How to choose the right activewear for your workout

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From kombucha dates and yoga to high-intensity running, here’s what you need to know about looking the part.

Photo: Jody Pachniuk for Dharma Bums

Activewear has become the pinnacle of our 2016 wardrobes. When we heard that cute and comfortable had finally gotten together, you bet we ran to the mall in search of the best black leggings on offer. These days there are so many types of fitness wear that it can get a little confusing – moisture-wicking or compression? Who knows!

We spoke to Debbie Lawson, founder of Dharma Bums Activewear, to find out what materials and styles suit different forms of sport and how you can get the best from your apparel.

The yogi

If you’re a certified yogi you understand the struggle of uncomfortable leggings or sportswear losing its shape. To combat this, “the fabric would need to have a high percentage of Lycra or Spandex combined with a yarn such as polyester or nylon to provide durability and a soft hand feel for comfort,” says Lawson. It is this softness and stretch that are essential for the more eclectic poses.

The sweaty betty

This one goes out to everyone sweating it out in Bikrim yoga. “Polyester-base fabrics are particularly good at moisture-wicking as the yarn is hydrophobic and will not absorb water,” explains Lawson. The best polyester is stitched so the moisture gets repelled outward, meaning your sweat is essentially extracted and expelled away from the body – brilliant!

RELATED: How often do you actually need to wash your activewear

The multitasker

Yogalates isn’t enough for you. Between your running, stretching, weightlifting and dancing you need a fabric that can do all. However, Lawson says that “each activity requires a different level of durability, stretch, recovery and moisture wicking properties. It is, therefore, impossible to get one fabric that meets the requirements of all sports.” She recommends choosing a fabric that is likely to fit the majority of your end means, or purchasing different types of sportswear depending on the event.

The iceberg

You’re an all-year round kind of person. You may as well have ‘Just Do It’ tattooed onto your forehead. The only problem is that running in 100 layers of fleece can slow you down a bit. Luckily, Lawson has “found a fabric which offers a great combination of warmth and freedom of movement without getting you sweaty, called Supplex. It offers all the things we look for in a great activewear fabric, four way stretch, moisture wicking, anti-sheer while keeping you warm and snug in colder climates.”

RELATED: Sports bras for big boobs tested

The ‘I’ve pulled my hamstring…again’

Oh no, not again! The solution may be as simple as compression sportswear. “If you are going for a long run or doing some high-intensity training, a well-constructed garment made with a compression fabric will support your muscles more and recovery will therefore be faster.”

The sports bra aficionados

While many ladies will not leave the house without an underwire bra, it is not always essential. Lawson believes a fabric under-bust support, thick strapping and a good depth of cup size may be all you need. “We also ensure all of our bras have mesh lining for extra support and removable padding to ensure the best fit for all body shapes.”

Who knew there are so many ways to improve your workout and comfort?

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Fitness | body+soul

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