Make sure you are properly prepared for your gym, swim, class or sporting event.
Some great tips on what to wear and bring to your fitness session
With more and more people joining FIT4 we decided to list out the key items you’ll need each week to make sure you are properly prepared for your gym, swim, class or sporting event.
If you’re not properly prepared, you’ll skip days. If you’re skipping days, you will inevitably break the habit. Pretty soon a month will have flown by and you’ll find yourself wondering why you’re still paying for a gym membership you never use.
An easy way to start your journey is to prepare fully before you start. We’d hate it if a few excuses about not having the right kit meant you weren’t working toward that goal you’ve wanted for so long!
First things first….
The construction of your gym bag can be just as important as its contents. A good bag should be durable, easy to clean, and have enough space to hold all the necessities. Especially if you’re bringing your gym bag to work, you’ll want to choose something that is sleek and inconspicuous. Your bag of choice doesn’t have to be made specifically for the gym either, as long as it functions every day for what you need.
Shorts, Joggers or leggings
Most sports companies will have you believe that the clothing you wear in the gym has a dramatic impact on your results. Don’t believe the hype. You do NOT need to be dripping in the latest designer gear just to break a sweat. Ideally, your shorts, joggers or leggings should be lightweight, breathable and fast drying. They should also be relatively durable as over time they will get a lot of wear and tear. Try stocking up on a few pairs so you are never in need for the last minute workout.
Any simple cotton t-shirt will do just fine as long as it fits comfortably. But other than socks, shirts tend to get dirty the fastest, so make sure have enough and make sure they are easy to wash. Some dry fit tops are designed to be washed on cool temps so when purchasing your items ensure you read the label carefully. Improper cleaning of some items can actually lead to them smelling WORSE.
Underwear & Socks
This one is not up for debate. Please do yourself a favour and have plenty of fresh underwear on hand. This is a must if you’re working out midday and heading back to the office instead of straight home.
Socks really shouldn’t be worn more than once, so having a few extra on hand should go without saying. They don’t take up much space in your bag, so why not stock up? We recommend cushioned black or gray athletic socks that really hug your feet. Ill-fitting socks lead to blisters if you spend a lot of time on the treadmill.
A decent pair of running or cross-training shoes should last you for at least a year, so make the investment in something durable, and supportive. If you are attending some classes or sports events where you have a lot of lateral movement (side to side) make sure your trainer of choice is able to tolerate those movements and still provide support.
If you are lifting heavy weights as part of a strength training plan then perhaps a more specialised shoe is needed, ideally with minimal to zero, ‘heel toe drop’.
Wash bag, towel & padlock
A small towel is great for you when you need to wipe the sweat from your eyes or dry your hands before hitting the weights. It can also be used to wipe down equipment after you’re finished using it. Using one is common courtesy among gym-goers.
Whether you fit your workout in before you start your day, during your lunch hour, or after the sun goes down, most workouts will require a shower after. If you aren’t able to head straight home after you sweat it out, make sure these items are in your bag.
A fully-stocked gym bag will likely be too large for the complimentary smaller lockers found in most gyms. Make sure to bring a lock so you can stash your bag in the bigger lockers. It will fit your personal items better and you won’t have to worry about how secure your stuff is.
Whether you like to listen to music, watch videos or listen to podcasts, having something to listen will motivate you to stay at the gym for that hour.
Without headphones, your workout can feel like it’s dragging on so make sure to toss a pair in your bag.
You lose quite a bit of water while working out and it’s important to stay hydrated both during your workout and while recovering. That makes bringing a water bottle a no-brainer and the easiest way to prompt you to continue to drink your daily intake requirement.
While there is some debate as to the accuracy of the data fitness trackers collect and track, (especially around calories burnt), they do have multiple useful functions. Chief among them is the reminder to exercise and move. Some studies have shown that the simple act of wearing a fitness tracker, people got more steps in on average per day, then those that abstain from wearing them. If staying active and building consistent habits is your goal, then they could provide a much needed kick when you don’t feel very motivated.