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This reference guide will help you understand the average lifespan of your sneakers, fitness apparel, and weightlifting gloves.

If you’re the type of person that values quality over quantity, you likely wear your workout gear out before investing in new pieces. You’re cautious about your purchases because you don’t feel a need to buy every shiny thing you see. Does that mean that you should drag your workout gear through the mud and back, though? In doing so, do you cause yourself unnecessary harm because you don’t have the right amount of support or you’re using antiquated gear that is way past is prime?

The Lifespan of the Workout Gear You Use Most

To better understand why wearing your workout gear to shambles is not the right thing to do, it’s important to know what the experts recommend as an acceptable timeframe of use for your athletic shoes, fitness apparel, weightlifting gloves, and even the plastic water bottle that you drink from. You’ll then be able to justify replacing these items before they become tomorrow’s garbage. Any investment you make in your health is money well spent even if it means that you’ll buy new workout gear more regularly. 

Refer to the following guide anytime to see when you should replace your current workout gear.

Athletic Shoes

Depending on your weight and how many miles you put into walking or running each day, you should replace your shoes every 500 miles or six months, whichever comes faster. Even if the upper still looks good, the sole could be worn to shreds and provide little comfort or shock absorption. Rather than risk a sprained ankle, it’s best to plan for the purchase of new athletic shoes at least twice a year if you’re physically active.

How to make it last: Keep one pair of athletic trainers or sneakers for indoor use and one for outdoor use. Switch them out according to the type of activity that you plan to do each day. If the shoes are made of leather, use water-repellant to make them suitable for rainy days. If they’re made of canvas or other types of washable fabrics, give the shoes a good machine cleaning at least once every couple of weeks. Doing so will keep them looking as good as new for longer.

Plastic Water Bottles

Even hard plastic can become slimy with an unrecognizable film or break if dropped. If you’re cleaning your refillable water bottle daily with dish detergent and warm water or distilled vinegar, you’ll be able to prevent it from suffering a premature death due to mold or other germy bacteria. If you do drop and crack the bottle, you’ll want to replace it immediately. Otherwise, invest in a new bottle each year or make the switch to a more hygienic material such as glass or stainless steel. You’ll be able to keep your water cooler that way, too.

How to make it last: By making the switch to a glass water bottle, you’ll spend less time sanitizing your current bottle as well as spend fewer dollars throughout your lifetime replacing it. Glass lasts far longer than plastic and is easy to wash. It’s also BPA-free which is something you’ll want to check for if you do prefer plastic over glass.

Weightlifting Gloves

If treated well, weightlifting gloves can last years. Unlike athletic shoes that need replacement after a certain number of miles or hours of working out, this piece of gear can last you a long time if you’re mindful about cleaning them and allowing them to air dry. Although many types of weightlifting gloves exist, the best are made from leather. They typically have reinforced areas, too, where the most weight is grasped to keep them from ripping.

How to make it last: Invest in leather and make sure that you treat it before its first use so you don’t cause the gloves to crack or have pieces come off. Examine them regularly for rips and tears. Put your name and phone number on the inside of the gloves in the event you leave them behind at the gym. You won’t be forced to buy another pair quickly because someone else took yours home.

Workout Apparel

It’s hard to say how long individual pieces of workout apparel lasts. It all depends on the brand, the materials it is made from, and how well it was constructed. Learning how to care for the clothing based on suggestions made by the company who sold the items is also ideal. It prevents you from washing the clothes too much and loosening up their fibers. Too rough of machine cycle can rip, tear or wear the threads thin on your favorite pair of shorts or sweatpants, so beware!

How to make it last: Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use and laundering. It’s above and beyond the easiest way to get the most use out of the clothing that you wear to work out in. Check regularly for rips, stains, and tears. If the apparel cannot be fixed easily and no longer provides the coverage or support that it once did, it’s time to replace it. When cared for carefully, some fabrics such as nylon and rayon can last years.

How New Gear Motivates You and Makes You Feel Like a Million Bucks

Some replacements are no-brainers. If the gear that you have is worn beyond usefulness, torn, broken or missing pieces, it’s time to shop for something better than what you already own. If you’ve been wearing the same pair of cross trainers to the point that the sole is worn, a new pair of athletic shoes will boost your confidence and give your feet the protection they need to pound the pavement harder.

Follow the advice listed above to make your items last even longer than you knew they could but also to replace them before they become threadbare or damaged from overuse. By staying on top of things, you’ll ensure that working out won’t be a challenge because of the worn-out gear that you’re sporting. You’ll have everything you need to be successful in and out of the gym this year.

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