Working out at the gym takes more than just showing up. It takes a little pre-planning to be successful—luckily not a lot! You have to schedule your workout into your daily plan and create an ongoing appointment with yourself. What’s in your bag plays a huge role in whether you have a comfortable day at the gym or barely make it through the workout. Your gym bag should contain all the things you need to successful change you to a workout Superman or woman and back to a mild mannered reporter when it’s done.
Have the right workout clothes.
Whether you like your clothing to fit loosely and opt for lightweight sweats or appreciate how cool a tank top and workout shorts can be, you should have two sets of workout clothes. One that you wear and the other to replace it immediately when you wash the first set. Always have an extra pair of socks and while some people don’t, I like to have an extra set of undergarments hidden away, just in case I forget to bring extras to change into after the workout. Don’t forget your workout shoes—working out in socks, dress shoes or high heels simply won’t do. Designate those strictly for the gym. For ladies or men with longer hair, a hair bungee, head band or other method of keeping your hair in place is also important.
Stay hydrated and nourished.
Don’t forget a reusable water bottle. While you can get special bottles to refill at the gym, I know some clients who bring an inexpensive plastic bottle of water and just refill it on the go. Some even go so far as to wash and sterilize it, then refill it and freeze it. They bag it and put it in their gym bag and as it stays cool the whole day and is fully melted when they come to the gym. Have an appropriate snack ready, such as an apple or other healthy option. It’s particularly important if you’re working out hard or are prone to low blood sugar.
Is there a shower at the gym and do you have time to take one?
If you don’t have a shower, take along baby wipes, hand sanitizer or a wash cloth and a towel. You’ll also need a plastic bag to put them in once you’ve used them. ALWAYS remember to take them out of your gym bag at the end of the day and replace them with clean ones. Don’t forget the necessities, like deodorant. Nothing leaves you feeling less confident than spending the rest of the day without it. Have spare makeup or shower bag with a razor and other grooming necessities that you keep in a plastic bag in the gym bag. Don’t forget a hairbrush or comb and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste.
- If you like listening to music while you workout, keep an extra set of earbuds in your bag.
- Ladies might consider having a sports bra packed with a spare at home that they use exclusively at the gym.
- Keep a sachet or odor ball in your bag. It will help take stop the odor of smelly socks that often emanates from a gym bag.
- If you’re lifting, don’t forget your gloves and belt.