I remember when a pair of shorts, a white T-shirt and a pair of black plimsolls were deemed "sportswear" but not anymore, there is a new era of sportswear and that is a really good thing.
Your "kit" is vital to your goals and in an age where a second is an eternity in competitive sport the clothes you have on your back can determine whether you succeed or fail. So why wouldn't you give yourself every possible edge?
Swimming is a prime example of the use of technology to develop faster and more streamline swimwear to advance performance. Traditionally swimsuits are made from Lycra, but Lycra absorbs air and water, adding excess weight which is the opposite to what is trying to be achieved. So after several studies being carried out (NASA included) a new material called "polyurethane" was developed which is designed to mimic marine animals swimming capabilities.
After this technology was introduced 29 world records tumbled in only five days, highlighting the difference your sportswear can make to overall performance.
Who would have thought an item of clothing could change the face of sport as we know it? Certainly not in the early years of motor racing, the 1950's saw the emergence of the Formula 1 world championship and back then a pair of goggles and boiler suit was deemed adequate clothing, in fact The legendary Juan Manuel Fangio preferred to drive in a polo shirt and cloth trousers with a balaclava on his head, unimaginable these days. Only the most advance fire retardant clothing is acceptable now.
So what has created this drive to create a new era of sportswear?
Sports is no longer just sports, it is a business where the UK Sport industry alone is worth just over £20bn. Individual sports team think nothing of paying huge sums of money to ensure their team or competitor has the very best equipment and latest technology to ensure they have the edge. Each second gained could be worth thousands, millions even.
The drive for success does not just belong to the physical capabilities of man anymore, there are many defining factors which are involved, for example, medical equipment, research, even the atmospheric pressure of the air can aide the pursuit of that career defining 1/10th of a second
Now don't get me wrong combine all the above factors together and you have a great foundation, but take nothing away from professional athletes, you still need the talent, dedication and psychological prowess to make it to the top.
The performance market now accounts for 41% of global sportswear sales and is a sector that anyone can benefit from, you do not have to be a professional athlete to reap the rewards.
Thanks to developments in science, infrared technology is a major new entrant in this era of sportswear. Designed to capture the body's waste energy then enter it back into the body through specific wavelengths. The benefits are numerous, ranging from Increased circulation to pain relief.
This type of sportswear is available on the market now and heat retention and redistribution is playing a leading role in the way we perform even at grassroots level. You simply wear a base layer which is made with a specific type of material and let the science do the work. The infrared emitted aides your circulation, enabling you to get more oxygen and nutrients to where it is most needed, maximising your performance.
It does not matter what sport you play or what your goals are, ensuring you have the correct kit is now an essential part of your sporting preparation and not one to be ignored. Buying the latest lifestyle T-shirt because it makes you look cool might make you look good, but as soon as the game starts you will soon find yourself being left behind.
The new era of sportswear is here; it is time to get on-board.