The gym will provide you the equipment that you need to get fit and facilities for your convenience during your stay. Some premium gyms offer toiletries and towels for when you wash up but it’s always best to bring your own personal care kit to avoid sharing with other gym-goers. As much as the gym facilities want to accommodate all your needs while you’re there, they can never guess your specific preference and needs. So, bringing your own gym bag with your essentials is the way to go to have a more pleasant and comfortable gym experience.
Basic Gym Bag Essentials to Pack
Of course, you have your own particular gym bag essentials you want to bring when you workout but here are the basics you shouldn’t miss when going to the gym.
Gym equipment is not exclusive for single use. It will be full of sweat once the user is done. It is good etiquette to use towels to absorb the body moisture that could stick to the gear as you work out, so the next user won’t have to deal with that – you wouldn’t want that either if you’re not the first machine user.
To ensure a hygienic exercise machine and area, some gyms can provide you with a clean towel. But since these towels are not for single, exclusive use per customer, it’s better to bring your own. The best towel fabrics to use are cotton and microfiber. These textiles are very absorbent and dry faster. If you are very meticulous with hygiene and cleanliness, bring two or more fresh towels that you can use for wiping machines before and after use, and one to use for a post-workout shower.
The more you perspire, the more you need to be re-hydrated to keep you going until you finish your routine. It would be such as hassle if you have to walk to the water station every time you need a drink, then walk back again to the gym floor to continue your workout. Carrying your own reusable water bottle will provide your needed body hydration right where you are – with only seldom trip to the water station for a refill.
There are water bottles with insulation that can hold your beverage’s cool temperature for as long as 24 hours. In choosing a reusable water bottle to bring, pick the one that is non-toxic and BPA-free.
Personal Gym Lock
When you are bringing valuables and leaving them in the gym locker room, isn’t nice that you don’t have to worry about the belongings you left in the locker? Your own padlock for the locker will put your mind at ease to help you concentrate on the workouts you have to finish. Yes, some gyms also provide locks for the lockers but just in case they don’t, it’s always best to be prepared.
If you’re a regular to a particular gym, you’ll know what type of lock you will be bringing. But if it’s your first time, you can call the gym in advance so you’ll know the size to bring.
Exercise will cause your body to heat up and bring out sweat. Hitting the showers will not only help you cool down but also take care of the odor from being sweaty. Some of the toiletries you might want to pack for your gym bag are soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, deodorant, and a comb. You can add or remove some of the items depending on your preference and need when you shower.
Gym Clothes and Shoes
Well, you can choose to wear your workout clothes and shoes as you go to the gym so you wouldn’t have to fit more clothing into your bag. But a change of clothes and socks should be included in your gym bag. For women, you can wear a moisture-wicking sports bra, dry-fit top, leggings, or shorts. Men can wear a t-shirt, quick-drying shorts, and a hoodie. Lightweight clothing is easier to carry and therefore recommended to ensure that it will not be a bother to bring.
There are general-type of sports shoes you can bring when you go to the gym. But if you have specific training or workout, it helps if you wear a pair that can support your exercise activities.
If the gym you go to doesn’t provide the music vibe you need to motivate your workout, then prepare your own set of a playlist on your music player and enjoy your chosen songs through your headphones and earbuds while you rip it. It’s decorum to keep your music to yourself as other gym-goers may not share the same music genre you enjoy. It could cause a distraction to others if you play your music loud.
Energize yourself pre and post-workout. You will need nourishment before you begin exercising so you will have the strength and energy to move your body. After a rigorous activity replenishes your strength by eating a light snack. Energy and protein bars will do wonders for your gym trip.
Additional Hygiene Paraphernalia
Going to a commercial gym means sharing the workout space and equipment with other sweaty people on the gym floor. If you’re very specific about cleanliness and hygiene here are additional items you should include in your gym bag.
Shower Flip Flops
Studies revealed that a gym shower room is a perfect environment for bacteria to inhabit and multiply. To protect yourself from direct skin contact to a surface where the germs linger, wear flip-flops when you go to the shower room. Pick your preferred color and wear the correct side so your feet won’t slip.
Since you will inevitably share machines and surfaces with other people, it’s safer to use sanitizing wipes or spray on the surface where other gym-goers held or used. Use it before and after you use the gym equipment to control bacterial spread. Using anti-fungal spray or ointment will protect your exposed skin from being infected with fungus.
Gym Locker Essentials
Locker rooms in the gym provide you with space where you can store your essentials as you exercise and a room where you can freshen up and get changed after a rigorous workout. Before bringing your stuff to the gym, confirm with the facility first the size of their locker so you have an idea what kind of items you will be packing in your gym bag to make sure they will fit inside the locker.
You don’t want a cramped gym locker or for your items to fall off when you open the locker door and make a scene in the locker room. Therefore, it’s best to plan ahead and make sure to bring only the gym essentials.
Shower Shoes or Flip Flops
Don’t be caught barefoot in the shower area and in the locker room. This warm and wet environment part of the gym is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Avoid skin contact with the floor surface by wearing a pair of footgear while you shower and change in the locker room. Stepping barefoot on a communal shower could put you at risk for other nasty fungal infections besides the athlete’s foot.
Shampoo, Conditioner, and Soap
If you’re in a hurry and a quick shower is ideal for you, pack a bottle of an all-over wash not only saves you space on your locker and gym bag but it’s a great way to reduce showering time with just one product to use from hair to toe.
But if you prefer using different products for each part of your body you can use travel-size containers for each product to avoid taking up too much space in your bag and locker. It would also make it easier for you to carry these items from your locker to your shower and back.
When you sweat, your body produces an odor that can be managed by washing your body with water and skin cleansing products. But to ensure you stay fresh-smelling throughout the day despite being sweaty applying deodorant is a must. Having this in your locker could be an odor saver.
Hair Styling Products
You would still want to look your best after a rigorous workout session at the gym. So, never forget to pack your favorite hair styling items such as your comb, bobby pins, hair tie, and hair gel. Also, don’t forget to bring extra as some of these items can get lost easily.
Pack fresh and dry clothes to replace your sweaty workout clothes after your shower. Ideally, you should pack light. A pair of underwear, a light top, and light bottom clothing to make sure you would not be carrying too much weight on your bag.
Some gyms provide a clean towel for you to use. However, these towels aren’t new ones – just newly washed. Other gym-goers have used it before and will be used again. So, if you prefer a towel that only touched your skin, bring a couple of clean ones. One to wipe sweat and one to use after showering.
If you want to feel that your valuables are safe in the locker room you should bring your own padlock so that you alone can access your locker and the items in it. That way you are assured that your stuff are all there when you go back from your workout. Of course, gym facilities do their best to make sure your belongings are safe, but for extra security a padlock of your own to prevent theft.
Personal Care Kit
What’s inside your kit depends on your personal care routine. Here are some of the items that can be packed in your care kit:
- Shaving cream
- feminine products such as tampons or pads
- Foot spray to prevent athlete’s foot
Items you will carry to the gym should be light and won’t bothersome so bring only the essentials. Always double-check the things you will bring before and after hitting the gym to make sure you don’t miss anything. Bringing personal care items to the gym will provide you with comfort, safety and convenience.