Workout Notebook1 of 8
There's nothing quite like the fresh pages of a new notebook to encourage you to dive right in. Having a place to record your workouts goes a long way towards helping you set and achieve goals. If you're a runner, try the "Believe" journal by Lauren Fleshman. Focused on strength training? The classic (and very affordable) Workout Log from Joe Oliver is one of our favorites. And for any fitness enthusiast, a journal like this one is a fun way to track and celebrate your progress in and out of the gym.
Fresh Clothes and Proper Shoes2 of 8
Spark excitement and preparedness by treating yourself to some new workout gear. Investing in new options to fill your athletic drawers can give you a boost of motivation to tackle your workouts. Getting fitted for new shoes can give you more than just a mental boost; as shoes age, their cushioning starts to break down, providing your feet and joints less support. Make sure you have the right shoes for your workouts that they are in good shape to crush your workouts and help you stay injury free.
Healthy Workout Fuel3 of 8
Your workout routine should include a nutritional component because fueling your body properly is essential to staying healthy and seeing results. Take some time to plan ahead and make sure you have portable, nourishing foods, gels and water on hand before, during and after your workouts to make the most of your workouts and recovery. Need some help? Check out the 15 foods that are sure to power your workout or 10 of the best tips for fueling.
Non-BPA Reusable Water Bottle with Filtration4 of 8
We know how important hydration is for health and fitness, and the easiest way to get your daily water consumption is with a reusable water bottle. Choose a BPA-free bottle, and if your budget allows, spring for one with a filtration system to ensure you aren't consuming contaminants and toxins from unfiltered water. Carry it with you at all times, not just when you exercise, and aim for at least half your bodyweight in ounces each day to help achieve proper hydration.
Body Wipes & Sweat Towels5 of 8
Body wipes are an easy way to quickly clean up when time is scarce. With busy schedules, we are often forced to quickly squeeze in a workout whenever we can, which doesn't always leave a lot of time to shower and change. Body wipes help you stay fresh and bacteria-free when you're in a time crunch. As for sweat towels, it's always a good idea to carry one with you in the gym to pat away dampness as it occurs.
BCAA Supplement6 of 8
Regardless of whether your goal is weight loss or muscle gain, most of us can agree that it's fat we want to lose, not muscle. Branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation can help maintain muscle mass by preventing muscle breakdown through increased protein synthesis. Dieting is catabolic, and that energy deficit can lead to muscle breakdown the leaner you get as your body tries to hold onto your fat stores. Supplementing with BCAAs before and during a workout increases the availability of the amino acids in the body and the rate of protein synthesis, which helps preserve muscle mass as your body burns fat.
Recovery Tool7 of 8
After a long day and a tough training session, it's important to relax both your body and your mind before bed. Giving your muscles some TLC helps keep them in optimal condition through self-myofascial release. Use a foam roller, stick, lacrosse ball or another self-massage tool to help release tight spots and return muscles to their optimum tension-length relationship. Five to 10 minutes before bed each night will go a long way towards keeping your muscles healthy and allowing you to remain consistent with your fitness routine.