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Essential Health Club Gear

June 17th, 2010 No comments

What you need to make the most of your gym time

Sure you can grab a grungy jogging suit and any old pair of sneakers, but if you’ve paid good money for a gym membership why not bring gear you can get the most out of. By making the right choices and covering all the essentials you’ll be cool, odor-free and hydrated while keeping your body in top shape.

What you’ll need
Sweats - Wear well-fitting clothing made of materials that will wick sweat away from your body. This is especially important in the underwear department. Cotton is the best choice. Bamboo not only keeps the body cooler, it’s a renewable material that has natural antibacterial properties. Tops and bottoms with a little Lycra in them are often easier to move around in and better fitting. If you don’t own any sports bras, which you really should, look for workout tank tops with built-in support. You’re gonna need it on the elliptical.
Runners - Choosing the best running shoes is a process in itself. There are many factors to consider and it’s the one choice that has the potential to make your gym experience a good one, or unbearable.
Water bottle - It’s important to keep hydrated while working out. Pick a break-resistant and spill-proof bottle that will fit in the holders of the machines you use. Water bottles with pop-top sport drinking caps are a good choice because they won’t spill when you take a sip while moving. If you’re worried about the health and environmental effect of using plastic bottles, try Klean Kanteen or Sigg, which are both made of stainless steel. Fits ice, dishwasher.
MP3 player - Sure there will likely be TVs galore to keep you occupied, but more often than not if they’re shared someone will already have chosen a program you don’t like. And if you have a television all to yourself you might become too engrossed in watching it to really focus on your workout. Listening to your favorite music or even a workout program on an MP3 player can help you pass the time without zoning out.
Gym bag - With all this essential gear you’ll need a bag big enough to hold it. Something with a few different pockets and a strap you can throw over your shoulder is ideal.

Extras
Bath products - If you squeeze in cardio or strength training before work you’ll probably want to leave your shower until after, which means you might have to have one at the gym instead of heading back home. Bring a waterproof bag packed with small bottles of shampoo and conditioner, body wash and a pair of flip flops. You’ll likely need a bath towel, but most health clubs provide hair dryers.
Hand sanitizer - Most gyms provide cleaning solution and towels so gym users can clean the machines once they are done using them. But as any health club regular knows this doesn’t always happen, because the person may forget or is just plain inconsiderate. That’s why it’s a good idea to clean machines before you use them. Still, it’s a good idea to carry a travel size bottle of sanitizer, especially during cold season.