Diving into the world of fitness can be an overwhelming leap and with a huge number of products available for purchase – it’s not just the exercise that’s difficult, but your accessory choice too.
When you’re just starting, your focus shouldn’t be getting the best equipment – but getting active and starting to make progress. You can workout with nothing at all, you don’t even have to wear clothes, but you might get a couple of off looks in the park.
Once you’ve established a little bit of a base, it’s time to optimize your mindset and your accessories for a great workout. Here are 6 of the very best fitness essentials to make sure that you have a great workout every time you head out!
1. Reusable stainless steel water bottle – Kool8
The very first and most important thing that you absolutely must have when working out if you’re looking to improve your performance is water.
Hydration is absolutely everything when it comes to working out. Go a full workout without a sip of water and you’ll instantly know what I’m talking about. Plastic bottles are okay but use them too much and they can lead to health issues with some research indicating that they can be carcinogenic if used too much, not to mention the impact on the environment.
If you want to upgrade your usual 3-week old plastic container, there’s nothing better than stainless steel and Kool8. Available in 5 drop-dead gorgeous colors, the Kool8 water bottle is perfect for working out with a fully-insulated, durable design preventing damage to the bottle while keeping your water ice-cold. Perfect for those hot summer workouts. Also, really, cool, they were rated as one of the best water bottles of 2019.
2. Smartwatch/fitness tracker – Omron
Next up on the list of essentials comes a smartwatch or fitness tracker so that you can take note of your performance with hard facts and meaningful numbers.
Our choice comes in the form of the Omron smartwatch, winner of the most revolutionary wearable at CES and boasts a fantastic smartwatch able to track all necessary metrics to ensure that your body is behaving exactly as it should be.
The band of the watch is engineered to easily inflate and deflate while keeping its shape to allow it to fit snugly and take blood-pressure readings on the go. This marks the first wearable blood pressure monitor, paving the way for a new breed of smartwatches. This multifunctional watch also made the list of the best pedometers of 2019.
3. Sport-specific trainers
A good pair of trainers are worth their weight in gold, but you can’t just pick up a single random pair and expect them to not only fit but be suitable for every activity that you need them for.
Trainers tend to be sport specific and it’s difficult to get a good all-rounder. If overall fitness and general training is your goal, it’s best to go with a good pair of running trainers – but even then it isn’t so simple.
The geometries of legs and how your feet land naturally will have a huge impact on the fit of the trainers that you should purchase. Ideally, if you’re going to be buying some runners, you’re going to want to go somewhere that offers a GAIT analysis. This looks at the way that you run and makes a recommendation as to what type of shoe that should be worn.
A good pair of trainers will last you a long time so don’t be afraid to drop a decent sum of money on them. It may seem a bit excessive, but if you’re going to be jogging regularly, your body will thank you for them.
4. Headphones or earbuds
Zoning in on your workout can be pretty difficult with distractions surrounding you in the gym or out on the run, so any way to ignore the world and focus on what your doing is essential.
A super inexpensive way to do this is by getting a pair of wireless headphones or earbuds to block out the sounds and blast your favorite tunes. Wireless is always preferred to wired so you don’t have to worry about the stray cable getting in the way when running or lifting weights, but either will work if you don’t have the choice.
As a general rule, headphones for working out shouldn’t cost you too much, after all, you’re just going to sweat all over them anyway. Earbuds are preferred for this reason, but again this is a personal preference, either will work and will make sure that you’re dialed in during your workouts.
5. Foam roller
If you want to minimize the stress on your body, decrease recovery times and release lactic acid from your body – a foam roller is a great way to go.
Although it will feel not too dissimilar to actual torture, rolling out your body is vital to remain injury free. Just choosing to roll for 10 minutes a day can have a dramatic impact with the soft tissue breakdown, releasing knots, increasing blood flow and improving recovery times.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, state of the art roller and most do exactly the same thing. As little as $10 and a little bit of knowledge can fix your back, correct your posture and change your life. By far, a foam roller is one of the very best purchases you can make for fitness accessories.
6. Weight belt
For those who like to lift a little heavier than the rest, a weight belt is a great piece of equipment to keep the core tight and your body injury free.
When performing deadlifts and squats, it can be dangerous when you get to the higher weights. To minimize this risk of injury, a weight belt can be used to brace the core, keeping everything tight and all of your organs exactly where they should be.
Weight belts can be reasonably priced so there’s no need to remortgage the house for one, but beware that you do get what you pay for. Aiming for around $50-$60 should put you in the right ballpark, but making sure that your liver stays inside you is priceless!
7. Spare shirts
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes forget to take a spare shirt with me to the gym. And it sucks. Having a comfortable spare shirt with you or a crewneck sweatshirt to change into after your workout is done is a must have.
I love the sweatshirts from ScreenPrintThis. They’re super comfortable, cozy, light and they last the test of time. Not to mention that, ironically, for a company that does custom printing, they’re more affordable than most sweatshirts I’ve ever bought.