According to the , the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week plus complete strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice per week.
Are you hitting those goals?
If not, hey, there’s always next week. And it may well be that some pretty minor tweaks to your daily workout routine could get you over the hump.
Case in point: these five apparel and accessory items that you had no idea your workout needed. Here’s why you might want to invest in each (or take a pass, if you decide they’re not right for your needs).
1. GPS-Enabled Fitness Tracker
If you don’t yet have a Fitbit, what the heck are you waiting for?
Actually, scratch that. You don’t need a Fitbit when you can get any number of lower-cost knockoffs. You’re looking for something that can:
- Accurately monitor your heart rate
- Analyze workout performance and store workout data
- Accurately track your running and cycling progress and store that data
- Track key biometric stats
Don’t overthink this one. You owe it to yourself to claim control of your workout data.
2. Compression Shorts
There’s some debate about the efficacy of compression shorts. Some athletes swear that they improve workout performance; others pooh-pooh them as just another placebo.
Peer-reviewed studies come down, tentatively, on the side of compression shorts enthusiasts. There’s little data to suggest that compression shorts actually improve speed and muscle oxygenation, though the effect on aerobic capacity is less clear.
Regardless, when it’s time to reach for that extra mile, you’ll want a pair or two in your gym drawer. Check out on the market for budget-friendly ideas.
3. Portable Exercise Mat (Yoga Mat Is Fine)
Besides shorts, socks, and shirts, the humble exercise mat is arguably the most versatile component of your workout repertoire. In case you’re wondering: yes, a yoga mat is fine, and yes, you can snag a decent, durable mat for as little as $10 off the shelf. (Just don’t buy used — ew.)
4. Strength Training Gloves
Unless you love chafing and blisters, you’ll want a pair of dependable, high-grip strength training gloves to protect your hands during free weight exercises. In a pinch, batting gloves will do.
5. Wireless Headphones
It’s true: music really does improve your workout. According to , total exercise duration nearly doubles with musical accompaniment. Unless you quite literally enjoy being tied down, that means one thing: you’re getting a pair of wireless headphones.
Reclaim Your Daily Sweat
Your is your own. It’s a block of quintessential “me time,” fit to use, well, however you see fit — with input from your personal trainer, perhaps.
Put another way: you can and should take all reasonable steps to make your workout as enjoyable as possible. The more inclined you are to actually break a sweat, the more likely you are to reach your fitness goals on or ahead of schedule. If these five apparel and accessory items further that aim, well, more power to you.