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Various workout equipment

Everyone struggles to maintain a consistent & satisfying workout schedule AND keep up with eating healthy, getting enough sleep, lowering stress, and all the other things needed to create a healthier life. We asked our YMCA of Greater Omaha Health & Wellness staff two questions: What are the most essential items you need for a GREAT workout and what healthy habit have you started recently & stuck with? Here's what they said! Hopefully you can pick up some tips & tricks from some of our most active & healthy staff members.


Allyssa R.

  • Essentials: "Water because being dehydrated is harmful in general but also zaps your energy levels making it nearly impossible to get a good workout. Headphones and a good podcast or energizing playlist!"
  • Habit: "Daily Yoga"


Amber C.

  • Essentials: "Headphones- never workout with out them, MyZone heart rate monitor- if you didn't track it, it didn't happen! Water- a given; Workout log- don't fly blind, have a goal and a plan; Gym chalk- because deadlifts! Lifting straps- heavy single leg double dumbbell work; Lifting shoes- wide flat base; Weight belt- heavy squats and deadlifts; Cycling shoes- because clipping in gives a better experience; Body spray- in case I don't shower right away; Socks- have to change socks even if I don't shower right away; Small shower kit- for when I do shower"
  • Habit: "I did a Whole30 a few years ago and I learned that I do not process gluten well so I've gone gluten free for health reasons and I feel much better."


Theresa L.

  • Essentials: "Gum, airpods, and lifting straps---can't stand a dry mouth when I'm working out, love to have something to listen to whether it be a podcast or fun music, my grip isn't as strong as the muscles I'm targeting"
  • Habit: "So many--earlier bedtime, greatly reducing alcohol intake, early morning walks, setting really clear time boundaries so I can prioritize time with my family and my own workouts"


Diana B.

  • Essentials: "Sneakers, gym clothes, personal care items, headphones (music) , Energy bar, water bottle, membership card. I need all of these things motivation and comfort."
  • Habit: "I exercise to enjoy life, I don't complete with anyone, I workout to reach my physical goals and to feel good and I don't give up the foods I love...."


Michelle H.

  • Essentials: "Myzone heart rate monitor and my phone with my workout interval app. It not only allows me to track my heart rate zones and make sure I am working out at the intensities I want, but the zone match feature provides a great workout design - on any piece of equipment-in a pinch. And it is a fun and frustrating game!"
  • Habit: "Adding protein powder to my coffee to fuel my morning workout without weighing me down and drinking athletic greens immediately after my workout to kickstart my nutritional choices for the day."


Jen M.

  • Essentials: "Lip gloss and gum (I need lip gloss so my lips won't stick to my teeth and gum so my breath won't stink:)"
  • Habit: "Adding meditation for a few minutes each morning"


Micheal O.

  • Essentials: "Depending on the day, lifting straps for deadlifts on back day. Water, shoes and, well, deodorant are all super important too, and not necessarily in that order, but lifting straps are a major accessory on big lift days!"
  • Habit: "Strength training! The phrase 'body re-composition' has been big in my head for the past 8 months as I shifted my mindset from a primarily cardio-only focus to adding more strength training in to my daily routines."


Anna S.

  • Essentials: "Myzone Heart Rate Tracker- It helps provide data to support my workout goals. Water Bottle- Hydration is key with all that sweating! Brooks sneakers- Good shoes make every workout better and their cute too! Icy Hot cream- sometimes you just need something to get you through!"
  • Habit: "Workout 7 Days per week with varying formats and intensity."


Michelle M.

  • Essentials: "The right shoes for particular workouts. I carry dance, running, and weight lifting shoes in my car/gym bag at all times."
  • Habit: "Eliminating processed foods and eating whole foods as often as possible."


Shelby B.

  • Essentials: "Supportive shoes based on the training I am doing, CHARGED headphones, full water bottle. Different shoes provide different comfort and function, you want to make sure you have what supports you and your goals to prevent injury. Charged headphones because I don't want to listen to myself breathing :) (hehe) and a full water bottle because hydration is key."
  • Habit: "Walking outside daily(almost anyway). Getting the sun, fresh air and peacefulness of a disconnected walk. We spend so much time indoors that I make it a point to walk, even for 10 minutes or down the block helps clear my mind and lower my stress."


Lois T.

  • Essentials: "My music, It's what makes me happy and makes me move."
  • Habit: "Drinking more water. Sometimes it is plain, sometimes it's flavored; whatever it takes to make me keep drinking."


John W.

  • Essentials: "Lifting straps and wraps, BCAA's, and Creatine!"
  • Habit: "Adding more veggies and cutting out energy drinks!"


Jenn P.

  • Essentials: "My SHOES!"
  • Habit: "Eliminating soda."


McCall K.

  • Essentials: "I need my JBL Headphones and my HydroJug. Music and water are life during my workouts."
  • Habit: "I eliminated alcohol completely from my life and started tracking my sleep and recovery. I believe these healthy habits have helped me to lose 45lbs in a year."