Are you thinking of going to the gym but aren’t sure what you need to bring in your gym bag? These 14 workout essentials are some of the most important things you need to keep in mind when packing for your workout.
Buy an adequate bag
Choosing an adequate bag can be as important as bringing the right workout essentials to the gym is. You want to invest in a high-quality gym bag that will last you a long time. It should be durable and easy to clean. But other than that, you should aim to get an adequately sized bag. You want to make sure that all of your gym necessities can easily fit in. Consider buying a bag that has multiple compartments. This way you will be able to put your clothes in one compartment, your shoes in a separate one, and your food, snacks, and water in the third compartment. This will not only help you keep the bag organized, but will also help you find what you are looking for much quicker.
Your gym membership card
Nowadays, many gyms stopped asking their members to present their membership cards in order to enter the gym. Most of them use an app, your phone number, or a fingerprint scan now. However, if your gym still uses membership cards it’s important that you keep it handy, somewhere close in your gym bag or your wallet. Some of them can even be attached to a keychain since they are tag-shaped. Or you could even clip them to your bag as well, while those regular-sized cards can be stored in a gym bag pocket.
However, if you have different bags for different occasions, workouts, yoga classes, or dance classes, your wallet might be your best option. Also, make sure, when you are traveling, whether there are any other gyms you can enter under the same membership.
Pack quality workout clothes
Choosing high-quality and comfortable workout clothes is one of the most important parts. Two key items you must pack for your workout are a workout shirt and bottom. When you’re buying clothes for the gym, opt for buying the fabric that is breathable and well-fitted. Also, make sure you have in mind the type of workout you are going to be doing that day. For instance, you definitely wouldn’t want to have a too-large shirt that would be falling over your face when you’re bending over in your yoga class. And always aim for quality and usefulness over fashion.
See what works best for you whether those are tank tops or short sleeve shirts, workout shorts, tights, or pants. It doesn’t really matter as long as you feel comfortable wearing those clothes. For those, colder months make sure your clothes are warm and that you have layers. Preferably pack a jacket and track pants, especially if you’re walking out of the gym while still wearing your gym clothes after the workout. It can also be very useful to pack extra underwear if you are going to the office right after the gym. Nobody feels comfortable putting clean clothes over sweaty underwear.
Bring gym shoes
High-quality and comfortable gym shoes are also a workout essential packing item for the gym. Most people opt for trainers or running shoes. However, if you are an advanced lifter, the better you might want to go for lifting shoes. No matter what type of athletic shoes you choose to wear, it’s very important that you pack them. Running on a treadmill in anything other than adequate shoes for running would be very hard.
Also, don’t forget the socks. To make sure you never forget to pack them, leave a pair of socks in your gym bag at all times. It’s always useful to have an extra pair of socks in case the ones you are wearing slide down in your shoes, get wet, or have something else happen to them that might cause you discomfort while working out. Socks are just as important as shoes and gym clothes are.
Lastly, bring flip-flops to the gym. In case you want to take a quick shower there at the gym, flip-flops are a must-have. To avoid placing your bare feet on the shower floor, wear a pair of flip-flops. This way you will protect your feet from bacteria and fungi.
Throw in a few hair ties or sweatbands
If you have longer hair, having a few hair ties or sweatbands in your gym bag at all times is quite useful. They will keep your hair out of your face as you work out. If you have shorter hair that you can’t tie, sweatbands are your best friends from now on. They will not only keep your hair off your face but will soak up the sweat too.
Pack all the essential toiletries
Packing all the essential toiletries is also very important, especially if you are hitting the gym during your lunch break or right before work. Having the items that will help you stay refreshed, clean and professional for the rest of the day is quite important. For instance, deodorant or a body spray will help you smell refreshing for the rest of the day. But be careful not to overdo it, especially if you are not showering fully after your workout.
The next thing you want to have in your gym bag at all times is body wash. You can also bring a hair shampoo in case you end up having enough time to wash your hair as well. Bring your facial cleansers and moisturizer as well so that you can properly clean your face and get rid of all that sweat. If you want, you can throw in some toner too, but that’s optional. Bring your shaving cream and razor, just in case you plan on shaving there at the gym. Lastly, make sure to always have your dry shampoo in the gym bag. This can be very useful in case you don’t have enough time to wash your hair before getting back to the office.
Keep a towel with you
Another essential that you definitely must pack in your gym bag is a towel. Not many gyms have towels and give them to their members to use, and even if they do have them and properly wash them, they still might not be the cleanest option. That is why bringing your own towel to the gym is quite useful and generally recommended.
Bring a water bottle
Hydration is important in general, but it’s even more essential when you’re working out. Make sure to always bring a water bottle with you and refill it as often as you need to. It will save you a lot of money as well since bottled water at the gym can be quite expensive.
Throw in some snacks
Consider keeping some healthy snacks in your gym bag as well for that pre- or post-workout boost that your body needs. Some delicious yet healthy snacks that you can bring to the gym are nuts, apples, protein bars. You could also bring healthy juice, bananas, or nutrition bars. And since your body loses a lot of energy during an intense workout, it needs some quality nutrients to regain that lost energy. That is why many people opt for drinking protein shakes right after their workout. All you need to do is invest in some high-quality protein shaker bottles and you’ll have your healthy energy-boosting drink on the go that you can consume right after your exhausting gym session.
Don’t forget the electronics
Also, make sure to bring your phone and headphones, or an I Pod if you prefer. Listening to some good music while working out can really boost your energy ad motivate you. After all, who doesn’t like listening to music?
Heart Rate Monitor
Speaking of electronics, it can also be quite useful to bring the heart rate monitor to the gym. You can use it when you’re doing interval training or testing out your limits in the anaerobic zone. You can get wristband-style heart rate monitors in various price ranges, shapes, and colors, or you can opt for some higher-end models that include multiple pedometer/heart/respiration tracking functions as well.
Most of the gyms use self-locking systems for their lockers, but in some gyms, you have to have your own lock and bring it with you. Now, this can be kind of complicated if you are traveling because not all locks will necessarily fit all lockers. Some padlocks might be too big, while tiny locks can easily be broken in case of poor security. To avoid these potential issues, it’s best that you call the gym in advance and ask them for advice. Try to leave as many valuable at home or hotel instead of bringing them with you. In case you’re not too sure about the quality of their security, ask if they have facilities where you can store your valuables or if you could bring them with you.
Remember the sanitizer
Gyms are one of the best places for germs to thrive, especially on all of the shared equipment. To avoid germs as much as possible, make sure you bring a hand sanitizer that you can use right afterward. Or you could also bring disinfectant wipes. You can use them to wipe your hands down, or even better to wipe the machines and weights down before using them for your workout. Plus there is less chance with wipes that they will make a mess in your bag if they accidentally opened.
Don’t overlook first aid
Lastly, it’s important that you have your first aid with you. Any kind of small injury can occur while you’re working out such as blisters, small cuts, and other abrasions. You can get them by using pretty much any of the equipment and machines at the gym if you’re not careful enough. That’s why it is important to have band-aids and bandages in your gym bag at all times.
All things considered, making sure you have all the essentials when you’re going to the gym is very important. You never know what you might end up needing. And lastly, make sure to always pack the night before. That way there’s a less chance you’ll end up forgetting something important and you’ll be able to just pick up the bag and leave when you need to.