What's In My Gym Bag?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ever since I started working out, I've been wanting to write this post. At first I waited, because I wasn't sure what I was doing yet, and what I packed for my first couple weeks might not be the best and most edited version of what I'd actually need. Over the months, however, I've become more and more streamlined with it - adding what I need and getting rid of what I thought I needed (but actually didn't) and especially since increasing my workouts to 4 per week recently (I'm getting a little obsessed...someone stop me before I become a gym rat, ha!), my routine has become pretty set. Not to say I'm a pro at it, of course, and depending on what you're doing at the gym, where you're going afterwards, etc, the different necessaries will vary. But these are the bits that always come with me: anything I add from there could be different any day of the week. ;)

What's In My Gym Bag

First on the list is always, always music. I can't workout without music. Maybe that makes me weaker, but just listening to my own and others' heavy breathing, and the squeaking of the other machines around me just makes the whole experience so much less enjoyable. When I have a great soundtrack, it feels a lot more like an epic transformation-montage in a superhero movie, rather than a huffing-and-puffing little girl on a treadmill. And I can't do that without headphones. ;)

I've recently been trying to be good about recording all my workouts, so I can track my progress more closely. I use this journal to plan workouts in the morning before I get out on the floor, and then again afterwards to mark my stats from my run. (It's pretty fun, actually, if you're nerdy about this kinda thing like I am. XD)

3. GUM
I don't know why, but I always like to have some minty gum in my bag for post-workout, or to chew on while I train (if I'm not doing abs...choking hazard, and all that, ya know. ;). My all-time favorite is Trident Original: I swear it's the best gum there is. :)

For obvious reasons. (Arm + Hammer isn't a very glamorous brand, but their deodorant is totally natural and works really well. It's honestly the only brand I'll use.)

Instead of carrying around a small perfume bottle, which could leak or break in my bag, I like to bring a squeeze-tube of lotion, in my favorite fragrance du jour. Clinique "Happy" is a nice light scent to massage into my hands/neck after a workout, just to freshen up, even if I'm just going straight home to shower.

In case I decide to run or walk outside for my warmup. I've been without these too many times, and squinting through a run is not conducive to a good workout! They also can act as a cover for any sliding eyeliner or limp hair (sunglasses fix everything! haha) if I'm running errands after my session.

You never know when one is going to break, and this is not something you can really get away with skipping...unless your hair is much much shorter than mine, at least!

Because sometimes, especially as we're getting into the hotter months, a workout can be really sweaty and you just don't want to wear your shirt for a moment longer (I'm looking at you, hot yoga class!). I always keep a clean tee in my bag, even if I don't always use it, because not having the option to change is a lot worse to me than the little added weight in my gym bag!

9. WATER BOTTLE (not pictured)
I don't think I go anywhere without my Camelbak, at this point, but especially when I'm going to workout, this is a necessity. I know it sounds like such a no-brainer, but after working at a gym for 2.5 years, you'd be surprised just how many people don't bring their own water on a regular basis! Not only is this a cheaper alternative, but you also save time by not having to rely on someone else for your source of hydration, and (depending on what water bottle you end up using) also can last a lot longer without running out. In general, I try to finish one 750ml bottle during a 1-hour workout. Just enough to stay hydrated (and not pass out!), not so much that I get cramps, or nauseous, or need a bathroom break in the middle of a circuit. XD

And that's it! I try to keep it pretty simple, because I usually walk to and from the gym, and I don't want to carry a ton. Also, my bag is from Kate Spade about a year ago, and it's the perfect size to carry what I need, and not too much more - though I does have a lot more space than it looks like it might! I also chose this one because it's a backpack, and when you're walking often, carrying a weighted bag on one shoulder, it can really start to mess with your neck/shoulders/spine-alignment: not fun! Backpacks are much more ergonomical (also: they v cute).

What do you bring with you to a workout/dance class/run?

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