Article by Dental and Fitness expert Dr. Ana.
The global sportswear market has exceeded in billions so to say in the coming 10 years according to a report by a Research organization. Their forecast for market growth of outdoor sportswear in India and China alone, covering the period between 2012 and 2017, itself is given at 205% and 142% respectively.
Companies into Sports-wear: –
Why are Sports giant companies such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Asics, Umbro, Arena, Fila and many more, acutely focused on cultivating the market of Sportswear? This rising interest has led to significant rise in the worldwide consumption of textile fibres and fabrics in the sportswear over the past two decades.
This market has seen the diversification of fibrous materials and also contributed to the elevation of textile science and technology. Also, there is a substantial rise in the academic scientific literature on Physical Fitness and Sports based Nutrition. This new form obsession is capitalized upon the fact that the physically fit body has now become the Ideal of the Modern Global society.
Images of lean, sculpted body are now ubiquitous in the popular representations of magazines, billboards, film, television and video. Even small towns boast of fitness clubs and facilities. That brings us to new Sports enthusiasts, lower level athletes and common people. Is investment into sportswear the answer for an enhanced performance in sports and increased calorie shed? We shall find out.
Harnessing the Functionality:-
During sports activities, the human body produces different amount of heat and sweat. Humans can easily generate over 1000W of heat during heavy, complex exercises. Therefore, implementation of different layers of clothing is combined in a fabric for optimal thermal insulation.
In colder temperatures, the main aim for the sportswear is to provide heat to the body and maintain the thermal insulation and the presence of moisture(sweat) may alter the insulation negatively. Conversely, during increased temperatures, the moisture wick technology is utilized by the fabric which maintains the core body temperature by releasing heat and cooling down the body.
As the name suggests this fabric “wicks away” the moisture, leaving the body dry. Wicking is the transmission of liquid through a textile by capillary action. Apart from these, recent additions are the Phase change materials and application of micro-encapsulation technology in fabrics.
Phase change materials (PCM) takes advantage of the latent heat that can be stored or released from a material over a narrow temperature range. PCM possesses the ability to change their state with a certain temperature range. The other technology, like Micro-encapsulation, is combined with PCM, Antibiotics, Hormones, Vitamins, and many more to be incorporated into the fabric of the sports-wear.
Such new properties and added values have changed the functionality of these wears. It is also reported that sports clothing in the future is to be embedded with sensors and actuators to monitor the different bio-metric parameters, importantly the Heart and breathing activities.
Further commercial development will lead to its better pricing and access to the general public. In conclusion, it can be safe to say that it is worth investing in Sports jersey or shorts for Gym/Sporting activities for enhancing your potential. The normal old jersey and gym trainers have certainly come a long way. Sports-wear selection should be done intelligently with keeping its purpose(functionality?) in mind.
Read More: – Are Manchester United capable of winning the Title next season? A Statistical Analysis.
Scaling your Confidence: –
Sportswear is increasing in Flexibility, Fit and strength. The purpose of sportswear has evolved and there is a crossover being witnessed in sports and fashion. It is now linked to self-esteem and well being. Various studies in Cognition and Neurosciences have established the co-relation between “Looking good and feeling good.”
It is termed as the En-clothed Cognition. It is a mental shift that one experiences when we wear certain clothes. An example can lead us back to the 2004 Olympics where the winning combat fighters had worn more red than blue suggesting that they might be more likely to be victorious. A similar study termed as the “Red sneakers effect” has also concluded, the competencies of individuals risking derivation from the social norms as powerful traits of behaviour.
It is proven that confidence in candidates who wore better fitting sportswear had lead to better performances in their game. The social assumption of wearing fashionable clothes is even backed by science. Sportswear provides better fitting and more freedom of movement to the athletes.
Safety and Protection: –
According to a German study in 2013, it was proposed that the effects of compression clothing are beneficial in recovery and performance. Many labels such as the Australian brand SKINS and the international brand CEP, provide the most advanced range of sports compression wear for performance and recovery. Compression clothing supports in long-standing period and aids in blood circulation.
It is also found helpful in decreasing the heart rate and lactic acid build up in athletes. It is also poignant to mention about the running shoe revolution; it was not until the 17th and 18th century in Britain that the careful thought was once again given to sports and running shoes.
The first sports-specific shoe was not developed for running but for cricket. The SPENCER cricket shoes became an essential part of the competing. Sports shoe were thoroughly researched and their injury pattern was documented for further studies.
In the 1970s the waffle shoe became very popular when its inventor Bill Bowerman was experimenting with soling material and a waffle iron. It famously leads to the formation of the NIKE Inc which formulated their landmark in the running competition. Since then experiments to control the biomechanics of the foot have been conducted which thereby helped in preventing injuries.
It has reduced the incidence of Haglund’s disease, which is a retrocalcaneal exostosis and bursitis, or pump-bump aggravated by the counter of the shoe digging into the posterior heel and Achilles insertion. There is also decrease in numbers of the Turf toe and soccer toe sprains of the first metatarsophalangeal joint with a possible ligamentous or capsule tear.
Turf toe is a hyper extension injury occurring when the athlete’s toes are dorsiflexed and anchored into the ground with excess force driven from the rear foot into the ground, often times from another athlete falling on the foot and jamming it into the ground. This can also occur from a traumatic or repeated kicking of a ball or other object.
Shoes in sports have advanced in providing better protection and safety. Each type of shoe is now designed to give the right amount of grip and comfort. In conclusion, it is a pragmatic decision to buy properly fitted sportswear as it can prevent injuries which are a common ordeal of sporting activities.
In short, Sportswear is all about functionality & comfort, confidence and safety. In competitive sports, the implication of the performance of sportswear can often be the difference between winning and second place.