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FYI Magazine

Dress Right for an Active Lifestyle

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Now more than ever people are being urged to get up off the couch and start getting active. The National Center for Health Statistics offers that 60 percent of American women are overweight and over one-third of adult women are obese. Exercise and a healthy diet are essential to maintaining optimal health.

Getting active is easier when women do a few simple things. For instance, exercising with a partner increases the probability of sticking with a routine

and can make it more fun. In addition, becoming active is more comfortable when the right clothing is worn.
Depending on the activity, there are certain wardrobe items that should become staples. Here are a few to consider.

* Sports bra: Whether jogging, doing pilates or power-walking with friends, a supportive sports bra is a must. Women should try on several styles and sizes to get the right fit and support.
* Form-fitting, stretch wear: Aerobic exercises, such as jogging, classes at the gym and cycling are easier when form-fitting clothing is worn. This keeps the clothing from getting in the way of a workout. Be sure the items fit close to the skin but are not so tight that they restrict movement or are uncomfortable to wear.
* Loose-fitting pants: Individuals doing yoga or other stretching exercises may want to consider clothing designed specifically for this activity. Free flowing pants can make achieving poses and stretching easier.
* Supportive shoes: Today's athletic shoes come in many varieties. It may be helpful to consult with a store employee to find the shoe best suited for the activity. Those participating in tennis or basketball may want a higher-profile sneaker to protect against ankle injuries. Runners may need a lightweight, supportive shoe. Individuals doing a variety of activities may benefit from a cross-trainer. Keep in mind that some activities, such as field sports, may require cleats, and martial arts has its own specialty footwear.
* Sports goggles: Women who will be spending time outdoors should invest in sports sunglasses that will have an athletic band to stay in place during high levels of activity.
* Extra features: There is activewear that comes with moisture-wicking capabilities or SPF protection built right into the fabric. Explore these options for staying cool and protected.