When we're at the gym, it's all about getting the job done—and getting out. But when we leave, we have a busy day of work and life ahead of us, and it's best to be prepared. So what are the musts for keeping our gym bag fully stocked? We asked the experts.
1. Stay Hydrated
After a workout, always rehydrate with young Thai coconut water. Its large amounts of electrolytes and potassium help regulate blood pressure and improve circulation. "I would also carry tupperware with sliced pineapple," says Magic Mix Juicery owner Jil Larsen, who is a certified health coach. "Pineapple is the only major dietary source of bromelain, [which has] major anti-inflamatory properties [and] aids in the treatment of sports injuries."
2. Bring a Snack
For a great healthy snack, pack a small bag with raw nuts (about 12 almonds), coupled with a piece of fresh fruit. "It's the perfect pre-workout snack and a great source of fat as an energy source. The sugar and fat combination will be extremely energizing and sustainable for a workout of 90 minutes or less," says Dr. Philip Goglia, celebrity nutritionist and co-founder of G-Plans, which is billed as the first online nutrition program based on a user's metabolic body type.
3. Heart Rate Monitor
"If you want to work efficiently and effectively, then this is a MUST!" says Brooke Taylor of Taylored Fitness Ny LTD and creator of TF IGNITE. This will let you gage which zones you are working in throughout your workout. "This will help you see how hard you need to push or rest in between sets to work in your fat burning zones or anaerobic threshold," says Taylor. Taylor recommends a Polar heart-rate monitor as the one to beat.
4. Tennis Ball or Lacrosse Ball
This is a great tool to use for a deeper self myofascial (or trigger-point) release on the days you need it the most. Roll the ball over body parts "open up the muscles around the joints so that your body can start in a neutral state again. It's a great recovery tool," says Taylor.
5. Dry Shampoo
If you never sweat during your workout, you may not be working out hard enough. But, sweat may mean having not-so-fresh hair after. “If I'm going out after teaching, I have the transformation down to a science, and I keep it pretty simple. I skip washing my hair and instead opt for dry shampoo. I like travel-sized dry shampoo to soak up sweat on my scalp and [it] weighs nothing in my bag," says SoulCycle instructor KC (Kate Champagne). A great choice is DryBar's Detox dry shampoo.
Of course, dry shampoo is just the start of it: other grooming goodies to stash include deodorant, lip gloss, a brush, and cleansing wipes. After all, your beauty game should be as on-point as your workout gear.
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