Wednesday, February 01, 2017

What's in my gym bag: workout essentials

Workout buddies!
Thought I'd do a frivolous post today, on what I pack in my gym bag when I'm headed for a workout. These are my essentials and each serves a specific purpose for my workout, be it prior, during or after the session.

Gym bag - A trusty companion that has been with me to the gym as well as on various travels. A lovely birthday gift from a dear galfriend from years ago.

Workout plan - A practice I started sometime last year when I attempted the famed Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines. Thereafter, I learnt to appreciate the effectiveness of having a plan in place whenever I do my strength training - it just saves so much time as I don't need to think about what I want to do next, although sometimes it does involve some switching around, depending on the availability of the machines or weights I had intended to use.

Wireless earphones - I have to say that these totally changed my enjoyment of my workouts, and helped ramp up my focus. Music is not only a great motivator, but also made an immense difference in shutting out the world and just focusing on the muscles and breathing. With the right playlist, it felt like I was just having fun playing with the weights and machines to those groovy beats. Woots. Of course it doesn't hurt that my earphones are gorgeous with pretty good quality sound. Heh. #bimbo

Ipod touch - This nifty gadget that was gifted by AB last Christmas has turned out to be an awesome workout essential. Not only because it provides the music I just mentioned as mandatory for motivation, but also because using this instead of my phone (which I relied on for this function prior to having the ipod) made me concentrate better as well, with no messages or notifications to distract me. Little things that make a big difference. I also discovered to my pleasant surprise that it shows me the battery level of my bluetooth earphones - something I had to guesstimate previously.

Deodorant - well, this is kinda self-explanatory I think. Basic gym etiquette, like wiping down the machines after use so the next person doesn't have to touch your sweat. If you scrunched up your face and went EWW at this description, imagine the revulsion of the person who was actually subjected to such inconsideration. 'Nuff said.

Waterbottle and supplements - Other than the obvious function of keeping me hydrated, I had also started to delve more into sports nutrition to get the most of my workouts. Cue BCAAs that help for strength training, and protein shakes for recovery after. They are not mandatory by any means, but I definitely can feel the difference when I take them. Helps when they are tasty, and in a cute purple bottle too. Hehehe.

Conditioner and shower gel of choice - My gym provides nice toiletries, but I still like to use my own conditioner, since my hair apparently never takes to these complimentary ones in the shower. The shower gel is just something I like as I'm a very "scents" person so it makes me extra happy to use a shower gel I like after a good workout.

Body spray - This is something I like to spritz on prior to my workout to avoid smelling offensive, and also something light before I leave the gym. It's just a breath of fresh air, literally speaking. Heh.

Not pictured:
Sports gear - The gym provides the basic top and shorts as well as socks for working out, but while I appreciate the service to help make it less cumbersome for gym-goers, I hate wearing generic uniforms, and would just bring my own workout gear that I have tried and bought for myself and are most comfortable and (let's face it) confident in. Sports shoes are part of the equation as well.

Makeup - On most days I really just need my eyebrow pencil and a light fuss free lipstick, occasionally some concealer if the face got too flushed from the workout. All just to ensure I don't scare people when I leave the gym.

So there you have it - you will realise that these all boil down to either maximising my workout performance, basic social consideration, or just things to make me feel good.  In truth, I don't NEED them for a workout (well, other than the apparel and shoes obviously), but they just make the exertions happier - I do really enjoy being active anyway, but making the effort to prepare all these for myself is all part of a self-care routine which helps to incentivise the activities. :)

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