Going to the gym takes commitment. More importantly, it takes preparation. Even with the best preparation, the first couple of weeks will feel challenging. “Am I looking foolish?” “Will people laugh at my sweat spots?” “Will my clothes survive all this stretching?” – These are some common queries and anxieties that pop up in the minds of every woman who is new to “gymming.” Fear not – we have the complete “First Day at the Gym” guide to rid you of these anxieties.
WHAT TO BRING?
There are certain “gym essentials” that you’ll need on the first day and the following days at the gym. Buy a gym bag. Pack it with the following items:
- Essentials – Phone, keys, hand sanitizers, tissues, and wallets are always mandatory.
- Water bottles, as many gyms still aren’t offering water services due to COVID19 restrictions.
- Small, quick-drying towels (for use in between workout sessions).
- At least one full-sized towel (for post-workout cleaning).
- Lightweight, breathable, and anti-odor gym sneakers.
- Odor removers like deodorants, sprays, powder, etc.
- Hair accessories to keep the hair out of your face while exercising (hair bands, hair ties, hairbrushes, bobby pins, etc.).
- Two sets of clothes, extra tops, and bottoms. One set for wearing during the exercise and the other for after the workout is complete.
- Spare socks and undergarments in case they tear.
- Smartwatch or Fitbits.
- Wireless headphones.
- Face and body wipe.
- Powder and a shaker bottle.
Packed all the essentials in your gym bag? Good, let’s take the next step.
WHAT TO DO?
Your goal should be completing serious workout sessions. So, always go to the gym fresh-faced. Wash your face after getting enough good-quality sleep. Wearing a light sunscreen, nothing else. Hydrate and grab a small snack before leaving the house. Wear the right clothes and stretch them out to ensure they’re not too tight. Carry your own foam rollers and post-workout food or drinks.
Bear in mind – makeup has no place at the gym. When we work out, we sweat. All this dirt, oil, and sweat can build up under your makeup layers. This troublesome mixture can promote acne breakouts and make your face feel itchy throughout the workout sessions. You’ll only end up wearing more makeup the next day at the gym to cover up all the blemishes that wearing makeup caused in the first place.
WHAT TO WEAR?
Find a reliable source of gym clothes. Start by shopping for stylish yet functional gym leggings. Gym or workout leggings are specially engineered to not roll down when you stretch. They also offer amazing tummy control. Pick leggings that are made of anti-microbial fabrics. These fabrics are moisture-wicking – they stand up much longer to sweat stains and never get damaged during intense workouts.
- Leggings made of anti-microbial fabrics feel good on your skin. Although leggings are tight, they don’t feel confining or non-stretchy, even if you put on some weight. More importantly, leggings are breathable, whereas regular pants get sweaty and uncomfortable very quickly into workouts. Also, pack these clothing items in your gym bag –
- Sports bras to ensure you don’t suffer from wardrobe malfunctions during high-impact workouts such as yoga, cardio, aerobics, etc. A full-coverage sports bra will bend and maneuver itself as you go through your routines.
- Comfy gym shoes.
- Moisture-wicking tops. Ashamed of sweat patches? Wear fast-drying, anti-sweat, and anti-microbial fabric t-shirts made of cotton or synthetic materials like polypropylene.
- Wear post-workout jackets before heading out of the gym. Like all other items you wear to the gym, your jackets should also be made of fast-drying, anti-sweat, and anti-microbial fabrics.
WHAT TO AVOID
There are certain clothing items that’ll make working out feel more challenging (than it already is). These items may even cause damage to your body and health. Here are the items that shouldn’t come anywhere near your gym bag –
- Worn-out clothes and shoes. If your sneakers and clothes are too old, they may tear apart during your workouts. Avoid feeling this embarrassment by only wearing fresh, new clothes and shoes on your first day at the gym. Old clothes and shoes lack the cushioning and shock absorption your body will need during workouts.
- Normal bras. Never wear regular bras while working out. Old, saggy bras with stretched-out elastics can cause upper back and shoulder pain during and after workouts. They also don’t prevent breast tissues from sagging or stretching.
- Jewelry. Wearing any jewelry item, even rings, can affect the way you work out. A simple ring can make weights slip out of your hand.
- 100% cotton clothes. Your fully cotton clothes will absorb every ounce of sweat you generate during the workout. You’ll feel like you’re wearing a wet towel! Instead, buy clothes made of anti-sweat synthetic fabrics like spandex or nylon.
- Too tight or too loose clothes. Any clothing item that restricts movement has no place inside the gym. That’ means no super-tight crop tops or no super-baggy shorts. Leggings are fine.
It’s normal to feel anxious and self-conscious on your first day at the gym. Follow these basic tips, make them a part of your workout routine, and you’ll become a “gym rat” in no time!