Once you have your gym bag essentials down to a science, taking a trip to the gym can start to feel like a breeze.
If you are trying to get your workout routine as streamlined as possible, I highly suggest being prepared for your workout with all of the essential gear packed in advance – especially if you are going to exercise before or after work or a social function.
By having an organized bag, you can add ease to your routine and maximize the time you have for working out. It is extremely helpful to prepare your bag in advance so that way you can easily hit the gym before or after any obligations you have.
If you’re new to a your workout routine, or if you are just getting some ideas for your gym bag, this article is going to cover everything you need to know about the best gym bag essentials, from what to look for in a bag, to what you need to pack inside of it.
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GYM BAG ESSENTIALS
1. GYM BAG
Obviously, the first step to getting all of your gym bag essentials consolidated is to have a gym bag! Honestly, this doesn’t have to be fancy. It could be as simple as using Lululemon shopping bag or a tote bag. Whatever is big enough to fit all of your gym bag essentials.
2. HYGIENE ITEMS
If you need to shower after your workout make sure you have all of the toiletries you will need. This could include but is not limited to:
–Shampoo and Conditioner
The type you use is a matter of personal preference. If you are a daily gym goer, don’t forget to use a gentle shampoo if you plan to wash your hair daily (or if you’re hair is oily!) Currently, my go to gentle shampoo is the Tree to Tub Fragrance Free Shampoo for Dry & Sensitive Scalp.
Don’t go to your job and social event straight from the gym before you wash away all that stank! My favorite body wash at the moment is this natural, sulfate-free body wash by Native and it smells so good!
I love the Alo Yoga Scented Natural Deodorant! It smells amazing, and is aluminum free all while you keeping your armpits smelling like citrus.
It’s always a good idea to keep spare feminine hygiene supplies in your gym bag for those just-in-case moments. I personally prefer the Playtex Sport Tampons designed for movement.
–Comb or Hairbrush
After getting a shower, I recommend using the Wet Detangling Brush or the Kitsch Wet/Dry Brush which are carefully designed with flexible bristle to prevent hair breakage while your hair is at its most fragile state – while it’s wet.
A lot of gyms already have these, but if yours does not, be prepared to get ready for your day by bringing a bath towel. Furthermore, I recommend bringing microfiber hair towel to protect your hair while it’s wet.
Skin care (just like fitness) is all about consistency, even if you’re doing your routine anywhere other than your own home. What you pack may include moisturizer, SPF cream, or Vitamin C serum to brighten up your face for the day.
3. COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE ITEMS
To make your workout and the day that follows as convenient and comfortable for you as possible, consider packing an extra phone charger, band-aids, extra socks, and/or a gym towel to dry off any sweat.
If you’re keeping your belongings in a gym locker, don’t forget to keep a gyn lock in your gym bag in order to safely store your things.
I love to listen to music at gym, and particularly while I’m doing some long-form, low-intensity cardio on the treadmill or stair master. For years, I used Apple Earbuds to listen to music, but I eventually switched over to wireless blue tooth headphones and I love it! I like the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones and the Apple AirPods (2nd Generation).
This is optional, but it is not a bad idea to bring some kind of flip-flop to wear in the shower to prevent contracting a highly contagious bacterial or fungal infection. These Rubber Cloud Slippers are very trendy right now and it would be perfect to shower in as they are quick-drying. I personally love the rubber Birkenstock’s too!
4. FITNESS GEAR
Your gym probably has almost everything you need, but if you prefer some other equipment, you may opt to pack some lightweight gear. You’ll also need all the apparel for getting sweaty. This may include:
You need a good pair of sneaks for the gym. My favorites are the Brooks Ghost Running Shoe.
The type of activity you are doing will determine the level of support you need from your bra. If you are doing yoga, opt for a light support bra and if you are running or jumping, go for a high support bra.
Not many gyms have ankle weights for use, so you may need to pack your own. These ankle weights are great additions to workouts that involve pilates style leg lifts and donkey kicks.
5. Anything Else You Need But Is Not Available At Your Gym
This could include boxing gloves, rock climbing shoes, pilates socks, and more.
6, POST WORKOUT SNACKS
After a tough workout, you will have an appetite and you will want to refuel. Don’t forget something to snack on such as a protein shake, piece of fruit, or perhaps a granola bar.
Staying hydrated is very important. You’ll need a good, reliable water bottle. My favorite reusable water bottle is the Yeti Rambler.
8. YOUR CLOTHES FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY
If you are working out in the morning, pack your clothes in advance so you can go straight to work or your next adventure for the day.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GYM BAG
What you need in a gym bag depends on your what you are going to do at the gym, before the gym, and afterwards.
- SIZE: Your gym bag should be big enough you hold everything you need including the clothes, shoes, and toiletries you are packing.
- COMPARTMENTS: Beyond the basics, what else do you need to fit in your gym bag? Laptop? Books? Chargers? Yoga mat? Soccer ball? You may want to find a bag with separate compartments for all of these things.
- MATERIAL: Is the material durable? Do you need something that will maintain good condition even in rough conditions?
- STYLE: What kind of colors, fabrics, and textures do you like?
DON’T NEGLECT CLEANING AND CARE
You want your gym bag to last several years, even after many washes.
Read the label for washing instructions, as some gym bags should only be cleaned by hand while others can go into the washing machine and then air dried.
Bags made of nylon and canvas can typically be thrown in the washing machine. Anything with leather or leather trim should be washed by hand.
Washing by hand may entail getting an old toothbrush or wet hand towel and wiping down the bag with gentle soap or detergent.
Consider a deodorizing agent for your bag or your gym shoes. You could also throw a few dryer sheets into your bag.
GYM BAG ESSENTIALS CONCLUSION
Once you have all of your gym bag essentials in check, you’ll have a much easier time working out before or after work or a social activity. With preparation, you can have a more streamlined process to achieve your goals.