Think you're picking the healthiest option off the menu? Think again. Here's some food for thought that may surprise you.
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Use these smart strategies to fit in your workout without sacrificing the things you love most.
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Don't get caught in the locker room with an over-sized duffel filled with excess workout gear. Stock your tote with these smart essentials to maximize your time at the gym.
What: WEIGHT-LIFTING GLOVES
Why: You'd rather obsess about your weight lifting form — not your blisters and calluses. Look for machine-washable gloves that are made of soft, durable leather.
Try: The Classic Series Leather Gloves ($12.95; select Gold's Gym Pro Shops or goldsgear.com)
What: 2-IN-1 SHAMPOO AND BODY WASH
Why: Let's be honest: Whereas the average male is okay with just any old gym shampoo and soap, the average female tends to require at least shampoo, body wash and so on after their workout. This multitasking product, with a scent perfect for men and women, saves you from packing two separate bottles in your gym bag.
Try: Philosophy the Fragrance, Perfumed Shampoo and Shower Gel ($24 for 16 ounces; philosophy.com)
What: CHAMOIS TOWEL
Why: Used by swimmers and divers for more than 20 years, a chamois towel is made of a highly absorbent high-tech PVA material designed to dry your body more quickly than traditional, bulky towels do.
Try: The Sammy Towel ($13; lane4swim.com)
What: WATER BOTTLE
Why: Using a high-quality, reusable bottle makes sense both financially (no more $2 bottles of water) and environmentally (no plastic waste).
Try: SWIGZ Dual Chamber Water Bottle ($14.95; goldsgear.com)
What: RECOVERY DRINK
Why: Repair your muscles with loads of protein and anti-inflammatory nutrients within 30 minutes of exercising.
Try: Vanilla Créme Muscle Milk (select Gold's Gym Pro Shops)
What: RUBBER FLIP-FLOPS
Why: When you hop into the shower, you'll want to protect your feet. Plus, it's nice to have something clean and dry to slip into after a hard workout.
Try: Havaianas flip-flops ($16; havaianasus.com)
What: BATTERY-POWERED IPOD CHARGER
Why: There's almost nothing worse than climbing onto the elliptical only to realize that your iPod is kaput. By tossing a portable charger into your bag, you'll always have extra juice available for your cardio workout.
Try: iTurbo iPod Charger ($25; travelsmith.com)
What: RE-SEALABLE PLASTIC BAG
Why: If you're a gym-goer who regularly squeezes in a morning workout before heading to the office, you don't want your dirty, sweaty gym clothes stinking up your tote — and all the other gym accessories in it. Keep odors at bay by placing the gym clothes and socks you've worn in plastic resealable bags.
Try: Ziploc Storage Bags, Jumbo 2 Gallon Size ($4.69 for 12 bags)
What: WORKOUT JOURNAL
Why: You know it's important to keep track of your fitness goals — and, better yet, your progress. With a journal devoted to both exercise and general diet information, you'll be able to record the decisions you make.
Try: Gold's Gym Workout Journal ($16.95; goldsgear.com)
What: CLEAN T-SHIRT
Why: There's nothing better than a clean, dry T-shirt waiting for you after a tough workout. Besides, do you really want to throw your work clothes back on?
Try: A classic tee from Gold's Gym (select Gold's Gym Pro Shops or goldsgear.com)