In 2017, more than 60 million of us had gym and health club memberships.
With more and more people going to the gym, finding time and space for your workout outside of your dental practice hours is getting harder. But you can make life easier for yourself.
By packing the right items in your gym bag you can ensure that your time at the gym goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. And you can also be sure that you’ll leave the gym looking and smelling great!
So read on as we take a look at 15 gym bag essentials.
1. Water Bottle
Keeping hydrated when exercising is vital.
If you’re working out right, you’re going to sweat. If you don’t replace the fluid that you’re sweating out, you’re going to become dehydrated. This makes your blood harder to pump through your body and puts additional strain on your heart.
The first item in your gym bag every time should be a water bottle. There are thousands of different shapes and styles out there these days. We would recommend a BPA free bottle, and you might consider a bottle with a built-in filter to remove any impurities.
A key part to any workout is keeping motivation.
If you want to experience the physical and mental benefits of exercise, then you need to stick with it. And listening to music can really help to push you to do those extra reps or final mile.
Wired headphones can be a bit of a nuisance when you’re working out. We would recommend a good set of wireless Bluetooth headphones. They’ll allow you the freedom of movement for a great workout, but will still let you pump out your favorite workout playlist.
Sweat is good. But it doesn’t smell so good.
In an ideal world, we’d be able to work out and then take the time for a nice long shower, before spending half an hour getting dressed and sorting out our hair and makeup. In reality, we’ve probably got 5 minutes before we need to be back at work or to get home.
Deodorant can help to cover the evidence of your strenuous workout, particularly if you make good use of the next item in our list.
Wipes are ideal for freshening up in a hurry.
By using wipes to remove sweat from the worst offending areas such as your armpits, you stop the sweat from drying and causing unpleasant smells. They’re the perfect solution if you don’t have time for a proper shower.
Wipes are also ideal if you’re going straight to the gym from work. You really don’t want to be that person on the treadmill with a full face of makeup running down your cheeks. A quick use of the wipes before you start and you’re good to go.
5. Fitness Tracker
A lot of gym equipment comes with its own displays to let you know how far you’ve gone or how long you’ve been exercising.
And whilst that information is very useful to have, you can’t take it with you. So unless you’re taking a notebook to the gym with you, you have no way of knowing if you’ve improved from one session to the next.
By using a fitness tracker, you can keep a log of all of your exercises, including sessions such as yoga or cardio classes where there is no readout of how long you’ve done or how hard you’ve worked. By comparing your stats from one session to the next, you can see the progress you’re making in your speed or stamina.
6. Heart Rate Monitor
Many fitness trackers, such as the Apple Watch, have a heart rate monitor built in. And those that don’t often have the option of syncing with a standalone heart rate monitor.
Using a heart rate monitor allows you to ensure that you’re working at the optimum heart rate for your desired goals. You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For moderate exercise, aim to work out at about 50-65% of your maximum heart rate, and for vigorous exercise, aim for 65-75%.
For more information about targeting your workouts to a specific zone, speak to a personal trainer.
7. Hair Essentials
Sweat and hair do not make a great combination.
If you don’t have time to wash and dry your hair after your workout, then there are a few items that can be a huge help. Dry shampoo is a must if you don’t want to look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backward.
Hair grips are also essential. If you plaster your hair tight to your head when you work out, the sweat will soak into it. Using hair grips to keep your hair fairly loose will mean that less of your hair comes into contact with sweat, meaning there is less work to do on it after your session.
A comfortable hair tie should also always be in your gym bag.
FOMO. It’s a real thing.
And whilst you might not want to be disturbed during your workout, having your phone with you at least gives you the option to be contactable if you need to be. It also allows you to bring your favorite motivational playlists with you to the gym, especially if you combine it with wireless earphones.
There are also a ton of great apps out there that can help you have the perfect workout or show you the correct form.
9. Workout Clothes
Having the right workout clothes can make a big difference.
Clothes that are comfortable to work out in are a must. Materials that are designed to absorb sweat make working out — and freshening up afterward — a much more pleasant experience.
At the very minimum, you need a comfortable sports bra, a sports top, and a good quality pair of leggings. Learn more about what to look for in a great pair of workout leggings.
Keeping an extra set of workout clothes with you is always a good idea, too.
Another item that can have a huge impact on your workout is your footwear.
The shoes you choose really depend on the type of activities you’ll be doing in the gym. If you just like to pound the treadmill, then you really need to invest in a pair of specialized running shoes as these will minimize both discomfort and the risk of injury.
But running shoes aren’t the ideal choice if you’re doing other kinds of workouts, such as cardio classes, where a more supportive shoe is better.
While every gym will supply lockers, these are never the most secure.
You’re likely to have valuable items with you such as jewelry, cash, and phones that you really don’t want anyone else getting their hands on. And while lockers offer some protection, their locks are usually not that sturdy.
Bringing your own padlock means that you can feel confident your belongings will be safe as you work out.
12. Hand Sanitizer
If you’re planning on using gym equipment such as weights, then hand sanitizer is a must.
Every other person who has used the equipment before you has their sweat all over it, and sweat is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Using hand sanitizer after you’ve been lifting weights will kill off anything harmful that might have been passed on.
Even if you don’t have time to shower after your sessions, you should definitely bring a towel.
Sweat dripping into your eyes can be painful as well as annoying. The more sweat you can towel off during a workout, the less you will have to deal with once your workout is over.
It’s also vital to have a towel if you’re using weights, as working out with sweaty hands can be very dangerous.
14. Grocery Bags
Sweaty clothes are not nice to have to carry around with you.
Bringing some empty grocery bags with you means that you don’t have get sweat over everything else in your gym bag. Your damp gym clothes can go straight into the grocery bag to be dealt with at home.
They’re also perfect for stashing those sweaty shoes and socks.
15. Shower Shoes
If you’re planning to shower at the gym, then be warned that they’re not the most hygienic of places.
The floor of the shower can get pretty gross and it’s all too easy to pick up infections. Taking a pair of shoes to wear in the shower, such as flip-flops, means that you don’t have to wade around in other people’s dirt.
Even Dentists Need Gym Bag Essentials
As a busy dentist, having the right gym bag essentials can save you time and stress.
And we have plenty more great articles for dentists, giving you tips and advice for life for both in and out of your dental practice. If you want to learn more about marketing your practice, dental career paths, or financing options then you’re in the right place!