6 Things You Should Have in Your Gym Bag
Sometimes it seems as though fitness is equal parts sweat and style. From fashion accessories to tech tools, there's never a shortage of products promising to help us get in shape — or at least ensure we look good trying.
Despite a solid sales pitch and hefty price tag, no product can deliver the results we're after. Like it or not, deep down we know that changing our habits and transforming our body takes a whole lot of hard work. Fortunately for us, effort isn't all that expensive. While working out requires that we work up our willpower, results are always within reach.
It's been said before, and it's worth repeating, that showing up is half the battle. When it comes to getting in shape, this statement certainly holds true. It also takes time to prepare for battle. And remember, in the battle to build a better body, it's best to come equipped with the right weapons — or in this case, tools.
With that in mind, we've whipped up a list of must-have items that should live in your gym bag, serving as your exercise accessory arsenal.
- A notebook. Walking into the gym without a plan is like going on a road trip without a map — you're bound to get lost. Make a plan for your workouts. Set goals. Then track them with a pen and paper. If you want to use technology to accomplish the same objective, great. But you don't need it to achieve your goals.
- A water bottle or shaker cup. We might be able to question the need for fitness technology, but there's no debating the body's need for water. So come prepared with a bottle or shaker cup. If you're going the shaker route, you may also elect to pack some protein or other supplements. Like the technology debate, the need for supplements is still unclear. But they could play a role in helping you ramp up and recover from a workout.
- Music. This next one is pretty clear — music can increase your performance during a workout. Upbeat, high-tempo music can improve intensity, endurance and strength. We're not just saying that either, it's a scientific fact. So load up your phone or iPod with some workout jams to jumpstart your fitness routine.
- Jump rope. There's no sales pitch here. No technology either. Just a rope with handles. It's perfect for perfecting your footwork, a heart pumping warm-up or high-intensity intervals during an exercise circuit. Plus, it's a go-anywhere workout tool that can be utilized along with bodyweight exercises for a gym-less workout.
- Foam roller and/or a lacrosse ball. Exercise is essential, but so is recovery and proper preparation. That's why we warm up and stretch. But stretching isn't always the answer. What we really need is to mobilize our muscles. Using a lacrosse ball or foam roller to break-up scar tissue and loosen ligaments is a surefire way to improve performance and reduce soreness.
- VooDoo floss. Speaking of recovery, consider compression as another means of making the most of your muscles and getting more from every movement. Using VooDoo Floss bands— a form of compression tack — you can compress the swelling out of joints and muscles by wrapping these elastic-like bands around ailing extremities.
With these six items packed securely in your gym bag, alongside your workout shoes and clothes, you'll always be ready to plan, prepare and perform a stellar sweat session.