Going to the gym without the best fitness gear is like pumping low-grade fuel into your car’s gas tank. Here’s the best gear you have to get now.
You’ve had a long week of work, and you want to lace up those sneakers and hit the gym. It’s time to get off the couch and make yourself look good and feel better with a productive workout. You don’t need to bring the kitchen sink for a successful time at the local gym. But, there are some must-haves you don’t want to leave home without.
Whether you’re a diehard gym junkie, recovering from an injury or just an average Joe looking to burn off that chocolate cake, having the right gear will improve your experience and help you exercise with confidence. What follows are the fitness must-haves that are perfect for any body at any level.
You Need A Resourceful Gym Bag
Let’s start out with where you’re going to put all of your necessities. When it comes to picking out a gym bag, some people are simple. They like a small pouch for easy storage and less bulk. Others may like something more robust and with room for storage. Nonetheless, it’s important to have a bag with ventilation to keep that gym stink away. We advise you to go with a mid-sized duffel that combines moderate size with just enough room to store your shoes, spare clothes, and other gear.
Check out the Adidas Americana series for a duffel bag with a simple camo print design that has tons of storage features. It uses what Adidas calls climaproof technology to keep your gear protected and dry in wet conditions. It also includes a separate pocket to store shoes. This is almost a must-have based on what some of your gym shoes probably smell like.
Try out the Under Armour Storm Contain for a gym bag that doubles as a backpack for added use. It protects against water and has thin pockets to air out your gear after a long workout.
If you want something more upscale with a sleek design, check out Aer’s Duffle Pack. With its backpack style, it works for both the modern office and the gym. It features a ventilated shoe compartment, a laptop pocket and a large main pocket to store your gear. The bag is made of padded mesh and nylon for added comfort, too.
You Need Slick, Breathable Clothing
At the gym, it’s not just about looking good. You need to wear the right materials to feel comfortable. Stay away from baggy clothes or anything you wouldn’t want to ruin.
Avoid 100% cotton, too. Cotton absorbs moisture and takes a long time to dry. Not only will this make for an uncomfortable workout, but damp clothing can also increase chafing and give you the chills. Improper clothing may also limit your range of movement. This could be a cause for injury. You want to feel light and airy next time you slip into that gym outfit.
Look for thin, flexible fabrics made of nylon or similar materials that wick away sweat and help you stay cool. Having light clothing with proper ventilation also helps to tame body odor and make for a more relaxing time in the gym.
Active clothing is a huge industry.
Don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry. It’s not that hard. There are a couple of popular picks.
The Nike Pro series is always a common selection among gym junkies. With what Nike calls Dri-FIT fabric, the combo of polyester and spandex offers a natural feel and graceful comfort. Nike has modified versions of the technology for cold temperatures, a compression series that locks your body into place and even a line dedicated for workout recovery. The Dri-FIT technology keeps sweat away, reflects the sun and uses ventilation to keep you cool during those tough training sessions.
Under Armour is a company with a name that sells itself. We advise using the ultra-popular base-layer gear that uses microfibers to deliver a minimal feel without sacrificing comfort. The gear uses anti-odor technology to keep you fresh while you exercise. Under Armour also features base-layer products that are tailored to the elements too, so you can still exercise if you want to deal with wind, rain or the cold.
You Need Light and Durable Sneakers
Finding the perfect shoe is hard. You need something that looks great and performs well. Old sneakers with beat-up soles and bad arch support can damage your joints. No one wants to suffer from constant foot and ankle pain. A quality shoe needs to perform well and look great to boost your confidence. Whether you’re doing cardio or weightlifting, using the right shoe can be the difference between an effective workout and another trip to the foot doctor.
If you’re running, climbing stairs or riding a bike, you want a shoe that is lightweight and breathable. Your sneakers need to have plush cushioning and quality traction to give your legs a boost. Your feet are your shock absorbers. The right sneaker will show them appreciation.
This is also where size comes in. The perfect cardio sneaker should fit snug and won’t be a pain to put on or take off. You want a bit of wiggle room for flexibility and range of motion to prevent injuries. With that said, you don’t want so much that your feet blister from shifting and sliding too much.
Runner’s World praised the Saucony Hurricane Iso 2 in its spring shoe highlights. We think you should try it, too. Its dual layers hug the back of your foot, but allow your toes some room to move. A padded foam layer using EVERUN technology provides responsiveness and adds springy bounce by returning energy to your legs with every stride. Not only is it a great running shoe, but its stability and aggressive traction make it a good pick for cross-training too.
You could also check out the Nike Air Zoon Pegasus. That’s a line of shoe that is headed into its 33rd year! The Pegasus 32 features appeals to both those who value a barefoot ride and those who prefer more cushioned support. The traction helps to smooth out your foot-strike and the mesh design allows air to circulate through the shoe. The unique design uses overlapping cables to provide tension. This locks your foot in place for a secure ride.
The built-in cushioning that is helpful to cardio doesn’t exactly help with weightlifting. The proper weightlifting shoe will enhance your performance because it takes the force you generate from your lower body and transmits it to the focal point: Your muscles and the weights. You need a shoe that will help support your frame and promote good posture during your lifts to avoid muscle tears and strains. Proper weightlifting shoes have raised heels that allow you to squat into a deeper stance and generate more energy. They’re also more stable than a traditional shoe, so you have a consistent base for your feet.
Check out the Inov-8 Fastlift 335 model for a weightlifting shoe with a rock-sturdy base. It will give you comfort and security during your next lift. They fit snug but are lightweight enough to help you remain poised to finish those reps.
You Need A Good Water Bottle
If you’re heading out without your water bottle, you’re forgetting the most vital key to your health: Hydration. Simply put, fluids are your best friends. That’s why you should have a container that is resourceful and gets the job done. There are thousands of water bottles. Some are old-fashioned, while others are futuristic with gadgets.
Polar’s insulated water bottles are a fan favorite. They’re BPA free, made in the USA and have a lifetime guarantee. They’re safe for the dishwasher and freezer. The insulation technology features a foil layer to reflect solar rays and keep your liquids cool.
If you’re using a powder or drink mix, you can’t go wrong with the classic BlenderBottle. It uses a stainless-steel wire whisk ball to evenly combine a mixture with liquid. The bottles are dishwasher safe and good for mixing protein shakes, smoothies, and even pancake batter. They come in 20-ounce, 28-ounce and 32-ounce sizing options.
Perhaps you’re in the mood for a fruity twist. Check out the FruitFused brand for a bottle that combines the functionality of a fruit infuser with the portability of a classic water bottle. The container is leak proof and offers a 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy. Simply add fruits or tea to the infuser capsule, fill the bottle with water and let the container do its magic. It is also a great alternative to buying sports drinks or sodas that are loaded with sugars and sweeteners.
Supplements Will Fuel Progress
We realize supplements and formulas may not be for everyone. Some people like old-fashion progress. Still, the use of vitamins and supplements is a growing industry. According to CBS news, more than half of adults take supplements, whether it’s to stay healthy, lose weight or gain a performance advantage.
With thousands of pills and powders, it can get pretty confusing. But, just because a supplement is available that doesn’t make it effective. It’s important to know what you should be consuming, whether you seek pre-workout energy, need to lose some fat or just want to help your muscles recover. With every supplement, it’s important to remember that your diet affects results.
Protein is your best friend for weightlifting. We advise using a high-quality whey powder that helps promote fat-burning while maintaining your muscle growth. Try to get at least 24 grams of protein per serving. If you’re worried about taste, don’t forget that there are ones without a chalky protein flavor. You’ll want to find one that you like.
Protein can come in many flavors. You could get flavors like milk chocolate, cappuccino and rocky road that get the job done and taste great. Simply combine it with water or milk, shake for 30 to 45 seconds and you’re ready to go.
Creatine is another supplement you should keep an eye on. It helps produce energy, which allows your muscles to maintain form. Creatine helps your body lose fat when combined with resistance training and also allows you to boost strength and power output. Like whey protein, it can be taken before or after a workout. But, a study in the Journal Of International Society Of Sports Nutrition found that taking it post-workout yielded more benefits. It’s also very cheap and comes in different sizing options.
If burning fat is your goal, green tea extract has proven to be an ingredient that works wonders. It features an ingredient called epogallocatechin-3-gallate (otherwise known as EGCG) that may activate special fat cells to promote weight loss. A study by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a dose of green tea extract could boost fat oxidation by 33%. It also doubles as an anti-aging ingredient that can promote long living, brain health and heart health.
These Are Some Other Fitness Gear Things To Get
Also, don’t forget to pack an extra towel in your bag, a quality two-in-one soap, and effective deodorant to give yourself a fresh cleanse if you’re headed to work or have a dinner date you’re scurrying to.
Store your gear in a mid-sized duffel in the back seat of your car for easy convenience and preparedness. Breathable, lightweight fabrics will have your body feeling fresh as you hammer out those last few sets. Plush shoes will have your feet singing with every step.
Whether you like shakes, smoothies or good, old water, don’t forget to hydrate to replenish nutrients. If you’re working hard enough, you’ll need to replenish nutrients too, so bring along some natural supplements or protein powder to get your body mean and lean.
Going to the gym is about progress as much as it is about process. Knowing the right info will give way to a better experience. Hopefully, you follow our advice to give yourself a better chance to finish your workouts with an upbeat attitude and a smile on your face.
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