Having the right gear can mean the difference between a workout that is just okay and one that raises the bar on performance. Think about it – you wouldn’t show up to work without the right tools. Workouts are a kind of work. When you adopt an attitude of preparedness you set the stage for success.

Fitness tracker
Fitness trackers have evolved to become a must have no matter your sport of level. They are important because they provide accountability – you can’t pretend to yourself that your level of exertion is an 8 when it really is a 4. Fitness trackers also provide a measure of your workout patterns. You can accurately chart your workout patterns and progress. Use this information to celebrate keeping your workout promises to yourself or make changes that get you closer to your goals.

The right playlist can reduce the perceived level of exertion. That means you can work longer and harder with less difficulty. Also, when you choose the appropriate tempo you can maintain better pacing. The bottom line – music can improve your workout motivation leading to better stamina and more calories and fat burned.

Choose shoes that fit your gait, arch, and sport. Shoes that provide support improve agility and reduce the likelihood of injury. Take care when choosing socks as well. Look for breathable materials that do not cause blisters.

Weather gear
Bodies need to move all season long. That means you have to invest in gear that stands up to the elements. Choose moisture wicking sportswear for every season.
Opt for layers in winter. When days are shorter you will need clothes that reflect light or even a headlamp to be sure drivers and others can see you. Protect ears, nose, and hands in cold weather – they are most vulnerable. For rain and snow choose jackets that repel moisture, and keep sunscreen on hand for all outdoor exercise.

Dehydration can reduce performance. Drink water before exercise and as needed to stay hydrated – especially in warm weather.

Sport specific must haves
Aside from the basics, there are things you will need just for your sport. For example:
Yoga – mat and eye pillow or blocks and straps
Weight training – weight belt and gloves
Swimmers – goggles and cap

You get the idea. The goal is to use whatever tools help you perform better. After workout essentials include the foam roller and snacks. Ideally, yours will combine carbs and protein to replenish energy stores and build muscle. Having said all this – know that you can start with what you have. Buy or borrow tools as you can, so you don’t let not having them present an obstacle to getting or staying fit.