Gym bag essentials

As everyone knows, a workout at the gym can leave you sweaty, a little smelly and red faced to say the least. And there is nothing worse than being caught out with the right supplies to rectify this situation. Imagine running out the door at 6am in the morning to get your workout in before heading to the office, only to begin sweating up a storm and then realise that you’ve left your gym bag at home! Not only have you left a trail of sweat through the gym (with no towel to mop it up), you have no change of clothes, no deodorant, and no way of turning back.

Packing a gym bag is essential for every workout. But do you know what items to include?

Some gym goers prefer to travel light and others like to pack as if they are heading off for the weekend. What constitutes as essential “gym bag” items, can vary from one person to the next and can depend on what type of exercise you plan on doing. Having said that, I believe that there are some true “must have” items regardless of who you are and what you plan to do at the gym.

Every good gym bag should include these top ten items:

Water Bottle – Although it sounds like common sense to pack a water bottle, it is actually one of the most forgotten items for gym goers. It is so easy to leave it on the bench at home or in the car. To solve this, my tip is to pack an empty clean bottle as a spare that can stay in your bag as a backup. That way if you do forget to grab your usual one as you head out the door, then you can just fill the spare one at the gym. Most fitness facilities will have a water fountain or somewhere to fill up a water bottle – problem solved!

Towel – There is nothing worse than arriving at your next exercise station only to find a pool of sweat – and it’s not yours! The previous user either didn’t have a towel, or simply forgot to use it. Not only is it common courtesy to wipe down equipment after you use it, but it’s also good hygiene practice.  My tip is to invest in a small micro fibre towel because they absorb sweat more easily and are usually quite compact. Selecting a smaller size will make the towel easy to roll up and save space within your gym bag.

Music – Whether you use a phone or music player like an iPod, don’t forget to bring it along to the gym with workout friendly headphones. Create a play list with your favourite tunes, and go! Playing your favourite gym mix will motivate and lead you to a better work out.

Deodorant – Because where there is sweat, body odour will follow. Many brands offer sports specific deodorants that provide more effective results that typical antiperspirants, so it’s worthwhile to invest in a deodorant specifically for your gym bag.

Recovery Food – It’s a good idea to pack a protein rich, post workout snack to aid recovery. This doesn’t have to be complicated, my favourite post workout snack is the humble banana. Other good options include nuts, a can of tuna or a protein shake.

Keeping up appearances

Pack items to help transform you from the sweaty, red faced gym goer back to your usual self. These items could include:

  • toiletries for the shower or to freshen up
  • razor and shaving cream
  • hair gel, spray or blow dryer
  • makeup
  • a clean change of clothes