Heading into the gym this summer?
With temperatures soaring and the Melbourne sun emerging in full force, working out within the comfort of a fully-equipped, air conditioned gym has never been more enticing. But you’ll have to arrive prepared – keep reading for the seven most vital gym bag essentials you should put in your gym bag, right now.
A key staple of any regular gym-goer’s equipment, a comfortable pair of headphones can turn an average workout into a phenomenal one. Raise the volume, shuffle your favourite playlist and breathe a sigh of relief as the worries of the world around you subside.
If you want to get super savvy with your gym music, you can adjust the tempo to suit your specific workout activity. Running on the treadmill? You’re looking at 145 to 160 beats per minute (bpm). Think ‘Hey Ya!’ by OutKast and ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters. Lifting weights? Something a bit slower, within the 130 to 140 bpm range, is ideal for your gym session today. Popular tracks include ‘Somebody Told Me’ by The Killers and ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster The People.
The value of a compact, absorbent gym towel cannot be overstated. Evade the frustrating towel rental fee, and avoid being that patron with the dreaded dripping face. This is also the perfect way to manage those persistent sweat-marks on your yoga mat. Never throw the towel in again, it’s one of the gym bag essentials.
3. Skipping Rope
A skipping rope is perhaps the easiest way to boost the intensity of your workout. It’s easy to transport and boasts all-round health benefits. Research has found that jumping rope improves coordination, increases bone density and aids in strengthening spacial awareness.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that skipping will burn more calories than jogging over the course of thirty minutes. So be sure to add this to your list of gym bag essentials.
4. Heart Rate Monitor
Particularly in summer months, a heart rate monitor can be a pivotal indication of the intensity of your workout and the strain that your body is under.
Your maximum heart rate can be found by subtracting your age from 220. In general, your target heart rate should sit between 50 and 85 percent of this maximum. Working out at any rate above the upper target threshold increases the risk of injury and offers no further fitness benefit.
Heart rate monitors are available for purchase in two different forms.
Chest-strap monitors involve a belt which is attached around your ribs, and a watch to display the data that is collected. They are generally considered to be the most accurate measure of one’s cardiovascular activity. Alternatively, wrist-based monitors sit upon your arm and determine your heart rate via an optical sensor.
5. Water Bottle
Nobody wants to run out of steam at the gym, because dehydration is detrimental to your athletic performance, inducing muscle fatigue/cramps and an inability to regulate body temperature.
Common signs of dehydration include;
- spikes in heart rate
- dizziness / lightheaded
- dark urine
Bring a bottle of water inside the gym with you to drink before, during and after your workout. Your body is happiest when it’s hydrated.
Another gym bag essential, post workout nutrition counteracts the muscle carbohydrate depletion which occurs throughout your session, fostering the repair of muscle tissues and restoring glycogen levels.
Protein bars and/or shakes are popular choices for many gym patrons. High protein consumption is necessary to stimulate muscle growth and assist in your body’s recovery post workout. Protein intake will vary depending upon individual factors such as age, weight, lifestyle and gender. It is paramount to understand your fitness goals and set clear intentions before starting any training program, as your nutrition needs will alter in accordance with your ultimate aim.
If in doubt, one of our highly-trained professionals can create a bespoke nutrition and supplement plan that is specifically tailored to your body and its unique needs.
Last but certainly not least, every gym-goer needs a spare can of deodorant in their duffle. There is nothing worse than the sweaty stench of somebody who has forgotten this crucial step in their workout routine, particularly in warmer weather. You’ll have no need to sweat the small stuff with an extra can constantly on hand.
Enjoy your time spent at the gym this summer – we hope that these gym bag essentials are able to maximise your next workout!
Please remember that any form of exercise may be inherently dangerous. For assistance in injury prevention, pain management or any other issue of health/fitness concern, please do not hesitate to contact our Reservoir, Doreen and Melbourne CBD teams on 03 9470 1010. Also be sure to follow us on our various social media channels.