The hour or 30 minutes you spend at the gym might be the only time you get to yourself in the day. This is your chance to really make the most of it. You want to make sure you have the essentials so you can get the best experience every time you hit the weights. Bring along these top 5 gym bag must-haves to get the greatest benefit for your workout.
This is one of the most overlooked components of a successful workout. It's not exactly a must, but it will make your workout more exciting. Music has been shown to help people focus during their workouts which is absolutely essential for appropriate mind muscle connection. According to Livestrong.com, "Workout music can help you survive a tough cardio workout. Costas Karageorghis, a sport and exercise psychologist at Brunel University in England, notes that music can distract and relax you during challenging exercise and therefore reduce your feelings of fatigue."
The more you can focus and are in tune with your muscles during your workout, the more productive each individual workout will be. Make sure you have your music player loaded with all the songs that get you pumped. Everyone loves having their own soundtrack!
This is a no-brainer. You may not realize it, but you are losing a lot of water when you sweat it out at the gym. You could lose up to two pounds of water in an extremely intense session at the gym and your body will notice. Keeping hydrated is critical to exercise success. Make sure you have your water bottle with you at the gym so you keep replenishing your cells with water for every drop you lose. This will also help to keep your energy high so you start strong and finish strong.
For anyone who makes a habit of going to the gym and lifting weights often, they know that without gloves your hands will surely suffer. The metal of the bars rubs against your palms creating rough calluses that are unattractive to say the least. Gloves also give you better grip so you won't be distracted by discomfort on sensitive skin and can lift more weight for longer periods. You won't have to stop because your hands hurt.
- Heart Rate Monitor
One of the newest and most popular innovations to hit the growing fitness market, heart rate monitors have taken working out to new levels. Now by wearing an inconspicuous watch or armband with a built in system that monitors your heart rate, you can actually see how many calories you are burning during your workouts. Also, if your physician has recommended that you hit a certain target heart rate zone, a monitor helps for accurate measurement. Several brands are available with features like a pedometer and GPS tracking, and the pricing can vary from $30-$300.
- Workout Journal
You're likely familiar with a food journal, but start keeping a workout journal as well. It's good for monitoring your progress and making sure you're working everything you need to in your allotted time at the gym. Keeping a journal of your workouts gives you more control and can help you fit more into a smaller amount of time. Plus, you can see how far you have come since you started which can be very motivating. One of the most important tools for healthy and efficient weight loss is organization and accountability. The more you can control your workouts and food intake and hold yourself accountable, the more you can accomplish. You plan your appointments and schedule your work in, why not plan your workouts?
Now that you know what you need, you'll never again go to the gym unprepared. These additions will help you get the most out of your workout every time and you will see the results you want.