There are no shortages of gym gear fads that enjoy brief cloudbursts of popularity and then fade into obscurity. The reason for this fleeting existence is simple: they aren’t necessary. Sure, you can get a hat with a fan attached to it, or shoes that light up when you start running, but none of these features will truly enhance your performance by any measurable amount.
The products that will make your time working out more enjoyable can be whittled down to a few essential items. These are the things that can make or break your workout, helping you crush your goals and get the best results possible.
What are they? Read on to find out.
- Training Shoes
Sure, there are definite benefits to exercising barefoot, including increasing core strength, ankle and foot stability, and even decreasing the risk of ankle, knee and back injuries, but when you’re working out in a public space, it’s best to wear footwear. In addition to the billions of bacteria on gym floors, you’ve also got people dropping weights, so you don’t want to have your tender tootsies crushed. This is only one of the reasons you need shoes.
Shoes can also help you increase your athletic performance and are particularly useful for beginners who need more support as they learn basic moves like squats and lunges. For people of any fitness level with injuries, shoes can also cushion joints and ligaments, protecting them from becoming further injured.
- Sports Wear
Even if you’re not into competitive sports, quality sportswear can do wonders to increase your confidence and comfort as you workout. Not only does the best gym clothing look amazing (and make your body look amazing), but it is designed with the latest in sportswear technology, helping to keep you cool, dry and chafe free. It will also help facilitate a complete range of motion, so you’ll never feel constricted, but will always feel supported.
- Water Bottle
Seems obvious, right? Well, as obvious as it may seem, a water bottle is something many of us forget. Hence why gyms make a killing selling water bottles at the front desk. Invest in a good quality thermal water bottle once, and it will last you for years. Make it gym specific. Don’t take it out for work, or for a weekend walk around the city. If you do, it may never make its way back into your gym bag. Your gym specific bottle should ONLY come out of your bag to be washed. Then, it goes right back in. Got it?
Most gyms provide wipe-down materials so you can clean equipment after you use it, but you will also want to bring a towel of your own to wipe yourself down. There’s nothing quite as annoying (and painful and embarrassing) as running yourself off the treadmill because you get stinging sweat in your eyes. Trust me.
Some may argue that music is not essential, but anyone who’s ever had to workout beside a grinder and grunter knows how distracting and distressing gym noises can be. Downloading some of your favourite tunes onto your phone or iPOD can work wonders to drown out the noise. And studies show that music can significantly increase your performance during exercise, helping you to torch more calories, build more muscle and burn more fat.
The best part of these gym essentials is that they are not cost prohibitive. You can fit yourself out for amazing workouts for years to come for a couple hundred dollars. At the end of the day, that’s money well-invested in your health.