Do you speak fit kit? Don’t be flummoxed by fitness clothing jargon - understand the technical spec with our simple guide
Any fabric that draws sweat to the outside where it evaporates, keeping you dry and comfy.
Do I need it? Definitely, unless you like the feeling of sweaty and clammy as you work out? Thought not.
Essential kit: A top to keep your armpits dry and low on pong. Many brands have their own name for sweat-wicking material, such as adidas' Climacool and Nike's Dri-FIT.
Kit with this technology applies pressure to key muscles as you exercise, boosting blood flow and oxygen for a better workout and speedier muscle recovery.
Do I need it? If you're serious about training or recovering from an injury, kit with built-in compression is proven to help. If you only exercise for short periods of time or run short distances, it's probably not worth it for you.
Essential kit: Compression tights will benefit serious runners, cyclists or rowers, while snow-sports fans swear by the thermal versions.
The daddy of weather-proof material, this is made from four layers of cleverly bonded fabric, including water-tight Teflon. But it's still breathable, so it keeps you warm and dry without building up a sweat.
Do I need it? If you're going to be in the great outdoors for any period of time, yes.
Essential kit: Ski jackets, trousers, walking jackets, even hiking boots should feature Gore-Tex to keep you waterproof.
The original fleece material, it's soft, warm and quick drying. Made from 100% polyester velour, Polartec is constructed so that air pockets form in the fabric, trapping air and retaining body heat.
Do I need it? Yes, Polartec is essential if you're training outdoors.
Essential kit: A thicker Polartec fleece for a cover-up, or a light one as a base layer to build up insulation.
It works like Lycra - think stretchy and supportive, made from 90% Polyamide and 10% Elastane - but feels like cotton, so Supplex is softer on your skin.
Do I need it? Some sports kit can be quite rugged but Supplex garments are comfortable, as well as supportive.
Essential kit: A yoga top - fitted to stop you getting tangled in tricky poses, but supple enough to move with your body.
A type of running shoe that has layers of cushioning in the heels and midsole to distribute impact in the right way for runners with low to normal arches.
Do I need it? About 70% of runners do. Check your wet footprint to see how flat your foot is or visit a running shop for gait analysis.
Essential kit: A good pair of running shoes - expect to pay at least £70.
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