Let’s take a moment to recognize all the hard work that our workout gear does for us. From the sweatbands that keep pesky sweat droplets out of our eyes to the running shoes that take a beating on our long jogs around the park, the life of fitness apparel is no easy job.
But how do you know when it’s time to swap out your beloved water bottle or favorite pair of leggings for something new?
We asked the founder of FitTipDaily, Adria Ali, to weigh in on the shelf life of our necessary workout gear. See what she had to say about when to replace your workout gear. Plus a few fun additions for your workout wardrobe, because the best part of throwing out the old is buying the new!
Replace them after: 6-8 months (4 months if you wear them daily)
Why? Your athletic shoes are supporting your full weight, which means that once they start to “give,” it’s time for a new pair. Whether you’re doing squats or doing cardio on the elliptical, proper support is important to protect your form and your joints.
Try these: If it’s time for a new pair of kicks, Nike’s Air Huarache Sneakers come in seven different colors and provide added cushioning and support.
Replace them after: 4-6 months (4 months if you wear them daily)
Why? Running shoes take a beating and can break down fairly quickly. It’s important to make sure that your running shoes are supporting your arches and your body weight. Broken down running shoes can lead to injury, muscle imbalances and poor posture. Avoid the pain and sprains and keep your shoes up to par!
Try these: ASICS Women’s Gel-Flux 4 running shoes are like PF Flyers for adults (Sandlot reference, anyone?). They’re designed for ultimate support and breathability, which you’ll appreciate during your summer workout sessions.
Replace them after: 8 months to a year and a half
Why? Women get lax with sports bras because they think that wearing them for 1-2 hours a day (3-4 times a week) means that they last longer – which isn’t true. These bras are meant to keep everything supported through jumping, running, bouncing and lifting. When these bras fail, you will feel the repercussions in your back and chest. No one wants to test the waters which lead to sagging, stretch marks and a hunched back.
Try these: Here’s a list of dual-purpose sports bras that you can wear to brunch, use to store your phone and even ones that enhance the girls.
Replace them after: 6-8 months
Why? The portion of leggings that get the most wear and tear are the seams of the inner thighs. Keep an eye on these and look for loose or fraying strings. This is a good way to know when it’s time to them in for a new pair.
Try these: For chic looking sports leggings at an affordable price, check out these FILA SPORT yoga capri leggings — just $28!
Refillable Water Bottles
Replace after: About a year
Why? Constant use will begin to break down plastics, which is why it’s important to replace them. Make sure that your plastic water bottles do not contain BPA. BPA free bottles will spare you the leaching of toxins into your water.
Try these: Leak-proof, spill-proof and most importantly, not manufactured with BPA, the insulated Polar Bottle will keep you hydrated without any mess.
Replace after: 2-3 months
Why? The biggest problem with the shelf life of sweat bands is the constant washing. Keeping them clean can take a toll on the elastic.
Try these: Not only does this headband keep the sweat out of your eyes, but it actually cools your forehead!
Replace after: 6 months to a year
Why? The wear and tear on your yoga mat is dependent on a lot of factors. Generally, tearing, odors and permanently curled edges are all things that can interfere with your practice and signs that it’s time for a replacement.
Try these: Check out this guide to finding a new yoga mat that’s right for your practice.