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The point of sportswear

The price tag is pretty steep, so just how necessary is it?

The world of exercise can come along with its whole set of gear and it does make one wonder: just how crucial it is to shell out at least 3,000 baht for a pair of support leggings? Only a few names dominate this market, with Japan's CW-X long leading the pack -- albeit unsurprisingly, what with the country's known advancement in technology and innovation. For those outside the athlete loop, this name may be obscure, but has actually been on sale in Thailand for over a decade. Founded in 1991, this Japanese brand under the Wacoal umbrella, officially known as "Conditioning Wear", is actually the first in the world to offer sportswear that supports both the muscles and the joints. With their Human Science Research Center that has been studying how the body moves for over 40 years, the brand has an extensive knowledge as to how bone, joint and muscle should be moving.

According to Kanchit Srivicha, Thailand's CW-X brand manager, in the past people would use the technique of taping along the joints to enhance their physical performance, before sports apparel was available. "That sometimes falls off though, or only offers support in specific areas," he says. The Fantastic Four from the trip express in unison that these textiles do help although there's no concrete rule, so wear what you are most comfortable with.

But there's no denying to the science behind it, and Kanchit explains it in a simple manner that the whole point of these designs is to "reduce vibration against the human body and compress muscles so they move as little as possible. This is crucial because the less they move, the slower they get tired. With everything in place, this also ensures your blood flows to run more efficiently, which reduces lactic acid build-up, which is what causes muscle soreness".

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