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Out With The Old: Refreshing Your Athletic Gear

When to refresh and replace your ath­let­ic gear to stay fresh and healthy

Whether you are hit­ting the pave­ment on a long dis­tance run, ped­dling down the streets or shift­ing into war­rior pose at your neigh­bor­hood yoga stu­dio, keep­ing your ath­let­ic gear in tip-top shape is essential.

Replac­ing key items that are show­ing signs of wear and tear pro­motes good health and hygiene. We rec­om­mend assess­ing the state of your gear every six to eight months, how­ev­er, each piece serves a dif­fer­ent func­tion and will have vary­ing life-spans.

Check out our guide to keep­ing your ath­let­ic gear fresh and up-to-date. 

Sports Bras:

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Wash after each use
  • Replace every 6 to 12 months

Signs of Wear & Tear:

  • Less sup­port
  • Worn out elastic
  • Fad­ed fab­ric or a change in shape

Health Impacts

  • Pre­vents growth and buildup of bacteria
  • Con­tin­ues to pro­vide sup­port when needed

Run­ning Shoes:

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Replace 300 to 500 miles after your first run (or when you notice signs of wear & tear)
  • Avid Run­ners (run >31 miles per week): replace every few months
  • Leisure Run­ners (run <10 miles per week): replace every 10 months

Signs of Wear & Tear

  • Worn out rub­ber tread and/​or wrin­kled or cracked midsole
  • Uneven shoe with worn down heel and/​or out­er sole
  • Devel­op­ing blis­ters even though you have already bro­ken the shoes in

Health Impacts

  • Pre­vents injury and increased soreness
  • Avoids dis­com­fort
  • Improves over­all performance

Com­pres­sion Gear:

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Wash prop­er­ly and reg­u­lar­ly after workouts
  • Wash by hand or machine, using cold water and a mild soap
  • Place gar­ments in a mesh laun­dry bag for extra pro­tec­tion dur­ing wash cycles
  • Air dry

Signs of Wear & Tear

  • Lost elas­tic­i­ty
  • Chaf­ing
  • Dis­col­oration

Health Impacts

  • Extends life-span of garments
  • Pre­vents growth and buildup of bacteria
  • Avoids unwant­ed odors

Yoga Mats:

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Invest in your own yoga mat (as opposed to rent­ing a com­mu­nal mat)
  • Replace every 6 to 12 months
  • Wipe down with mat clean­ing prod­ucts or with a mix­ture of white vine­gar, water and essen­tial oils

Signs of Wear & Tear:

  • Thick­ness of the mat is uneven and/​or sec­tions are compressed
  • Mat is start­ing to fall apart or begins to devel­op bald spots”
  • No longer sticky
  • Your joints hurt or you strug­gle to hold bal­ance poses
  • Unwant­ed odors

Health Impacts

  • Avoids the growth and spread of bac­te­ria, germs, virus­es and fungi
  • Avoids unwant­ed odors

Water Bot­tles

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Clean & Dis­in­fect Daily
  • Fill your bot­tle one-fifth of the way with white vine­gar, allow­ing it to sit in the bot­tle for about 10 minutes
  • Clean both the top and the bot­tle with hot water and soap, then rinse with hot water until the scent of the vine­gar has disappeared
  • Scrub away any remain­ing film
  • Depend­ing on the type of water bot­tle, it may be dish­wash­er safe

Signs of Wear & Tear

  • The bot­tle has an odor you can­not get rid of
  • There is buildup in the lid or mouthpiece
  • The plas­tic on the bot­tle has start­ed to crack

Health Impacts

  • Keeps germs and bac­te­ria at bay

Bike Hel­mets

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Replace imme­di­ate­ly if dam­aged in a crash or oth­er event
  • In the absence of dam­age, replace every three years or every oth­er year if you are a con­sis­tent rider

Signs of Wear & Tear

  • Cracks or abra­sions in the out­er shell
  • Dis­col­oration
  • Cracks or aging in the sty­ro­foam lining
  • Straps or buck­les no longer work as they should
  • Wob­bly out­er shell and rear stabilizer

Health Impacts

  • Main­tains the integri­ty and pro­tec­tive mea­sures of the helmet
  • Improves your safety

Mois­ture Wick­ing Gear

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Wash prop­er­ly and reg­u­lar­ly after workouts
  • After your work­out, remove your cloth­ing and rinse with cold water
  • Wash mois­ture wick­ing gear sep­a­rate from oth­er clothing
  • Turn your clothes inside out before putting in the washer
  • Use a gen­tle deter­gent and no fab­ric softener
  • Only use cold water when wash­ing mois­ture wick­ing gear, as hot water can dam­age wick­ing prop­er­ties, and do not put in the dryer

Signs of Wear & Tear

  • Decline in wick­ing prop­er­ties (no longer keep­ing your body cool and dry)
  • Loss of shape and/​or comfort

Health Impacts

  • Extends gar­ment life-span
  • Main­tains wick­ing properties
  • Pre­vents buildup of mold and bacteria
  • Avoids unwant­ed odors

Swim­suits

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Replace every six months
  • Rinse and wash after each use

Signs of Wear & Tear

  • Suit is stretched out and/​or has lost prop­er support
  • Dis­col­oration and/​or unpleas­ant odor despite wash­ing it

Health Impacts

  • Pre­vents dis­col­oration and the break­ing down of fabric
  • Improves over­all fit and shape of suit
  • Avoids unwant­ed odors

Foam Roller

Prop­er Care and/​or When to Replace

  • Before use, rinse your foam roller with warm water
  • After use, wipe down with a damp cloth and a mild soap and water mixture
  • Store flat and away from sunlight

Signs of Wear & Tear

  • Indents that do not recover
  • Unwant­ed odors

Health Impacts

  • Avoids unwant­ed odors
  • Pre­vents sweat from being absorbed by foam roller
  • Extends life span of roller

While your ath­let­ic gear takes care of all the small details, from absorb­ing sweat to cush­ion­ing joints, it is up to you to replace essen­tials when the time is right. Tak­ing the time to refresh and replace your gear when need­ed will keep you safe as you exercise.

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