Compared to packing a vacation bag, packing a bag for the gym seems relatively simple. What more do you need than workout shoes, workout clothes, a change of clothes for afterwards? Easy enough, right?
Wrong, as it turns out. Ask anybody who goes to the gym everyday and they’ll tell you that they’ve arrived at the gym only to realize they didn’t have the one thing they needed. It’s frustrating, especially if it’s a small item that throws off an entire workout.
Beyond the most obvious things to bring to the gym, there are scores of others that might escape consideration. Some are purely for convenience’s sake while some can help you succeed. Here are just a few that can make your gym experience more pleasant.
Bringing a partner to the gym increases your chances of meeting your exercise goals. Having somebody to help drive you, to compare workout notes with, or even to commiserate about how sore you are will provide a tremendous help. Finding somebody might be difficult, but it will be well worth it. Ask friends, family, or even coworkers.
No, not for reading. Bring a few pages, ball them up, and stuff them in your shoes. Why? Newspaper absorbs the moisture leftover from your workout, the same moisture that causes your sneakers to have an offensive smell. Stop the sneaker smell, and you’ll keep your gym bag smelling much better.
Not every gym and health club provide their members with complimentary towels to work out with. If yours is one of those that doesn’t, make sure you pack your own. Wipe the machines down when you’re done so that somebody else doesn’t have to lay in your sweat puddle. Plus, you can wipe yourself off with it too.
The days of members being assigned lockers are a thing of the past. The majority of clubs today have lockers meant for use only while you’re physically in the gym. Find an empty one, put your bag in there, throw a lock on it, and take it when you’re done. Don’t be the person who leaves your keys, phone, and wallet in an unlocked locker.
See how everybody gets in the shower right after their workout, with their sweaty feet pulled from sneakers barely a minute before? They’re all potentially carrying any number of fungi, including athlete’s foot. If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience the itchy, burning sensations that come with it, consider yourself lucky. Buying a cheap pair of flip flops is better than buying anti-fungal cream.
A. Orien Avery is a freelance writer as well as a Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. His work has appeared on sites such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Health, and Yahoo UK News.
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