Recommended Workout Essentials
Now that the new year is here, everyone is looking to join a gym and/or begin a workout regimen to lose weight and get healthier. I have listed my workout essentials for women.
These are the things I believe are essential for success as you begin your journey.
1. Sports Bra
This is an absolute must for women! Don’t go into the gym with your $60 Victoria’s Secret bra. It isn’t designed to support “the girls” during strenuous activity, & why would you shorten the lifespan of your good bras?
Buy bras that are designed to support your boobies during your work out. Most sporting goods stores have sports bras, but for those of us who are well endowed, try stores who specialize in helping you find the right kind of bra. More and more stores are equipping their stores with professional bra fitters that will help you find the right size and fit for you. Enell.com, TitleNine.com, roadrunnersports.com, Amazon.com & Glamorise.com are good sites to try.
2. Workout Shoes
A good, comfortable pair of workout shoes is a must. Buy shoes dedicated to your craft. If you’re a runner, buy quality running shoes. If you’re a walker, buy quality walking shoes. If you do a little bit of everything, buy cross training shoes.
Let your feet do the talking. Try on both shoes, and walk and run in them to make sure they’re comfortable. Most sporting goods and athletic shoe stores have people who specialize in helping you find the right kind of shoe for the sport you specialize in. If their are no athletic shoe stores in your area or you’re on a budget, you can also purchase some quality workout shoes online.
3. HRM – Heart Rate Monitor
This will help gauge where you are and how hard your heart is working. You can calculate your target heart rate quickly by taking 220-your age. Then you take that number and multiply it by 65%. If you haven’t exercised before, or if you haven’t exercised in a long time, then this is where you would want to start. For example, if you’re 45 years old, you would subtract 220-45, which equals 175 beats per minute (BPM). This would be the maximum heart rate (MHR). Then you take 65% of your MHR, (175×65%), which equals 113.75 BPM. Round up to 114 BPM. This is the number you shouldn’t exceed when you start to exercise. You’ll find that as you consistently exercise, your body will adapt and your exercise will get easier at this rate. As this gets easier for you, you can shoot for 75% of your maximum heart rate and work your way up to 85%-90% of your MHR. The HRM will do all of these calculations for you and will warn you if your heart rate is too high or too low. Otherwise, the only way you will know your heart rate while you’re exercising is to check your pulse which will be somewhat difficult to do. But you can take your pulse while exercising for 10 seconds and multiplying by 6 to get your heart rate. But having a heart rate monitor would be much easier wouldn’t it?
If you’re just starting out, or are extremely overweight, walking is a fantastic exercise to get you going! A pedometer will calculate the number of steps you’ve taken. Your goal is to try to increase the number of steps you take everyday. You want to reach 10,000 steps/day. Once you’ve accomplished 10,000 steps, you can progress to perhaps a walk/jog to increase your intensity and keep your weight loss going.
5. Comfortable Clothing
I personally like to wear loose cotton clothing. I buy workout clothes with the same mindset as I do when I buy pajamas. I want them to be able to move with me when I move in my sleep. For workout clothes, I want them to move with me when I move without chaffing or scratching. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to this. There are all kinds of synthetic, dry wicking materials that help keep you dry. The most important thing is to get clothing that’s most comfortable for you!
6. Comfortable Socks
You want cotton socks to absorb the moisture from sweat and to control odor. Just like shoes, there are also specialty socks for running and walking.
This is a must if you’re working out in a gym, and your gym doesn’t provide locks. I prefer combination locks but you have to remember the combination.
Locks that have keys are also an option, but you have to keep track of the key. There are all kinds of locks to choose from.
8. Weight Lifting Gloves
These protect your hands from ugly calluses. Guys view callouses as badges of honor to prove how hard their workout was, but it’s not so cute on women. Ladies, don’t be afraid to lift weights. Resistance exercise produces sexy, fat burning muscle. And most women don’t have enough testosterone to produce bulky muscles.
No explanation needed here. Usually a hand towel is good enough, but if you shower before you leave the gym, you will need a bath towel as well, all of your toiletries and a change of clothes
10. Gym Bag
I keep a fully stocked gym bag in my car at all times. You never know when you will be able to squeeze in a workout. It helps to eliminate a more popular excuse for not working out.
11. Water Bottle
I bring a water bottle that’s BPA free with my own water. Water is crucial to get through your workout. You should drink water before, during and after your workout.
12. Hair Taming
For ladies with long hair, a hair rubber band and comb & brush are essential. A headband or a hat is also an option. The sweat combined with the oil from your skin and hair isn’t good for your skin.
13. Personal Trainer
I always recommend a personal trainer especially for people who are new to working out. A trainer can set you in the right direction with diet and exercise, and give you proper instruction to maximize your time spent working out without getting injured. And even if you’re more advanced in your exercise regimen, a personal trainer can show you new exercise regimens to try, and/or provide accountability and encouragement to keep you coming, so you can reach your goals.
So there you have it, 13 of my top recommended workout essentials for women. Being properly equipped before hitting your daily workouts is another key to help you achieve success on your health and fitness journey, so gear up and get ready for another exciting year!