With summer and beach parties just around the corner, it is no wonder that gyms are filled with men and women of all ages who are trying to get back into shape. If you are ready to hit the gym, but are not quite sure what you should take with you, we are here to help. There are those who pack lightly, and those who like to take a bit more with them, but these are the few things to avoid and a couple of ‘must have’ items to take with you.
Do take: a towel
The gym is all about sweat, and the more you sweat the more fat you are losing, so don’t be embarrassed and try to hide it. However, just because everyone sweats a lot (or a little) it does not mean we should leave our sweaty marks all over the place and the equipment. Imagine trying to use the bench and finding someone else’s sweat stains all over it. Disgusting isn’t it? Always have a towel or even two with you; wear one around your neck while using the treadmill and another one to wipe weights or other equipment after use.
Don’t take: sodas
It may be tempting to take an energy drink or a nice cold soda with you, but it’s counterproductive: you are looking for ways to get sugar out of your system, not bring it in. Besides, sweet drinks only make you feel thirstier afterwards. Take a bottle of homemade lemonade or flavoured water if you are craving something other than water, but the best solution is to have plain water by your side, and sip occasionally so you don’t get dehydrated (don’t drink water when working on your core muscles, you might feel sick from the pressure).
Do take: comfortable clothes
It cannot be stressed enough just how important it is to have comfortable workout clothes and footwear when going to the gym. A well-fitting sports bra is a must, as well as t-shirts and tank tops which will not be too tight on you and allow you to move freely (my favourite workout clothes are from Legion Athletics, I have been wearing their items since I first started going to the gym, and I keep recommending them to my clients). Remember, your old, comfortable sneakers might not be the best choice because you need the soles to be non-slippery and reliable. It may seem like a waste to some, but go shopping for a new pair, it’s better than getting injured while working out (I use Sketchers shoes because those have been proven as the most reliable).
Don’t take: cotton clothes
It may seem natural to wear your old oversized tee which you sleep in, but it’s a bad idea. Cotton may be a 100% natural material which soaks in sweat easily, but it also takes a long time too dry, keeping you cold and wet while you’re exercising. It can be bad for your health, and that is why you should choose synthetic materials which are moisture-wicking. Also, clothes that are too baggy may move too much while you’re working out and reveal your legs and stomach, which can make you feel too self-conscious.
Remember, the gym is a place where you will push your limits, challenge yourself, and go through ‘torture’ only to come out victorious in the end. It is important to be content and comfortable, and you cannot do that if you are worried and distracted. Focus on the task before you: get in shape first, and worry about other things later, this way you will be happier and see results much faster.
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