Gym bags of yesterday carried two things: a pair of sneakers and a stench that resembled bad bologna. If you do your workout someplace other than your home, you can stock your gym bag with a few other items. These items will not only help make your workout more comfortable but can also make you healthier.
- Shirt and socks that wick away moisture and keep you cool and comfortable (and shorts or warm-up pants, of course)
- Well-fitting shoes for your sport of choice
- Flip-flops for the shower, to decrease your risk of being exposed to fungi
- Gloves for weight lifting (so you avoid small cuts and calluses from lifting, and also to lessen the chance of passing along germs when you shake hands or picking up germs from the equipment)
- A towel (even if the gym provides one, bring your own, because gyms tend not to use enough detergent at a high enough temperature to kill MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
- Heart-rate monitor (keep heart rate at 80 percent of max, which is 220 minus your age, for most of the time you're on a cardio machine, and push to maximum heart rate for last minute of every 10, with doc's approval)
- Earphones and audio player (but keep volume level under 85 decibels; that's about a 6-7 on most handheld audio players)
- Elastic bandages for tight wrapping (RICE protocol) if you twist an ankle
- Ice containers (plastic bags) into which you can place ice for injuries
- A pocket-size bottle of antibacterial gel if your gym doesn't have alcohol spritzer (use after your workout since you have been gripping sweaty objects) to wipe off sweaty machines (if the bozo ahead of you didn't wipe them down himself.)
This material came to you from YOU: Being Beautiful, by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.