Once you have made your resolve to lost weight and found a gym which suits you, then there are just a few things you still need to acquire to make your life easier. I would recommend a good heart rate monitor (HRM) for starters. There are some which are as cheap as $30 (Mio Brand) and some which cost hundreds. Most of them will come with a chest strap which records your heart beats/minute and lets you see what they are. Personally I use the Polar FT4 or FT7 HRM. I think they are simple but full functioned, easy to use while you are pounding away, and reliable. They are water proof so you can go swimming and record your heart rate too. Other people really love the Garmin “Ant” technology HRM’s, but as a general rule they are a bit more expensive.

I paid $90 for my HRM and really believe that was money well spent. Just don’t get the kind that up upload to a place on the computer by sound. Polar has one of those and it never works. I just put my calories used in the LoseIt app by hand every day (it takes less than a minute) and my calories used are automatically added into the equation of my daily weight management.

You will want an HRM which gives you your heart rate and the calories you use while exercising. I like to have my exercise classes kept in the watch, too in addition to the LoseIt info I upload. I like an illuminated watch as well.

After the HRM, you will need serviceable clothes to wear into the gym. I think the Champion line at Target is priced right, looks great, and is just the thing.

Shoes are a different matter. I haunted the DSW outlet in my neighborhood for discount sneakers. If you can get a pair for around $50, you are doing well. Sam’s Club has some remarkable deals, but the selection is much narrower.

If you are into Zumba, do take a look at the dance sneakers if you can afford them. They are much lighter on your feet and have mesh on the sides to ventilate your feet as you move. Best of all, there is a smooth bottom of the shoe so you can slide across the floor gracefully but not so slick as to be dangerous. There is sometimes a ball on the bottom of the shoe so that you can pivot easily and I like that feature. These are about $50-70 and worth looking into if you are serious.

Finally, getting yourself a good aluminum water bottle (which is dishwasher safe) is a great idea. They are cheap so get at least two so you will have one when washing the other one. I like to put ice cubes and lemon juice in my water, it is very refreshing when you are going all out.

In addition to my H2O, I bring about 5-7 paper towels to classes. I mop my brow with them and then throw them away. Why is this good? I keep on hearing stories about very harmful germs you can pick up in gyms and this is one area where I applaud the thought be being able to toss something which could prove a bad idea to drag home with you. I console myself with the thought that they are light weight, cheap, and because I don’t have to wash them every time I use them, I am saving a bit of soap, water, and my labor. But cleanliness is the main driver here. Oh, it goes without saying that washing your hands after being in the gym is a great idea. I do that every time I work out.

Please note: I am not being paid in any way to endorse the things I mention here. I just found them, like them, and use them. YMMV but go out and have fun!

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