We’ve all been there — you hit the gym ready to make use of your antiperspirant only to realize you’ve left something behind that’s crucial to your workout (sometimes you even leave the antiperspirant itself). Although every gym-goer’s needs are unique, there are a few essentials that are must-haves for every gym bag. To avoid any mishaps and make it even easier to get to the gym, do your best to keep at least these items in your gym bag at all times:
So, how does it feel knowing that the workout playlist you handcrafted on the way to the gym is completely useless now?
There’s no worse feeling than the gut-wrenching sensation you feel in the pit of your stomach once you realized that you’ve left your headphones at home yet again. You can forget about zoning out during your exercise; instead, you’ll be forced to listen to the sound of running treadmills and the weird grunts guys make when they’re weight lighting. Not to mention that now you can’t pretend to ignore people that you don’t feel like talking to on account of your being not so sweet smelling.
Make your life easier by designating a pair of headphones specifically for your gym escapades, and leave your everyday on-the-go pair at home.
Hydration is a major workout key, so you’re sure to appreciate a re-fillable water bottle.
Sure, this may be a “duh” for some of you smartalecs, but it’s one of the most important items you could—and should always—have. Having an empty, reusable water bottle that you can refill on the fly will make sure you’re always able to hydrate (and for you tree huggers, it’s also a much more ecofriendly option than the plastic bottles provided by the vending machines).
A towel… or two
.. or five, depending on how much your fat cries when you workout. Not only will you need something to dry off with after you post-workout shower, you’ll probably also appreciate having a sweat rag to get rid of excess moisture while you workout.
That’s where your second, slightly smaller sized towel comes in. Sweating is normal—especially in the gym! But nobody wants to sit in your sweat. Bring your own towel to wipe down the equipment after you finish using it, or simply to keep your sweat to yourself.
Sweat in your eyes is a bummer, but so are those pesky towel rental fees that the gym insists on charging.
Acne doesn’t have to be a part of your workout results. Ladies: Give your face a good wash before and after you sweat to help fight breakouts and make sure you’re not that girl with a full-face of smearing makeup during a cardio class.
Oil-free washes are your new best friend! Even if you don’t have acne, it’s a good idea to invest in a cleanser or soap that’s specially formulated to remove oil, dirt, and dead skin cells.
Even the floors of the cleanest gym showers are breeding grounds for fungi. Most people will tell you that you’re probably safe if you don’t wear shower shoes at the gym, but it’s not a chance you should be willing to take.
While you’re probably better off showering at home, wearing a pair of flip-flops or athletic slides will help keep your feet just as healthy as the rest of your body.
Since we’ve established that sweating is a natural and normal result of a good workout, you’re going to need something to combat the negative qualities of perspiration. We love to sweat for the good of shedding fat, but as for the smell and stickiness of it all? Not so much.
Do yourself (and everyone else at the gym) a favor by keeping deodorant handy so that you’re fresh as can be at all times.
An Extra T-Shirt
Covered in sweat? Not anymore!
A fresh shirt will be appreciated when you walk out of the gym to find a text with to a casual lunch invitation, or simply to keep you dry on your walk home after an especially intense or hot workout.
Sometimes you don’t have time to take a shower before heading to your next destination, and that’s okay. Take a moment to cool down, utilize your sweat towel, apply your deodorant, and then toss on your back-up tee and voila! You’re (temporarily) good to go.
Your gym bag is getting pretty heavy now, huh?
A cluttered gym bad is typically a heavy and unwieldy gym bag. Try reducing the amount to junk you think you need in your bag by incorporating combination products. Instead of packing shampoos/condition AND body wash, find a product that well serves both purposes.
Arriving to the gym on an empty stomach probably isn’t the best idea.
Actually, it’s the easiest way to sabotage your workout before you even get going. Avoid having a hangry episode and make sure you’ve fueled for your sweat sesh by prepping your bag with some snacks that can be easily munched on-the-go.
Don’t pack just any shoes, but actual gym shoes.
If you’re an advanced lifter, you may prefer lifting shoes to traditional cross-trainers or running shoes. Whatever choice you make, make sure it provides the support you need for the type of training you plan to do. Running around the gym in a pair of sandals will probably turn out even worse than it’ll look.
The SlimClip Case
If for some reason you didn’t already have it attached to your iPhone, make sure you don’t leave it out when you’re packing your gym bag! There’s no room in your perfectly packed bag for a bulky armband or an annoying fanny belt. Whether you need to listen to music, send a quick text message, or check your fitness tracker, make sure you have your Slim Clip case handy so you can keep your iPhone by your side at all times.