Whether you’re trying to get more serious about hitting the gym on a regular basis or you consider your athletic club your second home, every athlete needs the right gym bag items to ensure the utmost performance during his or her workout. Sure, every gym bag needs the usual suspects, whether it’s towels, a water bottle or even your pair of lucky shorts you’ve been working out in since college, but there are always a few items that get overlooked when it comes to importance. Here are some of the other essential inclusions that are practically mandatory for every gym bag:
Alternative pair of shoes
While many people tend to stick to just one pair of shoes for whatever activity they’re partaking in, it’s extremely underestimated how having the right shoe for each workout can aid in your performance and athletic recovery. When it comes to running, the type of shoe that’s best for you depends on whether you prefer outdoor or indoor training. Runners who tend to stick to jogging outside will need a shoe that’s equipped with sufficient shock absorption, for softening every step they take on a harder, uneven surface. Athletes who like to keep their running workout in the gym should consider investing in a pair that’s both flexible and lightweight, boosting comfort while on the treadmill or elliptical machine. As for weightlifting, keeping an extra pair of sneakers in your gym bag that is more snug with enhanced traction is recommended so you can avoid slipping.
With technology becoming more of a presence in all areas of our lives, there are many accessories and devices currently on the market that also can assist our workouts in the gym. Having an activity tracker handy in your gym bag can help you gain a better understanding of how your workout is actually impacting your body, as well as monitoring a number of health features. There are dozens of different devices on the market, ranging in uses and price, but having one that does essential tasks without costing too much is never a bad idea. Whether you’re trying to keep track of how many calories you’re losing with each step on the treadmill or checking in on your resting heart rate after setting down the dumbbell, activity trackers have done wonders for helping athletes get better insight into how effective their physical activity truly is.
People who put an emphasis on their weightlifting routines over other types of exercises should always have a number of accessories handy in their gym bags. For starters, weightlifting gloves can provide workout advantages in a variety of ways, ranging from improving your grip strength to helping your hands avoid enduring dryness or calluses. If you frequently put time into workouts that require proper back formation, wearing a weightlifting belt can not only assist in reducing stress upon your spine, but also is great for keeping you in perfect position.
It might seem odd to see someone pulling a pen and notepad out of their bag at the gym, but keeping track of how exactly you’re working out is a great way to stay on top of your exercise routines. Simply writing out what exercises you’re performing, how many reps you’re doing and how many miles you run makes it easier to see which areas of the body you need to focus on. In addition to keeping up-to-date with which types of workouts you need to perform, the exercise journal works as a means for adding motivation, as an empty page entry will shame you into getting back out to the gym.
Hand wipes and lotion
Having proper hygiene at the gym is essentially in the eye of the beholder, but for those who are concerned for their post-workout cleanliness should always have some sanitation accessories in their gym bags. Whenever you work up a sweat, your pores are more susceptible to enduring the wrath of acne-inducing oils. Applying specific lotions or moisturizers that work to hydrate your skin and protect pores will keep your face looking great as you continue to boost the rest of your body’s appearance. Plus, you’re only doing yourself and others a favor by wiping off your hands with wipes after every time you use equipment.
Everyone enjoys the benefits of a massage, but athletes in particular should be treating themselves to the advantages of providing gentle, yet firm manipulation on their sore muscles after a tough workout. Keeping a personal massager in your gym bag is essentially like having a masseuse with you at all times, and after you get to the locker room after working up a sweat, going over your muscles with this device can help ease tension and enhance your athletic recovery process.