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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Always be prepared, so there’s no excuse not to go

Since it’s the beginning of the new year, a lot of us are going in with new goals and going to the gym more. When going to the gym, it is important to be prepared. It’s not a stretch to think that there could be a problem leading you to not make it to the gym or having to leave early.

1. Reusable water bottle -or two

I use two different water bottles. I use a blender bottle and a HydroJug. The blender bottle is used for my pre-workout. I don’t like the leftover taste in the water bottle after adding a powdered drink, so I use a separate water bottle for my water. I also use blender bottles when I am on the go to class or the store because it is small and convenient for when I drink a liquid IV or celsius packet. I use the HydroJug because it helps increase water consumption in and out of the gym because it is a half gallon of water. It also comes with a straw and a shoulder strap. 

Top recommendations: Blender bottle & HydroJug

2. Headphones

Bluetooth compatibility is important! You do not want a cord getting in your way with weight or machines and it could be dangerous if it does. I use earbuds, but I know plenty of people who use headsets. Both are good options, it just depends on your preference. I would not recommend getting super expensive headphones for the gym because they could fall and break or a weight could fall on them. 

Top recommendations: Beats In-ear Powerbeats Pro Wireless 

3. SHoes, SHoes, Shoes

One of the most important items of gym attire is the shoes. I fully recommend having 3 different shoes for the gym: Outdoor shoes, lifting shoes and running shoes. Do not wear outdoor shoes in the gym. The shoes you wear outside can bring in dirt and snow causing the gym equipment and floors to get nasty. Don’t do it. Lifting shoes are important because these are going to be flat sole shoes. Flat sole shoes provide better stability, allow you to feel more in contact with the ground while lifting and reduce injury. Doing cardio in running shoes and not flat sole shoes is just as important. Running shoes have cushioning to protect against joint impact and pain.  

Top recommendations: Nike Slides (Outdoor), Vans or Converse high tops (Lifting)

4. Toiletry essentials

This would include anything you generally need on the run. I always keep hair ties, bobby pins, a hair brush, dry shampoo, tampons, pads, deodorant, hand sanitizer, lotion, bandaids, tissues and wet wipes in my bag at all times. You’ll never know when you’ll need them and you don’t want to be without them.

5. A change of clothes

Always keep a change of clothes in your bag, especially a pair of socks and underwear.

6. Phone/headphones charger

Cell phone and headphone chargers are one of the worst things to forget or to not have when you need it. Keeping a charger in your bag will ensure that, even if your phone or headphones die in the gym, it will only be for a couple minutes.

To make sure you’re prepared for the gym, these are essentials to consider adding to your bag. It depends on your preferences, but you could also consider adding some snacks or shoe stink balls. It’s important to remember as well that if you need it once, there is a good chance you’ll need it again, so add it to your bag!

Now you can relax, knowing you got everything you could need if anything were to go wrong. All you need to do now is get your workout plan set!

Genetics and Genomics student at the University of Wisconsin Madison. ACE Certified Personal Trainer