What should you bring to the gym other than your sneakers and some clothes that you can break a sweat in? To help make every workout successful and enjoyable, here are five items to bring along with you.
- Headphones – Nobody wants to hear Kanye West blasting through your headphones while you’re on the rowing machine. But listening to music while your exercise is important – just do it at a volume that won’t make you half-deaf! It’ll help get you through a tough workout and keep you from getting bored. One of my favorite ways to workout is to push your hardest during each chorus and recover during the rest of the song. By the time your favorite playlist is over, an hour will have already passed and it’ll be time to hit the shower.
- Water Bottle – Drinking water while you exercise is essential. Of course, you need to hydrate before working out, but continue to do so while you’re sweating buckets. This will keep your energy high and body fueled. If you’re working out for more than an hour, consider filling your water bottle with a sports drink!
- Towel – This one is easy. You don’t even have to remember to throw one into your bag. You can check out a towel at the gym! When you hand over your One Card to be swiped into the gym, ask for a towel. Then simply return it when you leave – and be sure to have an employee swipe your card again or you might get charged!
- Smart Phone – Ignore the texts and Facebook notifications. Click here to check out some the latest and greatest apps for your workout. Your phone can be a great tool to keep you focused on your goals and to help you see results quicker!
- Snack – If you’re hitting up the gym between classes or have a meeting to go to after your sweat session, you may not have time to stop by your dorm and grab a bite to eat. Post-workout nutrition is incredibly important! Getting a combination of carbohydrates and protein (ideally a 3:1 ratio) will help your muscles recover and rebuild. Pack a protein bar, a small turkey sandwich or some trail mix. After you finish on the treadmill and head out the door to whatever your next appointment is, eat a little something.
If you’ve got all these items packed, you will be rockin’ your next workout at the gym. Another thing that doesn’t hurt to pack – something to read. You can pick up the Fall edition of the Tar Heel Tone Up magazine after school starts at the SRC or RHRC. It’ll inform you about fitness classes and trips being offered, nutrition advice and the latest Campus Rec news! So throw these items in your gym bag and head over for a better and more exciting workout!