Spring is here, knock, knock, knocking, and that only means one thing – summer will be here before you know it, and you do not want to meet it without your beach body ready to take on exotic summer destinations, the pool, or just to rock those sundresses and fitted tees. Yes ladies, you hear well, it is time to hit the gym (or whatever your version of the gym is). The thing is, even gym time requires some preparation, so for those who are just getting around to it, we have created the ultimate gym checklist. For those who are way ahead and have been devoted to shaping up for a while now, take a closer look, perhaps there is something in here you did not even know you needed in that gym bag.
First Things First
Before even thinking about heading to that treadmill, turn around and find yourself a pair of not good but GREAT sneakers because you will not get far without them. The reason the emphasis is on great is that this is a part of your sports equipment you do not want to be frugal with. Wrong sneakers will not provide you with the right bounce and support, nor will they protect your soles, specifically the heel area which endures the most stress during exercise. Your footwear needs to be soft but firm, and also light as you do not want clunky, heavy sneakers dragging your feet down.
The ABCs of Gym Wear
In order to have a great workout, you need the proper attire, and it has nothing to do with looking fancy or cute – it is all about practicality and efficiency (although cute can be a bonus). Essential gym wear for women includes great leggings, specially designed active wear that ensures you get the most out of your workout – sweat it out good – but still feel good in your skin. Besides the visible part of your workout gear, you need to make sure you pack a great sports bra or your session will turn into your worst nightmare. Try on several and see which gives you the most support and comfort at the same time.
No Hair Getting in the Way
If you are a gal rocking long hair, be sure to arrive at the gym prepared to put your hair in a strong ponytail or a tight high bun. When you are about to get groove on with your stretches, squats, push-ups and everything else, the last thing you need is a hair attack, so hair ties, bandanas, bobby pins, whatever you have got, bring it on.
The ‘Just In Case Item’
Like it says in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – always carry your own towel. It is just a matter of decency and proper gym decorum. Even Khloé Kardashian, the queen of the revenge body, says so. This is a matter of common sense as you never know what types of germs are around you, so before you get on that mat, place your own towel on it. Besides, you will need it to dab your face every so often as you sweat it out.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
During a long and exhausting workout, your body loses a lot of fluid and it needs to be replenished in regular intervals. So, whether you carry your own bottle, make sure there is always enough water in your nearest proximity. Bonus tip: do not wait to get thirsty as that means you are already dehydrated.
Pump Up the Jam
Every great workout needs a good soundtrack, so load up your iPod with all the kickass tunes and jams that get you really pumped and jammed about your exercise. Not only will they motivate you more, but they will simply make your session all the more fun.
Part of your post (and even more importantly pre) workout routine is a good deodorant. It is a matter of decency and consideration for those around you. Once you are done and have hopped in the shower, you will need it to stay fresh. Second on your list are healthy snacks. Most people get hungry after a gym session, so be sure to keep some almonds or anything healthy and not calorie-loaded to satisfy your hunger in a healthy way. If you have places to be after the gym, then by all means, pack your Sebamed body wash, lotion and some tinted cream. You deserve to look fresh wherever you are going to afterward. Let us of course not forget about the glue that holds it all together – the gym bag. Pick something large enough to accommodate all your stuff, but also nice looking for when you carry it down the street. Now you are ready to shape up and put your best body forward.