Whether you exercise at the gym, outdoors, or in the comfort of your home, choosing the right gear should be a priority. Why? Wearing workout-specific sneakers and clothing will not only lower your risk of injury, it will also keep you comfortable and make exercising a more enjoyable experience. Check out our list of useful workout gear.
Sport-Specific Sneakers. Choose the appropriate athletic shoe for your workout to help prevent injuries, such as blisters and shin splints. For example, if you’re a walker, be sure to purchase walking sneakers, which are flexible and relatively flat. If you’re doing cross training, buy shoes that are sturdier. Make sure to try on workout sneakers with the socks that you plan to exercise in.
Synthetic Socks. Choose synthetic socks over cotton ones because they soak up moisture and keep your feet dry and blister-free.
Breathable Workout Clothing. The clothes you wear while exercising are just as important as what you wear on your feet. Workout clothing should provide both comfort and coverage and be made of a material that’s lightweight and breathable. Exercise apparel that is made with special moisture-wicking fabrics will keep you cool and dry. Safety is important as well, especially if you enjoy walking or jogging outdoors early in the morning or in the evening. Wear colorful or light-colored workout clothing with reflective material to stay visible.
Supportive Sports Bra. Attention ladies: A good sports bra is a must! Some workout shirts have built-in sports bras, but if they don’t, or you’re bigger-breasted, be sure to choose a supportive bra that has a T-back or racer-back design to keep the straps from slipping off your shoulders. Many sports bras also come with special venting systems and are made with wicking material to soak up sweat while you work out.
Reusable Water Bottle. It’s essential that you stay hydrated while exercising — and that’s true not just in hot weather. Drink some water before you start your workout and sip from your water bottle as needed during exercise to prevent dehydration and loss of electrolytes.
Smart Snacks. Depending on when you choose to exercise, you may want to bring a snack to keep you energized before or after your workout. Nuts and a reduced-fat cheese stick or a South Beach Diet 100-Calorie Snack or Protein Fit Cereal Bar are good options.
MP3 Player and Pedometer. Listening to music can help keep you motivated as you’re exercising. Some portable music devices now include a built-in stopwatch and pedometer that records the number of steps, distance, pace, time, and calories burned during a workout. Using a device like this, or even just a simple pedometer, to track your physical activity can offer additional incentive to keep pushing yourself to reach new goals.