If any of your New Year’s resolutions revolve around losing weight or exercising more, then you’re probably prepared to hit the gym more often. For many, gym time is a sacred time. It’s the perfect opportunity to get into your own headspace, focus on your individual movements, and work on fulfilling a particular step-by-step goal.
And so, it’s best to go to the gym prepared for all of these things. Part of the gym routine should be packing your gym bag at least an hour before you get on the mats. Efficiently packing your gym bag can help you cut stray costs on gym services, keep you clean and injury-free, maximize your workout gains, and just make the gym a more pleasant space to exercise in general.
To achieve a perfectly smooth and productive gym routine, here are 12 items that you should always pack in your gym bag. Don’t head out until you’ve ticked everything off!
1. Wallet with membership card
If you’ve subscribed to a gym membership, then you should make sure your membership card is within easy access. It also helps to consolidate any free gym passes or coupons in one place, so that you don’t forget to use them.
2. Sports water bottle
You lose a lot of water from your body when you work out, so it’s best to rehydrate every so often. Bring a water bottle that you can swig from and refill from the gym’s fountain, as opposed to spending on individual plastic water bottles.
3. Microfiber towel
Bring a microfiber towel to wipe the sweat off your body or to bring with you to the gym’s shower room. Buy only the best microfiber towels to use for your workout routine—you should be able to depend on your towel for constant use. Plus, bringing your own towels helps you shirk those extra towel rental fees.
4. Toiletries, deodorant, and lotion
Your preferred toiletries are also a must-have if you’re planning to freshen up in the gym’s showers after your workout. Don’t forget deodorant to keep your body odors at bay, and lotion to soothe and moisturize your skin after all that sweating.
In case you need an extra boost of energy in between reps, pack some snacks that are easy to take around, open, and eat while standing up. Some ideal choices are dried fruit, nuts, biscuits, or a power bar.
Tuck your gym shoes and a pair of socks in the shoe compartment of your gym bag. Do remember to bring the right kind of shoes for the particular workout you’ll be completing, whether it’s a round of weights or something more intensive like boxing.
7. Flip flops
Conversely, some activities that take place in a gym, such as yoga or jiu-jitsu classes, require participants to be in bare feet. Bring a pair of flip flops to slip your feet into immediately after. Flip flops are also good to walk around in the gym’s locker or shower facilities.
8. Change of clothes
If you don’t want to be spotted in your sweat-soaked gym clothes hours after your workout, make sure you pack a change of clothes. You can fold these into a separate compartment of your gym bag, or you can insert them into a separate drawstring bag to keep them clean and pressed.
9. Music player
Music will help you relax (and maybe even help you time your reps!), so it’s a fine idea to pack a small MP3 player into your gym bag. Curate a special workout playlist for your gym session, and you’re ready to go.
10. Bluetooth accessories
If you’re anticipating important calls or messages during your workout, and you want to be able to respond quickly, then it’s a good idea to pack Bluetooth accessories as well. A Bluetooth headset or earphones could help you accommodate hands-free calls while you’re on the treadmill.
11. Fitness tracker
Do you want to know what your gains are in real-time? Pack a fitness band and wear it while you’re exercising at the gym. Your fitness tracker will be able to show you your heart rate, how many steps you’ve taken, and how many calories you’ve successfully burned off during the session.
12. A small first aid kit
Workouts can get strenuous, and getting some cuts or bruises aren’t out of the ordinary. With that in mind, you may want to bring a small first aid kit with bandages, ointments, and any medication you’re taking. In case you get nicked, bump into something hard and blunt, or get a case of cramps, you’ll be able to treat yourself immediately.
With that roundup of 12 gym bag essentials, it won’t be hard to keep up your workout routine. With that said, here’s to staying true to your exercise goals for this year and to getting your body in better shape!