What are the Best Workout Accessories for Beginners?
Do you want to start training at home, in a gym or outdoors? Nowadays there are many different accessories that make working out much easier - and more importantly, more fun. However, there are so many options that it can be hard to differentiate the accessories that you really need from those that simply look cool.
While there are many good accessories for specific sports - like belts and flat shoes for those training in weightlifting - in this OneHowTo article we'll go over the best workout accessories for beginners, no matter your age or favorite workout routine.
What accessories should you have in your gym bag?
When you start going to the gym, getting your bag ready is a very good motivation by itself. But what to put in it? Here you can find a compilation of what you should carry in your gym bag:
- A hygienic, covered bottle.
- Trek mix for snacking, based on nuts for energy and protein.
- Protein shake: If you don't have time to prepare it beforehand you can use a Blenderbottle.
- Anti-chafe lotion: Prevents blisters and chafing from the friction of your clothes.
- Wraps and bands: It's a good idea to protect your joints, especially your wrists and knees, with compressing floss bands and wraps. This is very important for people who have suffered joint and muscle lesions before.
- Liquid antiseptic: For first aid.
- Good, padded shoes and socks: The socks should have seamless toes and offer support at the heel. And don't forget shower shoes!
- A headband: To keep your hair out of your eyes and absorb sweat.
- Fitness gloves: If you lift weights or do workout exercises that might cause blisters.
Here you can learn what is the best time to go to the gym to exercise depending on the kind of workout you want to carry out.
If you're packing a bag to work out in the great outdoors, you should always carry:
- An ergonomic bag to carry your water bottle and snacks when running: Some of them, like the Camelpak, have tubes to drink directly. Others are worn around your hand and include a small bag like a pocket.
- If you go for long workouts, ask your doctor or personal trainer about sodium or salt tablets.
- A hat instead of a headband.
- Polarized sunglasses: Especially for cycling or running, since they protect your eyes from dust while adjusting to the current light level to eliminate the glare of the sun.
What are the best apps, devices and tech accessories to work out?
Forget about pen and paper - and about counting! With the help of constantly-evolving technology, you can rate your body's response to physical activity, plan your workouts, time them to get the best results and keep track of your progress.
We recommend wearing a digital watch to track your intervals of workout and rest. Choose one that's sturdy and durable, like Casio G-Shock or Garmin Forerunner 10. Some workout watches monitor your heart rate and burnt calories, while those with GPS track your distances and pace, so they're very good for runners.
It's also very helpful to carry a small music player with well-fitting earbuds that don't fall off as soon as you start moving. Don't forget to prepare a motivational workout mix. If you listen to music on your phone, there are very practical armbands to carry them.
It is a good idea to use heart rate monitors to follow your physiological response to the workout closely, including your cardiac variability. Some of the best include:
- Omegawave: Monitors the response of your nervous system, tracks your progress and warns you when you approach over-exertion.
- Rejiva patch.
- FitBit Flex: Tracks your progress and syncs with an app so that you can easily see and understand your statistics.
- Nike Fuelband: You can set a fitness goal and track it.
As for smartphone apps, some favorites are:
- Jetfit Workout (free): Plans your workout regime calendar and tracks it.
- Gym Buddy (free): Programs workout sets for you and tracks your progress.
- FitStar (8$ per month): Programs workout sets while being very easy to personalize according to your preferences.
What is the best equipment to start working out at home?
Many websites recommend all sorts of professional, expensive equipment to set up your own home gym. However, we believe that it's better to start small. This way, you can try different workout methods without investing too much and find the one you feel more comfortable with.
When you start working out at home, you should have:
- Elastic bands: They come in different resistances to adapt to your needs, and they are perfect to carry around. Elastic bands are used to warm up, to recover from injuries and in core training exercises. A very good option is a Thera-band, which can be used to strengthen different muscle groups.
- Small, adjustable dumbbells: Here you can learn how to do squats and chest exercises at home with dumbbells.
- Stability ball: Choose the size according to your height. Some balls even have example exercises drawn on them, so there's no excuse to not use them. They're usually used in Pilates or ab workouts.
- A yoga mat: For warming up, stretching and - of course - yoga.
- A massage or foam roller: They are used to stretch and work on the soft muscle tissue, getting rid of knots and easing mobility. If you don't want to invest on a roller, you can use a lacrosse ball instead.
- A hula hoop: Cheap, fun and very useful to work on your core. You can also find travel versions that can be folded away!
- A jumping rope: The ones that come with bearings go at an even greater speed.
If you do want to start setting up your own home gym, we recommend starting by setting up a pull-up bar on a doorway, a free-standing boxing bag or a TRX suspension trainer anchored to the ceiling. A SandBell - a heavy disk - can be used instead of heavy balls that take up more space.
These are our answers to what are the best workout accessories for beginners.
What are your favorites? Do you have any tips? Tell us in the comments section and help others to make the most of their workout time!
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