If you intend to join a gym, you should be aware that it requires preparation to ensure that your workout routine runs smoothly. This includes packing your gym bag so you don't have to drive all the way home to get something you forgot. And if you're unsure what to include, here are 10 gym bag essentials for your fitness journey.
10 Gym Bag Essentials For Your Fitness Journey
- Foam Roller
- Water Bottle
- Hand Sanitizer
- Post Workout Clothes
Whenever you go to the gym, carrying a towel is important since you’ll be using it a lot. Of course, you can use the towels provided by the gym, but it’s healthier and more hygienic to use your towel since you’ll limit the spread of germs. Plus, you can keep an extra towel to wipe gym equipment before using them, limiting the chances of coming in contact with bacteria.
If you’re thinking about which type of towel to get, try choosing microfiber towels as they dry faster and are more absorbent than cotton towels. Also, microfiber towels are easily foldable and don’t occupy much space, making them one of the best gym bag essentials to carry.
You don’t want to start your workout by wearing a pair of flip-flops. If you mistakenly wear a pair of flip-flops to the gym, it’ll not only be uncomfortable, but also dangerous since flip-flops won’t provide the flexibility and endurance to complete your workout. Plus, the chances of injuring yourself are much higher than with a pair of good sneakers.
Before you leave home, ensure that your gym bag has a good pair of sneakers. When it comes to selecting gym sneakers, try to get those that are breathable and can provide good support, preferably with a minimum curve in the sole. Getting these types of gym sneakers will ensure that your feet have a good grip on the floor, in turn developing better balance and strength while exercising. Cross-training shoes are the best in this regard since they’re versatile and tick all the boxes for many types of exercises.
3. Foam Roller
You’ll certainly experience muscle soreness accompanied by some pain after a workout. To counter that, you can use painkillers if the pain is too intense. But if you want to relieve some of that post-workout soreness, then try using a foam roller. It’s not only useful after a workout, but also before doing one as it helps in relieving any tightness in the muscles.
Foam rollers can be easily kept in your bag as they're compact in nature. If you’re including a foam roller for the first time in your gym bag, start with one that has a softer side. You can use a denser roller once you have mastered your rolling technique and your muscles become adapted to the tenseness of a soft roller. A dense foam roller is ideal for long-term use since they’re more durable.
It’s alright to have your sweaty scent in the gym, but once you step outside, it won’t be pleasurable to those surrounding you. That’s why it’s important to include a deodorant as one of your gym bag essentials for your fitness journey. There’s a possibility that your gym won’t have a separate showering area and that’s when deodorants come in handy as well.
In addition to staying fresh and smelling pleasant, deodorants help prevent bacteria from developing and causing infections. However, you should know that applying deodorant immediately after a workout is not healthy as this will only make the smell worse. Use your deodorant only after you have wiped yourself thoroughly and ensured that there’s minimum sweat present in your armpits.
Gym music isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a power-packed workout. And to save you the trouble of the same old music being played on repeat in the gym, include a good pair of headphones in your gym bag.
Headphones come in different sizes, but it all depends on what you're comfortable with. Over-ear headphones provide better isolation from ambient noise but they’re a bit bulky. On the other hand, in-ear headphones are portable but don't provide a sound stage-like experience while listening.
Also, there are wireless and Bluetooth headphones available. Wired headphones give you better sound quality as compared to Bluetooth headphones, but you’re always at the mercy of the cables that could interfere with your routine. Bluetooth headphones will grant you that mobility but at the cost of battery consumption; you'll have to remind yourself to keep them charged all the time. The type of headphones entirely depends on what you want, so choose one that best suits your needs.
Having a log book to track your fitness journey would be a traditional way of tracking your fitness journey. However, why not use technology to assist you? Smartwatches have become the norm in every fitness enthusiast's gym bag, helping them to be on track with their workout schedule.
A pedometer or a fitness tracker would also do the job just fine, but a smartwatch can do so much more. Smartwatches can keep track of the number of steps walked, the amount of distance covered, pulse rate, heart rate, and so much more. Some are also equipped to send important health information to your doctor so that illnesses can be diagnosed better.
7. Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is key if you want to push through a power workout and carrying a water bottle will ensure that your water intake increases. Also, not all gym facilities will have water services at hand, giving you more reasons why you should include a water bottle as one of your gym bag essentials.
If you’re going to the gym, try taking a stainless steel water bottle that comes with a sipper lid since it’s more durable than other types of plastic bottles. A sipper lid ensures effortless drinking as compared to normal bottles that require you to unscrew the cap to drink water. Plus, having a stainless steel bottle reduces your carbon footprint too!
You need to restore that energy lost in your workout and there’s nothing better than a nutritious snack to help you with it. Proteins help in muscle recovery so stash a couple of protein bars in your gym bag. Of course, they cannot be substituted for a whole meal, but they provide a good burst of energy post-workout.
Also, raw nuts are a good source of protein to include in your gym bag. Include almonds, cashews, and peanuts since they’re protein-rich and make great snacks to nibble on after a workout. You could also include fruits such as oranges, bananas, and apples for that added dose of nutrition.
9. Hand Sanitizer
It’s important to practice proper hygiene before and after using gym equipment. Sanitizing your hands with a good alcohol-based hand sanitizer will protect your hands when you touch uncleaned gym equipment.
After exercising, lightly clean the gym equipment, particularly the handles, to prevent others from coming into contact with germs, causing infections that disrupt gym routines. Be sure to include a hand sanitizer as part of your gym bag essentials for your fitness journey.
10. Post Workout Clothes
After having a vigorous workout session, you don’t want to go home with your sweaty gym clothes on. It won’t only leave a sweaty odor, but also be the breathing ground for bacteria. Staying in sweaty clothes for long also means that you’re causing problems for your skin, especially in the form of bacterial and fungal infections.
Wear something light so that there’s proper ventilation, allowing your skin to breathe. Avoid wearing anything too tight as that can double the chances of you getting yeast infections. For all these reasons, it’s important to include a clean set of workout clothes as one of your gym bag essentials.
These are some of the best gym bag essentials that can make gymming that much easier for you. Since you now have this in order, trips to the gym won’t be much of a hassle. Just be sure that you clean your gym bag regularly using mild soap or antibacterial wipes. After all, you don’t want your gym bag smelling like a musty locker room!
What Should I Put In My Gym Work Bag?
Some gym bag essentials for your fitness journey include a smartwatch, water bottle, deodorant, and hand sanitizer.
Should I Shower At The Gym?
It’s better to shower at home since it’s more hygienic than showering at the gym. Gyms usually contain a wide array of fungi that can cause infections and that’s why you need to shower at home.
What Can I Use As A Gym Towel?
Microfibre towels are your best bet when it comes to selecting gym towels. These types of towels absorb sweat better and dry faster than cotton towels.