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April 2017
Fitness and sport
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Sports clothing and its meaning have become increasingly more important over the years from both a technical-functional point of view, as well as from a fashion point of view.

The very first running training sessions and competitions happened many years ago and the runners carried out these runs regardless of the weather or racing tracks wearing long shorts, down to the knee, knee length socks, vests and leather shoes. For many years sporting activities did not arouse any interest from companies and businesses and therefore participants had to sort themselves out by adapting regular clothing to sports clothing. The first signs of specific sports clothing began in the 1970s when jogging, which came over from America, became popular. During these years, some of the most famous and important producers of sports clothing and shoes were founded and today there is a huge variety of remarkable sports clothing and shoes available.

All companies in the sports sector annually produce new garments and footwear with novel characteristics, incorporating the newest scientific and technological breakthroughs so that the market is full of increasingly sophisticated products. The range of products available is huge and every year the biggest industries launch new clothing lines that go with new footwear lines, creating new trends. Due to this, it is no longer appropriate to talk about running being ‘the cheapest sport’. In reality though, you can practise this sport and still spend little, but it is true that the market provides professional athletes with highly technological and well designed products which are, inevitably, very expensive. For those who practise running for their health and with the aim being to stay in shape, the best clothing options are natural, such as garments made from cotton. You can find all sorts of clothing made from cotton like tracksuits, shorts, t-shirts and socks. When you buy these products though, you need to pay attention to the seams as some parts of the garment can be too tight (for example around armpit, thighs, feet), creating a friction zone that, when you overheat, can irritate and redden the skin. For professional runners, and those who train everyday, synthetic fibres are recommended as they breathe well, allowing the athlete to run for a long time without any major problems.

Clothing for training

When you go running for a training session/to keep fit, it is important to cover yourself correctly, according to the temperature of your surroundings. In midwinter, when the temperatures are around 0°C,  it is necessary to cover up completely, even covering the hands, head and ears so you do not loose precious heat. If it rains or if it is windy, it is a good idea to wear waterproof clothing and these products are made from nylon. Although nylon is artificial and waterproof, unfortunately it does not breathe very well and therefore the athlete’s sweat cannot evaporate when running but today there are other garments on the market which are both waterproof and breathe well. These products are mainly made from fibres like gore-tex.

Clothing for competitions

When competing, it is better to cover yourself lightly because more energy is used up in competitions, thus you get hotter. This heat must then be dealt with by means of sweat being evaporated, or a thermal exchange, which happens between the body and surrounding environment (convection).

During winter however, when temperatures are very low, it is recommended that you cover the head and hands, whilst the legs can be protected by a special cream, which is very useful when it rains. In the summer though, you do not need to cover up as much.

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