Whether you’re new to working out at the gym or a frequent visitor, packing your gym bag can sometimes leave you with a blank stare. It’s a simple thing to do, but every now and then we forget the little things that make our visit more productive and enjoyable. If you need a reminder, here are eight gym bag essentials that should go with you when you’re heading off to workout.
Everyone goes to the gym, but not everyone practices good hygiene. When you’re in an environment where you’ll be sharing machines and other equipment, it’s always good to have disinfectant wipes to clean the equipment before using it. If you’re a frequent visitor to the gym, you could purchase a large bottle of wipes and fill up a small Ziploc bag with a handful each time you go.
Heart Rate Monitor
Heart rate monitors are fairly inexpensive now, and are incorporated into a variety of different devices. Reaching your target heart rate is essential for a productive workout, regardless of your fitness goals. When you’re not wearing one on your wrist, it’s a good idea to have one in your gym bag.
Always pack a few healthy snacks before going to the gym. Even if you’ve already eaten, you will get hungry again after you’ve burned a ton of calories and used a ton of energy. Nuts and fruit are simple, inexpensive snacks that can carry you a long way during your workout and afterwards. Protein bars are also a good choice to help curb your hunger before or after your workout.
No one wants sweaty hair flinging across their face in the middle of a workout. If your locks are long, you should definitely pack a ponytail holder or two into your gym bag. Some will hold your hair tighter than others, so make sure your holder is comfortable and strong. Scrunchies have been known to fly off during high intensity workouts, so if you’re going to use these, you may need to wear more than one.
This seems like a no brainer, but some people don’t take water to the gym because they depend on the gym to provide it. You should always have your own water on hand, even if you can get it at the facility. They may run out, the water could be too expensive, or you may prefer flavored water. If you’re environmentally conscious, take a reusable water bottle.
If you work up a good sweat, you’re going to want to take a shower at the gym. Be sure to pack a moisturizer so you can rehydrate your skin afterwards. This is important because some facilities have hard water that is particularly harsh on the skin. If you’re strapped for time, try using a spray on moisturizer, or a moisturizing cleanser.
Your Favorite Soap
Your local gym will probably have soap and hair cleansers available in the showers, but rest assured they won’t be the kind that you’re used to. Always pack your favorite soap and shampoo when going to the gym. You’ll feel better using the products that you prefer, and having your favorites on hand can help to relax you after a strenuous workout.
Sweating is inevitable when you’re working out. Always remember to pack a good antiperspirant with you for those times when you sweat more than usual. In fact, you should have a special bar of deodorant that stays in your gym bag at all times. This way, you won’t have to remember to pack it, and you won’t get caught without it.