Many parents hope their young children will become gifted sportsman. They will dress them in the most expensive sports kit, dreaming that their child will suddenly be transformed into a world class performer. Those same parents can often be seen taking their daily exercise wearing the most advanced kit with no expense spared. While this may be rather a cynical personal point of view put forward by the author, there can be no denying the technological advancements that have been made in the kit worn by people who regularly take exercise. In many developed nations cycling has become a popular activity for those taking exercise and can cost a fortune in getting prepared for the road. The bike themselves can cost anywhere between 100 UK pounds and 3000 UK pounds depending on how seriously the cyclist is taking his new hobby. The better bikes come with light weight frames and many gears, which makes them easier to ride. The majority of cyclists wear a helmet and the cost of these can stretch from 20 to 150 UK pounds. Many people now attach a portable camera to the top of the helmet to record bad driving incidents and this is another major cost. In the summer months Cyclists are seen wearing sun glasses. Not any old sun glasses but sports sun glasses made by the likes of “Oakley” which are not cheap to purchase. Cyclists now have the opportunity to purchase the same clothes that the professional riders wear. The most popular kit tends to be made of Lycra and are adapted to cycling with the shorts having padded bottoms to give greater comfort. As well as this kit being colorful it is also breathable and water proof, and enable the cyclist to perform in all weather.
The Lycra material is also used in many other health related activities. Runners nowadays are dressed in the same material as are regular gym goers, but their kit has been adapted slightly differently for their use. The biggest issues for runners are the shoes that they have been wearing. For years the major companies such as Nike and Adidas have attempted to convince the public that the type of training shoe that the participator will wear will have an effect on their performance and reduce their chances of injury. New shoes were regularly designed such “Nike Air” where people believed that the shoes were ideal for their running style. This theory has recently been brought in to question by the success of the African athletes. The Africans proved that the shoes were not the major issue but their running style was. The Africans run either with the front of their foot landing first or the foot landing flat. For years people had been encouraged in long distance running to lead with their heels so encouraging the highly protected, and expensive training shoe. This style merely encouraged injury and todays runners are more focused on their running style and the weight of the shoe as opposed to the protection of the shoe. However there is no doubt that there are some activities that have benefited enormously from technological advancements associated with clothes. The walkers and mountaineers who love exploring the wilderness have benefited enormously from GPS technology. Just by carrying a simple mobile phone gives explorers accurate information on the exact location they may be. The other plus is the phone gives a cry for help if assistance is required.
The invention of Gore-Tex in 1969 has produced jackets, trousers and gloves that are water resistant and they protect the body against all types of cold conditions. This has enabled people to walk and train more comfortably in wet and cold conditions. Walkers have also been helped by walking boots that are now lighter, warmer, and waterproof, and have more grip than boots worn in previous years.
The kit worn today during health related fitness activities reflects the modern day society that we live in.