If you work out somewhere other than your home, you need to keep your gym bag stocked. These items will make working out more fun, comfortable and healthier. Check it out…
- Clothes that make you look and feel good, not self-conscious or dumpy!
- Flip-flops for the shower, to decrease your chance of getting fungi.
- Gloves for weight lifting (to avoid calluses and cuts; also lessens the chance of spreading and getting germs).
- A towel. Bring your own even if the gym provides one. Gyms don’t always use enough detergent and high enough temperatures to kill MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureui).
- A stretch headband, to prevent sweaty hair from falling in your face while you’re running or doing downward dog.
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Heart rate monitor. Keep rate at 80 percent of the maximum, which is 220 minus your age, for most of your cardio workout. Push to maximum heart rate for the last minute of every 10—with your doctor’s approval.
- Music! Keep the volume under 85 decibels. This is about a six or seven on most handheld audio players.
- Bandages for blisters.
- Plastic bag, which you can fill with ice, for injuries.
- Refillable water bottle. This isn’t just for your gym bag, but we love bottles that are BPA-free, hold 20 ounces of liquid and are easy to clean.
- A mini-bottle of hand sanitizer, to use after workout—you’ve been gripping dirty, sweaty handles.
- Travel-size shower products (especially facial cleanser!) are a must for your post-workout rinse. You’ll want to clear away dirt and bacteria from your skin and reapply sunscreen before going outside again.
- Face wipes. For times when you’re showering at home, or not directly after a workout (kind of gross, but true). Facial cleansing wipes are a must, and you can use them on your body, in a pinch.
MORE: Exercise: A Day in the Life