Having the right gear in your gym bag will ensure a productive workout session. Here are a few must-haves to make sure that your workout goes as smoothly as possible:
The right clothes
Go for lightweight, quick-drying and well-fitted clothing. Stay away from workout clothes that are 100% cotton fabric – although this might seem like a comfortable option, the fabric traps perspiration and dries slowly. Trade your cotton clothing for synthetics that are designed to draw moisture away from the skin to ensure optimal evaporation.
It’s really important to find the right shoes for your type of training – whether you’re a boxer, runner, cyclist or lifter. Sufficient support can contribute to stability and alleviate pressure on your back and knees.
Music & earphones
Training to music is a personal preference - some people enjoy the silence, while others find that it keeps them motivated. Train to music of your taste and create a personalised playlist suited to your routine.
Headphones and earphones should fit comfortably and be light. Choose a volume level that allows you to be aware of your surroundings and one that helps you monitor your breathing and rhythm while working out.
A pre-workout snack
Registered Dietician at Virgin Active South Africa, Sandi van Zyl recommends eating a light meal 1-2 hours before your workout. If you’re short on time, a snack just before you work out will also do.
Sandi says: “Choose something that is relatively low in fibre and fat, so that you don’t feel too full/bloated during your exercise session”. A quick meal could be oats with half a cup of berries - this will give you a good dose of carbs, needed to give your body enough energy to burn during the session.
A ¾ cup of full fat Greek yoghurt with a spoon or two of granola and half a cup of berries works for a quick snack.
Something to drink
Water is a definite non-negotiable. Infuser water bottles encourage people who don’t usually drink lots of water to drink more by adding flavour to the water. The whole fruit is usually removed once it has diffused for at least 4 hours.
A towel is a simple, but necessary accessory one often forgets to pack. We all know that sweat is normal, but no one wants to sit in yours! Get a compact, durable towel that provides maximum sweat absorption. Ideally, get one with a small pocket and zip; useful to keep your phone or important belongings inside and with you at all times during your workout.