When I worked out in college, my ‘get-ready’ routine was simple. No matter the workout, I would throw on a pair of Umbro running shorts with a cotton t-shirt and be on my merry way. I was so naive.
Now that I’m older, wiser and more hip to the workout game, I’ve realized that dry wick > cotton and that you can’t simply choose running shoes based on what looks prettiest. It’s about finding essentials that are functional and/or will help you perform at your very best regardless of what workout activity you’re participating in.
Over the course of the years, I’ve tried out many a workout pant, running shoe, ear bud, sports bra, headband (gah…so many headbands), etc. in pursuit of fitness happiness. And because sharing is caring, I thought I’d share some of the workout products – aside from a banging playlist – that have been game changers for me. Read: always in my gym bag.
Asics Gel-Fit Sana Cross Trainer: The perfect shoe for HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts in just about any color … and they are on sale!
Compression pants: Last summer I was at my wits end. I could not find a single pair of pants that wouldn’t ride down as I ran, stretched, lunged, etc. That is until I discovered these bad boys (similar to what’s shown). I get mine (high rise style) from Old Navy (where they have a plethora of patterns, colors and styles) and they are fantastic quality at a very reasonable price.
Under Armour Perfect Headband: The nailed it with the name. Holding each and every strand of my hair back without pulling, sagging or moving? Perfect!
S’well water bottle: I actually got one of these for Christmas and it has quickly become a staple. This BPA-free, stainless steel beauty actually keeps liquids hot or cold for 24 hours! (Now being totally candid, I haven’t tested it for the full amount of time, but my water was definitely cold after after 7 hours, which is a win if you ask me).
Body Glide: A must-have before a long run…or really any activity where things can, um, rub. (Don’t act like I’m the only one, lol.)
Nuun: I originally bought these electrolyte dissolvable tabs as a way to hydrate during a run, but quickly realized that they are great to sip on pre-run and during any vigorous strength or HIIT workouts (I’m looking at you Orange Theory and The Fhitting Room).
Non-slip grip socks: I think most barre classes or studios mandate that you wear socks, but even if they don’t, you should purchase a pair as they’re great for really holding your poses and working those pulses. You don’t want anything detracting from that [awful] burning sensation.
Ban Refresh cooling wipes: Unless you’re some sort of unicorn, you most likely come out of a workout class hot and sweaty. These wipes help cool you down and freshen you up! Win-win.
Brooks Pure Flow: Have a neutral gait? These are comfortable and lightweight. Every time I wear a pair of down with miles, I just purchase another. #GoToSneaks [PS – no matter your gait, Brooks has a running shoe for you].
Graphic Tee: I love a good breathable, tri-blend graphic tee. I also love cupcakes, so…
No crease hair tie: My go-to style is a pony tail or bun. These non-crease hair ties help me avoid that awkward janky crimp that inevitably happens during a workout when you use a regular hair tie.
Ear buds: A comfortable pair or ear buds or headphones is key to jamming out during a run or strength set.
Your turn: What are the workout essentials you can’t live without? What am I missing?
Disclaimer: While this is not a sponsored post, in the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains some affiliate links, which means that, should you decide to purchase anything through these links, I may receive a small commission. That said, please note, I only recommend products, services and systems that I actually use, own and/or love myself. For realz.