Gear

5 Essential Products for Your Sports Bag

Vibrating foam roller

From compression socks to magnesium gel, these items will help take your training to the next level.

When it comes to keeping a successful training routine, preparation is key. Having the right items packed in your sports or gym bag ready to go at all times is the greatest way to be prepared and to reach your goals. Whether you’re training to compete in a competition or are a social sportsman or woman, it’s important to keep your body in tip-top shape so you can give your best at all times. To help you choose the best products for your training routine we’ve compiled a list of 5 essential items you should have in your sports bag at all times. From heart rate monitors to compression socks, these items will help take your training to the next level.

Compression socks

Many people believe muscle soreness following a workout is a good thing — an indicator you’ve had a good workout. However, muscle soreness is caused by a swelling of the muscles, which in turn causes pain. To relieve the pain, you’ll need to relieve the swelling. Enter compression socks.

A good pair of compression socks help reduce swelling in your muscles, thereby helping them recover faster. Swelling is caused by poor circulation in your legs and feet caused by overworking your heart and gravity during your workout. The snugness of compression socks promotes better circulation to help relieve pain. Compression socks can also assist with heel pain and shin splints from running on pavement or concrete.

We tried Botthms’ compression socks, and to great effect, a) helping keep our meat pins warm, and b) adding a bit of a squeeze to help produce blood flow and keep the calves from bouncing around and taking too much impact.

Wintergreen Magnesium Lotion

Prone to muscle cramps? Try this daily magnesium lotion by Wintergreen. The benefits of this lotion are multifaceted. It’s a cream so it absorbs quickly into the skin without much pressure needed, making it a great option to use as a daily moisturizer or before bed to help the body relax.

By applying it after a shower or bath when the body is warm and the pores are open the lotions added Vitamin E oil and Shea butter help hydrate the skin and improve its appearance, keeping it toned and supple, reducing the effects of ageing and helping to repair sun damage. While the wintergreen, arnica oil and pure magnesium go deeper, reducing muscle fatigue, inflammation and pain, replenishing and preventing cramping caused when too much magnesium is lost during excessive sweating whilst exercising. You can grab the Wintergreen range from BLK SA.

Electric foam roller

One of the biggest mistakes made when training for any sport is the lack of stretching and after-sport muscle care. It’s important to complete any workout or training session without a cooldown or stretching period. Stretching and cooling down can help your muscles recover faster for the next workout.

Using a foam roller helps apply direct pressure to muscles and tissues while you’re stretching. This gets to the deep muscles and tissues, works out the knots and helps your muscles recover faster. You can invest in a small foam roller that you can fit into your sports bag for relieving muscle tension on-the-go, and if you want to ramp it up a notch, there are electric foam rollers that have vibration functions, which adds an extra massage to help break up the hard muscle fascia. We picked one up from Takealot.

Deep Relief Ibuprofen Gel

For the everyday athlete, niggly pains that don’t go away can really set you back and hinder your progress. Training whilst enduring pain can often worsen the problem. This is where Deep Relief comes in. Rather than using oral anti-inflammatory medication regularly, a topical anti-inflammatory gels such as Deep Relief can offer numerous benefits.  Topical gels are directly absorbed in the site of injury thus the product doesn’t pass through the internal organs and it has a lower incidence of gastro-intestinal side effects.

Deep Relief Ibuprofen Gel is a topical anti-inflammatory and analgesic which treats acute musculo-skeletal pain fast and effectively. It combines the powerful pain-relieving action of Ibuprofen and the immediate cooling sensation of Menthol for targeted pain relief, that is also long-lasting. Additional benefits are its non-greasy formulation, along with the pleasant scent of menthol. Deep Relief Ibuprofen Gel is ideal for the dad with the aching back to the marathon runner.

Wintergreen Sportswear Pre-soak

After your workout, it’s also important to take care of your sports gear. Wintergreens Sportswear Pre-soak has been formulated with ingredients with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic properties such as antimicrobial Chlorhexidine gluconate which also disinfects and sterilizes, as well as positive, calming, mood-enhancing perfume ingredients like Citronellol and Linalool.

The best way to use the Wintergreen Sportswear Pre-soak is to dilute the solution in a bucket of water, as one capful will make 4 litres of soaking solution, this allows for a lot of laundry to be pre-soaked at one time. A 20-minute soak in the solution is all that’s needed before washing as normal.

What are some of your gym-bag must-haves? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA, posting on our Facebook page, or commenting below.

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