The gym can be a holy respite for some, and a dreaded location for others. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, if you are still attending, through ecstatic grunts or gritted teeth, it means that you probably have a goal in mind.
Goals – to lose a few pounds, to gain some extra muscle, to boost mood – often find success through the equipment packed in your bag. Indeed, the ultimate gym kit can help you reach them faster. Most often, the shift in exertion required is psychological, all in the head not in the legs, but there is some merit in using products that are designed specifically to achieve an objective, sometimes even giving extra motivation just by wearing them. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL gym kit essentials to help achieve your goals.
A SMARTPHONE OR SMARTWATCH
Tracking your progress is one of the most important components of achieving workout related success. Not only can it serve as an encouraging reminder, but looking back and analysing data (or having an app do it for you) can show you where your strengths and weaknesses are – and what might need to be improved or altered. This is invaluable when it comes to saving time, and can stop those who are wanting to move forward feeling frustrated without a plan of action.
There are plenty of apps that can track your progress depending on your goals, and for those who just want to get their daily steps in – a tracker is already included in a smartphone, ready to go! A smartwatch brings even more analysis, since it can read your pulse, heart rate, measure blood pressure and more, just by wearing it.
A FOAM ROLLER
Most people have a love/hate relationship with a foam roller, and it’s easy to understand why. A far cry from a nice relaxing massage, a foam roller gets right in the nooks and crannies of muscles to relieve tension, which can truly help with muscle pain in the long run. It will feel uncomfortable, so think of it as short-term pain for long-term… less pain. Catchy.
Impressively, this little torture tube can also help with stretching, inflammation and can increase the range of motion in joints, so it is a perfect all-rounder as an accompaniment to any fitness goal, whether it is used as part of a warm-up, cool down or both.
Anyone can argue that popping on your boyfriend’s shorts or wearing old trousers that you use to clean the house in/with will do just as well for your exercise routine as proper attire, and to a certain degree, they would be right. You are still exercising – what more do people want? So, why buy proper gym attire?
Clothing that has been made to specification with workouts in mind are often made with light, breathable fabrics that will not irritate the skin or make you feel too warm when you sweat. Regulating and controlling body temperature is a must, and materials that are designed for exercise can help you do this effortlessly.
Even more interestingly, clothes have a unique impact on the wearer’s mind. For those who feel their best in high waisted gym leggings or an aggressive motivational quote tee, there is actually a good reason for it. The clothing we wear psychologically affects how we perform, so investing in quality gym pieces can have an impact on the quality of a workout and the confidence of the exerciser.
FILTER WATER BOTTLE
Have the best of both worlds with the convenience of tap water and the taste of bottled water by owning your own filter water bottle. Hydrating is extremely important (all the time), so when you are sweating during a workout, it is safe to say that it’s crucial that those fluid stores are replenished regularly.
A filter water bottle not only saves on single-use plastic (the environment doffs its cap to you my friend) but it also means that you can have delicious-tasting water every single time you go to the gym or workout without spending a penny. They are 100% a worthwhile investment.
A LITTLE SNACK
Snackoholics rejoice! Having an emergency snack in your gym kit can go a long way to helping you achieve your goals. This snack can serve the purpose of either being consumed before or after a workout –helping you to either fuel your workout or replenish your glycogen stores after it, depending on when you choose to eat it. Not to forget, a snack can also help rid you of the ravenous beast that tends to rear its head around 20 minutes after a workout – so having a calculated healthy snack in your bag is one of the best ways to keep that beast tamed and stick to your goals.