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When to Replace Exercise Gear

When to Replace Your Exercise Essentials

We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Fitness Magazine here on FitSugar!

To get the best results from your workout — and stay safe, too — you can't keep ignoring the necessary upkeep and replacement of your most important items. "It's worth it, especially since most gear is fairly inexpensive and other gear may have useful upgrades," says Corey Twedt, NordicTrack Research and Development Manager. "You should always check your items for tears, cracks, or yellowing, and replace them so you can prevent injuries." Here's how to know when it's time to pony up the dough for a better performance.

Tanks, Pants, and Other Apparel

When to replace them: Varies

Must-know info: The lifespan of your apparel depends on each garment's type of material and the manufacturer's specific instructions (which can be found on the tag, the information/price tag, or inside a pocket). Fabric softener diminishes the breathability, water repellency, and wicking ability of performance fabrics — so those items will lose their power within months if you don't care for them properly. You should line-dry these items as well, when possible.

More details on replacing gear after the break.


When to replace them: After 300-500 miles of use

Must-know info: Worn-down sneakers can result in a lack of support and injuries. If you're doing group exercise classes at least three times a week, figure that you'll probably need to replace your shoes every 9-12 months; if you're running five miles three times a week, every 5-8 months is recommended.


Sports Bras

When to replace it: Every 3-12 months

Must-know info: The more you wash and wear your bra, the more you'll weaken its elasticity. Consider doubling up if it's been over a year and you can't bear to part with it just yet. Line-dry your sports bra to preserve the elastic.

Stability Balls

When to replace it: 1-2 years

Must-know info: How awful would it be if you were in the middle of some core exercises on a stability ball and it popped? It can happen, due to weakened seams (not your butt!). Some stability ball life spans are just 12 months, and even shorter if you deflate-and-inflate your ball repeatedly. Others may be able to last a couple of years, so consult the manufacturer's information.

Read on to see when it's time to replace your yoga mat, resistance bands and more.

More from FITNESS:

Stability Ball Exercises to Tone Your Core

Warm-Weather Workout Clothes and Gear

The FITNESS 2012 Sneaker Guide

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