will make you more inclined towards exercise rather than couch-sitting – and that’s got to be a good thing.
To check out Intersport Bennett’s fantastic range of activewear for men and women, click here. And to discover some smart strategies to help you fit 30 minutes of daily activity into your life, click here. Good luck with your active journey!