A quick guide to essential fitness wear

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When I first started going to the gym, I thought that I need nothing besides my old comfy sweatpants and favorite sneakers. Luckily, things changed and I learned a lot about what you should and should not take with you. Today I not only know what is recommended, but I have my preferences and can see and feel the difference between different protein bars and clothing brands. Here is a quick overview of the things I carry with me on a gym route.

Sneakers

While it may seem like a good idea to wear your favorite old sneakers to the gym, you will only risk an injury instead. Get a new pair which you will use just for the gym. It’s important they fit you well and that they are clean.

If you are a runner, you will need a pair of running shoes, and these you should swap every three or four months, otherwise you can wear them longer.

Shirt and leggings

When I first started going to the gym I was a real rookie and thought that my old oversized T-shirt and cotton sweatpants are a good choice. While they were incredibly comfortable, I swapped them for amazing women’s gymwear. These clothes don’t move and will not show my stomach or legs when I’m working out, which is always a good thing. I also discovered they allow me to move more freely and I actually feel more confident in a pair of workout leggings than sweatpants.

Water bottle

There are days when I simply forget to bring my water bottle, so I buy one at the counter of the gym. However, I caught myself doing it more often than I like, so I invested in a FuelBelt water bottle which seldom leaves my gym bag. I prepare a shake or fill the bottle before I leave home and always check if it’s in my bag when I’m going home. I also try not to drink too much water while working out, just a sip or two, especially when I’m working on my abs, otherwise I feel a bit sick.

Snack

I sometimes cannot make it to lunch afterwards, or simply feel very hungry after an intense workout, so I make sure I have a protein bar in my bag just in case. My favorite are Combat Crunch Bars, because they are gluten-free, and besides, the cinnamon twist is delicious. Whenever I can I make my own protein bars because that way I can mix the ingredients I like best: dark chocolate, orange, and coconut. If you don’t have time to make your own, there are a lot of protein bars which you can buy, just make sure you check the list of ingredients first, you don’t want something you’re allergic to.

Towel

We go to the gym to work out, and while we do it we sweat, a lot, so it’s only natural that you want the equipment you use to stay dry after you have used it. Put a towel around your neck while using the treadmill or riding a stationary bike, dry your hands before and after you use weights, and wipe the bench after you get up. These simple acts make the gym a cleaner and safer place, and show that you are aware of other people there.

There will be days when you will forget your towel, water bottle, or your headphones. Being responsible is important and you should always make sure you have all your things with you before you leave your home, and even if you forget something don’t allow it to ruin your workout – go for it and don’t skip practice, you will be happy about this decision later.

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Norah is a fitness junkie addicted to jogging. She can be found on most days with pen and paper in hand (she is hopelessly outdated at times), jotting down her thoughts. She drinks excessive amounts of tea and raspberry juice, collects running shoes and would feel naked without nail polish.