Tips to Pack the Perfect Gym Bag
Have you ever gone to the gym, ready to workout, when you suddenly realize you forgot something? It's frustrating and may force you to skip exercising. Fortunately, it never has to happen again. Here's a list of all those things you might want to put in a gym bag and how to pack it for easy access.
Start with a gym bag you can wash. It doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, some of the fancy ones don't hold up well to machine washing. The goal isn't about being fashionable; it's about getting your stuff to the gym.
Lay a wet bag on the bottom. Get one big enough to hold whatever gets damp. Look for one that's durable and can be repeatedly washed. Put your flip-flops and shower towel on top of the wet bag.
If you use a hairdryer, tuck it in the space at the end of your towel. Then pack your shampoo, shower gel, deodorant and comb or brush into a toiletries bag and put it on top of the dryer. You can put a makeup kit in the same area. This is also a good place for chewing gum or toothpaste and toothbrush.
Now it's time for your nutritional stuff. Put any post-workout foods like apples, bananas, protein bars and shakes on top of the towel. Don't forget to include a shaker cup if you mix protein powder.
TRACKING - OPTION 1: Add your workout log and a pen or pencil. Your log doesn't have to be anything special. A spiral notebook of blank paper will do. Just remember to write or print out your training routine in advance, so you know what you're going to do.
TRACKING - OPTION 2: Download any fitness apps to your cell phone before going to the gym and make sure they work. There are good ones for monitoring your cardio and tracking your workouts. Just make sure your phone has enough charge to complete the workout and avoid texting or chatting with friends between sets.
The next layer should be your hand towel and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. This is also a good place for gym gloves. They'll help protect your hands from germs and prevent calluses from forming.
When you workout alone, it's good to bring along some kind of digital music player or listen to music on your phone. Music provides a "distraction effect" that lowers the influence of stress caused by fatigue. In other words, when you're tired, music can help you get a better workout. Listening to music can yield significantly longer endurance times.
Now pack your shoes, socks, shirt and shorts. Don't forget underwear. If you sweat a lot working out, consider bands for your head and wrists. Hair ties are essential if you have long hair to keep it out of your face.
If you have a membership or access card, store it in a side pocket so you can get to it quickly. Put a good lock in that pocket as well. If you don't want to carry around a key or worry about losing it, get a combination lock. Include some change for parking meters or in case you want to buy some bottled water.
Remember to pack any sports-specific gear you need, like a yoga mat, swimsuit, goggles, or boxing gloves.
Women may want to also include a tampon and sports bra. Moist towelettes are convenient if you're going to remove makeup and keep it from running.
Packing a water bottle may be a problem. If it's cold, when you put it in the bag, it'll "sweat" and get things wet. There's also the chance it might leak. To avoid those problems, I put a 3x5 card on top of my bag that says, "Water Bottle." It's a reminder when I grab everything to get my cold water out of the refrigerator and carry it separately.
For health and environmental reasons, I recommend a stainless steel water bottle over aluminum or plastic.
THINGS THAT STAY BEHIND:
Leave the jewelry at home. Necklaces might get caught up in weights, watches may get broken and rings can get scratched. Protect your valuables by not bringing them.
Don't take young kids to the gym unless there's a nursery. It's not safe to have them running around the equipment.
As soon as you get home, take the wet stuff out and put it in the wash. Every few days, throw your gym bag in with the wet stuff, so it gets clean too. When it's dry, re-stock the bag and put it by the door as a reminder. It'll sit there, waiting patiently for you to grab and go anytime you want to workout. With your bag all packed, you'll never have to worry about forgetting something again.
SPECIAL NOTE: When you workout at the WeBeFit Training Center, we provide FREE Bottles of water, hand towels, bath towels, shampoo, body gel, hand sanitizer, locks and even headphones for the cardio equipment! If you forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shaving cream, deodorant or mouth wash, we provide those too.
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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.