When it comes to working out, planning your fitness activities isn't the only thing you should worry about. What you wear while working out is important too -- certain materials can benefit you, helping to wick away moisture and keep you comfortable, while others can be problematic. So let's take a look at a few common fabrics athletic clothes are made of and which ones are best.
Cotton: Cotton is one of the most common choices for workout clothing and fitness accessories. But it's typically mixed with other materials to make it more beneficial. Cotton doesn't do a great job of wicking away moisture, because it tends to simply absorb it and hold onto it. So while cotton is blissfully breathable and comfortable, make sure it's mixed with other materials so it tries quickly when you sweat.
Nylon: While it's well known for stockings and tights, nylon makes a great material for fitness clothes. It's extremely breathable and can wick away moisture quickly. You'll often find nylon in yoga leggings because it stretches easily, allowing the fabric to move with your body comfortably.
Polyester: Polyester is quite durable and easy to work with, which is why it's a popular choice for workout clothes. Workout tank tops and sports bras are typically made of a blend of polyester and cotton to provide optimal comfort and sweat absorption. Polyester dries quickly, making it the perfect choice for sweaty workouts.
Polypropylene: Similar to polyester, polypropylene is lightweight, durable, and made from plastic. But this is a more high-tech material because it's completely water-resistant. The moisture the fabric absorbs is forced through the fibers and then evaporates, keeping you completely dry. This material is great for base layers or undergarments like sports bras.
Working out certainly has its benefits -- in fact, University of Michigan research has found that 12-20 minutes of running just three times every week can help increase bone mineral density. But no matter what kind of physical activity you enjoy, whether it's running, yoga, or playing sports, you need the right clothing. So keep this information in mind to help ensure you choose the right workout fabric for your needs.