Fashion vs Function: 5 Ways Technology Is Revolutionizing Activewear

Technology is revolutionizing activewear while making it more efficient and fashionable for hardworking athletes. Here's what to know

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July 17, 2019
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Should athletic wear serve to enhance the performance and recovery capacity of athletes, or should it primarily look good? Certainly, you would think, the former. However, modern brands and modern athletes are not so keen to forgo form completely in order to enjoy unimpeded function. Instead, they aim to fuse technology with fitness in order to create clothing lines (from the beanie on your head, to the socks on your feet) that boast some sort of performance-boosting technology while looking amazing at the same time.

It doesn’t matter if you’re exercising in the great outdoors, in a commercial gym, or at your own gym in the basement, there are many reasons why you should choose tech-driven clothing and technology in general to help you on your fitness journey. Let’s take a look at how technology is revolutionizing activewear.

Combining quality fabrics with AI and 3D modeling

There is no denying that technology has become an inextricable part of our everyday life, permeating every industry, and saturating our reality from the moment we wake up to the moment we turn in at night. This is good, technology makes our lives easier, and it also makes the athletic clothes you wear that much more functional and appealing.

Forward-looking companies and industry leaders the likes of Nike or the increasingly-popular Under Armour are utilizing AI technology and 3D modeling to ideate, prototype, and test functional fitness gear in all kinds of scenarios. Why? Because this ensures that the products you buy will serve the intended purpose. Technology takes the guesswork out of the equation, and it’s able to find the right materials for every piece of clothing, and integrate them with other fabrics to create a fully optimized product.

Fast-dry technology for added comfort

Heat accumulation during rigorous exercise is a very real problem nowadays, especially as athletes are continuing to push their boundaries despite the rising environmental temperatures that are weighing down on their respiratory system, as well as their hearts. Needless to say, global brands have recognized the need to refine fast-dry and cooling technology in activewear in order to allow you to battle the heat and preserve your long-term health.

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What’s more, it feels good to wear. This type of keep-cool technology typically uses breathable fabrics and patented internal agents that collect moisture at an increased rate and allow healthy airflow, keeping you cool throughout your workout. The problem with this type of clothing used to be that the material itself felt overly synthetic and unnatural when it came into contact with the skin, however, modern advancements are promising a familiar cotton-like feel with all the benefits of tech-driven materials.

Battling the cold no matter the temperature

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the need to conserve heat and battle the cold when training in low temperatures. Insulation technology has come a long way since the days of overly-cumbersome jackets and puffy hoodies, as modern thermal jackets come with all sorts of proprietary tech and material blends that make the piece lightweight and much more effective at conserving heat. The key to making this type of clothing appealing to modern athletes is to ensure that the heat conservation doesn’t produce excess moisture and that it retains its comfort throughout the workout.

Advanced heat-preserving activewear will actually heat up as you move but instead of accumulating heat until you start to boil, like wool, it will maintain a balanced temperature inside the fabric that will allow you to stay warm and enjoy your workout in cold weather. To create a well-rounded item, whether it’s a jacket, a tee, or a pair of leggings, it’s also important to create a stable outer layer that prevents moisture from seeping in and helps preserve the heat balance.

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Improving circulation to boost performance and recovery

It’s not a secret that improved circulation leads to increased performance, force exertion, sustained energy, and faster recovery. Why else would athletes spend upwards of twenty minutes warming up before a workout, and cooling down after an exercise bout? To boost circulation throughout the body, among other reasons.

Well, tech-driven activewear aims to help speed up and improve this process by supporting healthy circulation to the upper and lower body. Through the use of careful modeling, companies are able to refine and optimize leggings and performance tops to boast compression features that help pump the blood into the muscles, in order to aid hypertrophy, force exertion, fatigue management, and post-workout recovery. Even though these are acute effects, you can ensure long-term benefits if you wear this type of clothing on a regular basis.

Working out and looking good in the process

And finally, it’s important to note that all of the aforementioned innovations still support clothing aesthetics. Companies know that modern athletes want to look good when they work out in order to feel good during training, so naturally, they are integrating these features into visually-appealing clothing models that fit perfectly. So, all the more reason to ditch that plain cotton T-shirt and those baggy sweatpants, and opt for functional activewear instead.

Final thoughts

Fitness is an industry, and yes, companies are primarily innovating in order to make a profit, but that doesn’t mean that they are not truly making a difference in the lives of aspiring athletes. Tech-driven clothes are revolutionizing fitness, and if you want to take your fitness game to the next level, be sure to try out the clothes that boast these features.