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What Not to Take to Gym

5 Things Not to Bring to the Gym

If you want to make the most of your gym time, there are certain things you shouldn't take with you. To stay healthy and centered during your workout, leave these five items at home:

  1. Reading material. It's important to stay focused while you're at the gym, not only for safety reasons, but also to maximize the benefits of your workout. If you're focusing on the latest issue of your favorite magazine, you're probably not paying attention to your body. Read outside the gym to zero in on your training.
  2. Energy drinks. Stick to zero-calorie water to stay hydrated. The amount of caffeine in different energy drinks varies, but you should steer clear while you're working out to avoid becoming lightheaded. Prefer something with a bit of flavor? Try adding electrolyte enhanced flavor packets to your water.
  3. A plastic water bottle. Refilling and reusing old plastic water bottles can be dangerous to your health — and the environment. Go green and invest in a stainless steel option instead.

Keep reading for two more things to leave at home.

  1. A giant stack of workout cards. It's great to collect exercise how-tos from your favorite websites and magazines, but be realistic about what you'll be able to do in one session. Don't waste time shuffling through sheets of paper. Be prepared and plan your exercise circuit ahead of time so that you're ready to go right away.
  2. The friend who's there to socialize. Workout buddies are an excellent way to stay accountable — unless they're more of a diversion than a motivator. If your friend is distracting you from your exercise goals, try to build her enthusiasm or shift from everyday workout dates to just-for-fun weekend walks.
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yogarunlive yogarunlive 4 years
I've found that if I'm reading, or even changing the songs on my iPod, I don't focus on my workout as much. In order to be mentally there, I make a playlist beforehand and finish my reading at home!
Gaelinda Gaelinda 4 years
I agree with the no reading material. I tried to read while on a treadmill once and found I couldn't concentrate on my workout or my reading... Now when I need to relax, I'll put on an audio book or podcast so I can still concentrate a bit on the workout and still catch up on something other than musci
Spartygirl03 Spartygirl03 4 years
Great tips, although there are some reusable/bpa free/dishwasher safe plastic bottles available now too that are much easier to clean than stainless steel (hence cutting down on germs and mold)! Definitely better than buying a bottle of water on the way to gym and tossing an hour later!
amber512 amber512 4 years
I completely disagree about the reading material. I do HIIT with magazines on the slow parts. I also read books, other articles, and journals while on the elliptical and jogging ellipticals. And I get my heart rate up and keep it up above 150-160 the whole time.
VivaciousBlossom VivaciousBlossom 4 years
I also agree. I always see people reading while working out so I thought 'Huh, why I didn't I think of that?' so I brought a magazine & tried to work out & read & the second I realized I was barely getting a workout in I threw it in my bag & haven't brought a magazine again. You definitely cannot get in a *good* workout while reading.
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 4 years
I'm a big proponent of leaving the reading material at home. If your workout goal for the day is to have an easy walk on the treadmill or do a few light miles on the elliptical, fine- but it always looks so painful to be hunched over a book in the middle of a tough workout!
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