Sometimes it can feel like a guessing game when it comes to what you need to pack, especially if you are new to the gym, or not an avid gym-goer. We tend to over as a way to make sure we have everything we could possibly need, but this is unnecessary and can be more frustrating than it’s worth. There are only a few essential items you really need to pack into your gym bag to have the perfect balance of essentials without all of the extra weight. It’s all about keeping things simple, which makes it easier to find what you need when you look for it. Having a neat bag will also help you develop a routine, which is essential to a healthy workout regime. This list will help you pack the perfect gym bag so that you can focus on your workout and know with confidence that you have everything packed.
1. The Right Workout Gear
Having the right workout gear can greatly impact the success of your workout experience. This ranges from weight-lifting gloves to reduce the risk and severity of your blisters, to your own equipment like goggles and a swimming cap while in the pool, to the right workout attire. Don’t be shy to bring things like your own yoga mat from home. The right gear is what keeps you comfortable and motivated.
Your gear doesn’t have to be ugly. There are plenty of functional fashion items on the market. Direct your main attention to lightweight and quick-drying clothing options. Avoid clothing that is 100% cotton as cotton takes a long time to dry, especially when it is sports leggings for women. This traps perspiration and bacteria in place on the skin, which can lead to itching and irritation. Look for synthetics that draw moisture away from the skin and a well-fitted and supporting sports bra.
2. Footwear And Shoe Bags
Having the right footgear is so important. Depending on how serious of a gym-goer you are, you may or may not know that there are different types of shoes for different types of things. For your gym shoes, you should have something super comfy, supportive, and durable, preferably with a little bit of bounce. Your shoes need to suit the type of training that you do, as shoes for running, boxing, weightlifting, and cycling are all different, so keep this in mind when you work out. Your general training shoes need to support lateral movements and need to be flexible for explosive jumps in exercises like burpees. Your running shoes need to be comfortable with energy return and balance cushioning to ensure that you do not hurt your knees, ankles and strain the muscle. Pack according to what sort of workout you are planning on doing that day.
Be sure to always throw in an additional pair of socks. And on the topic of socks, if your main goal at the gym is yoga, it is well worth it to invest in a great pair of yoga socks. They keep your feet firmly fixed to the floor so that you don’t slip around and can enjoy the freedom of being shoes-free during the session.
Always remember to pack a shoe bag to keep that stink of socks and shoes at bay.
3. Bring Something To Drink In A Reusable Water Bottle
Water is very important and is something that is completely non-negotiable. Using a reusable water bottle reduces plastic waste and makes the water much healthier for you. There are plenty of interesting water bottles out there for you to choose from. Some will keep your drink cooler for longer and others let you create your own custom flavor infusions with fresh fruit. These are great for people who hate the taste of water. A water bottle will also help remind you to stay hydrated, even when you aren’t dying of thirst during a workout.
4. Pre And/Or Post-Workout Snacks
Be sure to pack a few nutritious and easy-to-transport snacks into your gym bag. With these, you will be able to easily beat gym hunger before it strikes and will be less likely to pick up an unhealthy snack after working out.
Make sure that you have something to boost your energy before you exercise. This will give you the push you need to get through your exercises and will give your muscles the energy they need to heal faster. Have some fruit like bananas, or apples, or a protein bar and some nuts.
5. Music & Earphones
Training with music is a personal preference as some people enjoy silence. Others need the motivation and blocking out of all external noise to keep them going and energized. When you train to music that suits your taste and creates playlists fit for your routine you are able to disappear into a whole different headspace. It is a good idea to find headphones that fit comfortably and don’t constantly fall out of your ears, or off of your head, and to play your music at an appropriate volume. You need to still be aware of your surroundings, as well as your breathing and heart rate.
A great route to go is wireless. It gives you so much freedom to move and you don’t have to worry about yanking them out of your ears accidentally, pulling you out of the zone, and ruining your groove.
6. Fitness Apps and Devices
Apps and fitness devices are designed to make working out a lot easier. Depending on what you want to achieve there are all sorts of options available at different price points. Apple Watch and Fitbit are two highly recommended smartwatches that can track your fitness. Most devices come with apps where you can track your progress on your phone, but there are loads of apps out there that track your details without the use of a smartwatch.
7. A Towel
This one is super simple, but we are all guilty of forgetting our towels at home. Sweat is natural, but no one wants to touch or sit in sweat that isn’t theirs. There are plenty of small, compact towel options out there that provide maximum sweat absorption.
Bonus Tip – For Those Who Shower Afterwards
Make sure to have a tiny toiletry bag full of your favorite toiletries, but travel-sized. This way you can clean up and feel confident about your appearance before leaving the gym.
We hope that this list has made it a little easier to pack your gym bag. A well-packed bag will make visits to the gym a lot more enjoyable.