Whether you’re training for a specific event such as a marathon or you’re building your exercise tolerance on a long-term workout program, there are all kinds of reasons why you might be out running or in the gym. But no matter what your goals are, it’s vital to always wear the right gear to reduce the risks of injury and illness – even if that means investing upfront. From looking after your feet with good trainers to ensuring that you have proper compression gear on hand, there are lots of ways to do this. Here are just a few of the options to consider.

Protect those key joints

To some degree, you need to make sure that you protect your whole body while you’re working out. Running in the sun means that you might need sun cream on your face, while the right accessories – such as gloves in cold weather – are also crucial. However, as any seasoned athlete will tell you, there are some areas of the body that need major protection in order to ensure that they can carry on functioning at their best. These are often the areas around your joints – and especially your knees, which play key roles in most workouts.

Looking after your knees is important for those who move on their feet during workouts, as a damaged knee can seriously impair your speed. However, even if you perform some sort of workout move that involves bending in a stationary position, such as a squat, you’ll need to ensure that your knees are up to scratch. Women’s knee sleeves, including this Tommie Copper women’s knee sleeve, are useful for this, and are designed to protect this crucial joint during exertion.

Look after your feet

Your feet are perhaps the most important tools in your workout arsenal. Anyone who plays sports or runs will know that keeping your feet safe and snug is important – but it’s not just runners or team players who need to keep their feet protected. Your feet also often bear your bodyweight when you’re lifting, which means that other workouts can be impacted if you don’t take adequate foot defense measures.

First off, buying the right pair of workout shoes is certainly important. A cheap pair of sneakers simply isn’t going to cut it, and you’ll soon regret your decision if you develop blisters, torn ligaments or tendons, or even broken toes. If you’re looking to change your performance for the better, then it’s wise to give yourself the best chance of success by investing in ergonomic trainers or specially designed sports shoes – and to try them on in a physical location first to check that they fit.

Compression gear

Tight-fitting clothing is a key staple of many workout wardrobes, and with good reason. Athletes such as cyclists often choose to go down this road, though it’s advisable for all sorts of athletes to consider doing so. This is because compression gear can give your muscles the support they need by improving the flow of blood to them, and hence make them more resilient in the face of a threat.

Temperature control

Working out can be a sweaty business, and to some degree, there’s no surefire way to control it. Working out in a cold environment may help you to cool off at first, but it poses a number of safety issues. Running when it’s been snowing, for example, can lead to slipping on ice. Instead, it’s best to control your temperature using artificial methods such as clothing.

Wearing clothing that comes with wicking or capillary action technology is a good way to go. In essence, this reduces the amount of moisture on you as work out – so that you can sweat effectively and comfortably. If you do decide to work out in the cold, meanwhile, then investing in some exercise-appropriate gloves to protect your hands from the cold can help ward off problems such as frostbite.

Working out is important for remaining healthy, but it’s not always a pleasant experience. As a result, it’s important not to make it even worse by getting your training gear wrong. Doing so can lead to all kinds of physical problems ranging from torn ligaments to joint pain – and this will set you back even longer. By investing in decent workout gear upfront, you’ll be able to defend yourself against the most common training problems and go on to achieve your exercise goals.