So, you have made the decision to get fit. Bravo! The first step is always the hardest, but the road certainly does even out the more you run it. But, when it comes to starting exercise – at the gym in particular – the jargon and confusion around gear can be pretty off putting.
There is the right gym gear and then there is the wrong gym gear, which can be confusing for the beginner gym goer. To take you through it, here’s a rundown of what you need in terms of gym gear and what you can leave at home. Keep reading this guide to know interesting facts.
Beginners Guide to Gym Gear
Joining the gym means buying a full set of gym gear, which can be a costly endeavour. So, you want to make sure what you buy will last and make your gym experience that much easier! Here are a few essentials that are necessary for starting out at the gym:
1) Quality Clothes
Part of joining the gym is buying the right gear to make your efforts as comfortable and painless as possible. Surprisingly, the clothes you wear can go a long way towards your comfort. Breathable and well fitting are the key to success when it comes to working out clothes, so keep that in mind! You may think that a tight fit is unflattering to your pre-gym going body, but baggy clothes to cover up will only make you feel worse during the actual exercise. So, ensure even your track pants are well fitted when buying your gym gear.
It’s also a case of preventing yourself from becoming annoyed whilst at the gym. Clothing that looks good, but constantly has to be pulled up and adjusted because the fit is wrong are going to drive you crazy as you exercise. Remember: breathable and well-fitting gym wear is a must!
2) Workout Monitor
Whether you simply begin a workout journal of the exercises you do and how long you do them for, or go all out and buy a fitness tracker, it is important to monitor your workouts. At first progress can be slow, so a visible record of your growing achievements is important. Both for your self-esteem and working out how to take your exercise regime to the next level.
3) Water Bottle
Becoming dehydrated during exercise can be very dangerous for your body. Not drinking enough liquids during a workout can lead to your muscles becoming tired and could even lead to leg cramps. This could evolve into heat exhaustion if not addressed, especially if you are taking part in longer endurance runs or other endurance sports outside of the gym.
However, it is easy to avoid such issues by simply drinking plenty of water prior to exercise and ensuring you have a bottle of water with you during exercise. A standard water bottle can be enough to hydrate you through around an hour of exercise, typically.
Avoid alcoholic drinks, salt tablets (sports drinks are much better for replacing minerals lost in sweat), and if you do become dizzy then stop exercising immediately and drink plenty of water.
Gym etiquette can vary from gym to gym, but one thing remains the same throughout. The gym towel. Used for keeping yourself cool and a little less damp during workouts, the gym towel also plays an important part in the cleanliness of the gym. No one wants to use a machine after you only to discover a puddle of your sweat, imagine! No, instead you must use the towel to wipe down the machines and keep them sweat free at all times.
It’s important to keep yourself and the equipment you use as hygienic as possible during your workouts. So, buy a special gym towel and remember to wash it after every visit to the gym, otherwise, you’ll have a buildup of germs living in your gym bag.
5) Good Sneakers
Your feet carry you through life, so treating them to a pair of quality trainers for the gym can be the best kind of reward. But, above and beyond quality trainers with good ankle support you can also find different sneakers are better for different exercises.
For running, for example, a trainer with good shock absorption is essential as you will need something to cushion your steps. Running with shock absorbers can make the whole experience feel lighter and easier. They will also help you to run further and faster, whether you’re on the treadmill in the gym or out and about catching the scenery.
A more varied workout, or gym class as the case may be, will need a sneaker that can handle a bit of everything. From high-impact, multi-directional movement and good support bands, you can find sneakers that are adapted specifically for gym classes. Many of the big brands – Puma and Reebok especially – have designed pairs that are ideal for the gym goer, so search the market for the perfect one!
What Not To Wear
When it comes to what not to wear at the gym, it seems many items on this list should be obvious. However, many gym newbies – and even a few old hats – tend to leave these on during their gym exploits. Leading not only to a world of discomfort but even the danger of bodily harm. Here are the worst things you could wear during your exercise regime:
1) Cotton T-Shirts
Though comfortable, cotton t-shirts are probably one of the worst ways you can cover your top half during a rigorous exercising regime. The cotton material is notorious for absorbing sweat quickly, but then not releasing it in as speedy a manner. The result: heavy, wet, cotton that can be irritating to exercise in as well as give you the chills. Say no to cotton in the gym.
2) Baggy Pants
Long, baggy pants are not only unstylish but can actually be a hazard in the gym. Loose material is easily caught in machine mechanisms and so you should avoid these wherever possible in the gym. Fitted track pants are much better as they don’t catch on the machinery. Alternatively, shorts are always an option.
3) Short Shorts
But, not too short. Shorts are great for the gym in most forms, except for the infamous short shorts. They fail to offer the right support, or modesty in some cases when you need it most. Forget about them and keep your shorts to knee length – comfortable and bound to keep you under wraps successfully.
This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s surprising what people think is a-okay gym wear. Denim? Not okay. In fact, denim can actually be a huge hindrance to your exercising over a long period. Chafing, excessive sweating and wearing the material down are only a few of the issues that spring up when wearing the material to exercise. Pick a light and breathable material instead, it will save you some funny looks and discomfort in the long run.
Rings, dangling earrings and bracelets are easily caught on the various gym machines and even in your own clothes. It could be painful and even lead to broken fingers in the case of rings. So, it’s always better to de-jewel prior to beginning your exercise regime. It would be an expensive mistake after all!
Getting the right gear and motivation for getting fit can feel confusing at first, but that doesn’t have to be the case! This beginner’s guide will start you on the right foot for fitness success, just be sure to buy the right gear and get your motivation in place early in the process. The better prepared you are, the better ride to fitness you will have.