What to Take to the Gym
If you’ve just joined a gym in an attempt to improve your health and get fitter, firstly: congratulations! You’ve made an excellent decision and a very positive step towards a new, healthy you. Gyms are the perfect place to kick-start your health regime, whether you’re in the Sussex countryside or the heart of central London. Wherever you are and whichever gym you’ve chosen, there are some essentials you’ll need to pack into your gym kit, so check out our list to make sure you’re fully prepared for your fitness kick.
Firstly, you need to think about your sportswear. You’ll be working hard, so expect to sweat and get hot. That means you should try to avoid thick, heavy fabrics which will annoy you and make you hotter. Go for shorts or tracksuit bottoms in a lightweight, specialist sports fabric, and make sure they’re loose enough for you to move comfortably but not so loose that the material will get caught up in the equipment.
Sturdy footwear is a must. While some of the classes may require you to go barefoot, to use the equipment you should have some well-fitting sports trainers with a durable sole and lots of grip. Fashion trainers won’t provide enough support. Also consider taking some spare socks if you’re planning an intense workout and want to keep your shoes immaculate.
If you have any health problems, such as asthma or diabetes, make sure you have enough of your medication with you in case you run into any problems. Exercise can trigger asthma attacks or lead to spells of hypoglycaemia, so make sure you have a spare inhaler or some extra fast-acting glucose to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Water is an essential for the gym. If you prefer your drinks to have a little more flavour, isotonic sports drinks are a good substitute. This keeps you hydrated and replaces all the fluids lost during exercise. Dehydration will tire you out faster and is bad for your health in the long run, so to ensure you can keep going for as long as you need, make sure you have enough water.
Lots of gyms request that you bring your own towel to wipe down equipment after you’ve used it, so throw a hand towel in your bag just in case. You might want another one to wipe away any sweat from your body. Shower gel and shampoo are other essentials to bring along for the showers post-workout. Not all gyms provide padlocks for their lockers, so bring one along so that you don’t feel inclined to leave your items somewhere that isn’t secure.
Tara Stephenson is a fitness fanatic with a mild addiction to her local gym