I never particularly cared about my running attire. I just did what was sensible. For decades, that was pretty much the only rule-of-thumb a runner needed. That usually meant some simple shorts or cotton sweat pants and a t-shirt or tank top. It was really more about being comfortable than being fashionable.
However, today, in the economic culture of our 21st century, technology and marketing have teamed up to create a whole array of fashionable “must-have” running duds. With the popularity of health and fitness, more and more people are running through neighborhoods. Becoming fit has become a public display. As far as joining the running-gear bandwagon, I, myself, was a little slow in coming to the party. It wasn’t until I began to recognize the limitations of my sweat pants that I decided there might be some practical features in the new gear that could be worth checking out.
I had a problem knowing what to do with my car keys after driving to an outdoor running track. Then I started running with my mp3 player. I also picked up a pedometer to track my daily progress. Of course, I never leave the house without my cell phone. So I needed pockets. I also became aware that many other runners I saw were clad in attractive form-fitting shorts that didn’t seem to be cumbersome at all.
So I decided to go shopping. With some exploration I learned that manufacturers have created new kinds of lightweight, stretchy fabrics that help the skin breathe and transfer sweat away from the skin. Holes and pockets have been strategically placed in jackets and shirts that allow for headphone cords to be threaded through and kept out of the way. Zippered pockets are in place to securely hold cell phones. Because more runners are training at long distances, there are also places created for holding water or energy gels.
Specially reflective fabric is used in strategic places of the clothing so that runners can be seen by drivers on the road during the darker hours of the day. The construction of the clothing, with flat, welded seams helps to prevent chafing. Even socks are more practical. Toe socks have been created that specifically isolate the toes in order to absorb sweat and reduce blisters.
There is running gear for all types of weather and all types of personalities. There are long running pants and top-of-the-thigh shorts. There are “singlets”, one piece units that cover top and bottom with extra padding for strategic areas of heavy sweating. There are water-resistant jackets, both light- and heavy-weight. Bold and bright colors are the norm and even some patterns are beginning to appear on running gear.
After seeing all the options, I decided to trade frump for fashion. I made an upgrade to my running wardrobe. I’m still all about comfort and convenience, but heck, if I’m going to go through the heavy sweating, I might as well look good doing it. An added bonus is that I feel an extra sense of fun when I “dress up” to go exercise.
This article was written by DiAnna McDowell. DiAnna is an avid health enthusiast. She currently is training to become a professional EFT Tapping Therapist. She enjoys learning how to help others become more physically and mentally healthy. You can read her recent article about the EFT definition in order to learn how it can help you!