What do you keep in your gym bag? Gym-newbies don't often know that you need to carry lots of stuff to workout in style. We suggest, you look for a water-resistant bag that's compact enough to fit in a standard locker but at the same time roomy enough to hold the extras. Let us guide you through 8 absolute gym bag essentials.
So we can’t begin to tell you how important a good pair of trainers are!! If you use shoes that are cheap or run-down, you’ll get blisters, and a poor work-out. Invest the money in a pair of shoes that fit right. Even in the cleanest women’s locker room, it’s possible, and in fact most probable, that there are all sorts of nasty germs around. Remember to bring a pair of flip-flip slip-ons, and wear them anytime you take off your shoes. And please be sure to wear them in the shower, for sure!
If I get to the gym and realize I’ve left my iPod at home, I turn right back around and get it. It’s impossible to work-out without the right music! If you don’t like an iPod on and constantly having your ears plugged, ensure your gym plays music you enjoy. You can even find lists of great work-out songs online if you don’t want to take the effort to compile one for yourself! Make sure your iPod is charged and carry in your gym bag each time! A handy tip - carry a portable iPod charger and an extra pair of earphones in your gym bag at all times! If you're clueless about what kind of music you should listen to during your workout sessions, you should totally check out our workout playlist!
Most gyms don’t supply towels, and even if they did, would you really want to use one of them? Bring a good, fluffy towel, and make sure you wash it after EVERY use. You might want to bring a washcloth too. If you’re working out like you should, you’ll be a sweaty mess by the time you’re done. Keep yourself hydrated! Water fountains, due to the large number of people who drink from them on a daily basis, are usually smothered in bacteria, particularly on the mouth and handle (And no it’s not even just that we are trying to gross you out). An easy way to eliminate – or at least reduce – your exposure to those bacteria is to bring your own water bottle. Remember to wash it thoroughly after every workout, from the inside and outside! An extremely handy tip: avoid drinking ice-cold water, as it can give you horrible stomach cramps. Keep a bottle in your gym bag, so you’ll always have one if you forget a chilled one at home.
Body wash, shampoo and a conditioner (Yes, every time! After the trauma of all that perspiration in your scalp, you need to get it squeaky clean) so make sure you bring those with you. Small bottles will take up less space in your gym bag, and aren’t as heavy, but I recommend bringing the full-sized bottles, or you’ll be refilling them constantly! And not to forget, a Face wash, Because acne surely doesn’t have to be part of your workout results. Try using an oil-free face wash to prevent breakouts.
Also don’t forget to keep the post shower goodies along that you usually use too, such as a moisturizer, deodorant and some basic make up! Let me say it again, a DEODERANT! Yes, ‘I just got out of the gym’ is NOT a good enough excuse to smell like that! Eeks! Also pack a clean change of clothes, separate from your gym bag or in a laundry bag in which you can later place your sweaty clothes so as to keep them away from the rest of the things in your Gym bag.
Wearing a heart rate monitor during your workout can help make the most of your time at the gym. By using a monitor, you can more accurately track when your heart rate is high enough for cardiovascular or weight-loss benefits (Yes, there is such a thing!!!). Also, it’ll be easier to know when you’ve reached your limit or if you’re training too hard.
Not a very Fun fact, but one worth knowing all the same - Certain bacteria – like Staphylococcus aureus (Ya, I had to look that up too), a leading cause of staph infections – can survive in gyms for up to 72 hours after contact with a previously sterile surface, according to a recent study from the University of California-Irvine. But if you don’t want to look like the cleanliness obsessed paranoid freak and don’t want to be carrying disinfectant wipes around the gym to rub down equipment (and even basketballs or volleyballs), make sure to wash your hands with soap after your workout. And we mean, really wash like scrub them clean sorts of wash!
If you’ve ever gotten your period at the gym, you know how important it is to bring pads or tampons with you. Trust us, this is one situation you really do not want to find yourself in! Toss a couple of them into your bag on a precautionary basis and don’t worry about it!
If you happen to be one of those (A lot of us are) who is always starving when they finish working out, take to bringing a small bag or box of fruit and keeping a box of organic granola or energy bars in your gym bag. Whatever light snack you prefer, keep some in your gym bag, so if you feel like you want something to eat, you don’t have to blow all the calories you just burned on vending-machine junk!
Now that you know what to pack in your gym bag, you’ll be able to leave a packed bag in your car so you can work out whenever you have the energy even if you didn’t plan on it earlier in the day! So what are you waiting for Ladies? Hit the Gym and get into shape right about now, if you haven’t already gotten going! ;)
MUST-READ: #RealGirlBasics: What To Wear To The Gym