Not only is today Monday, the start of a new week but also the start of a new month – August! Gosh, where has this year gone!? We are coming towards the end of summer and some of us haven’t achieved our desired ‘beach bodies’ because we’re too shy to go into the gym. This blog is all about gym bag essentials so that when you next go to the gym, you’re prepared and have absolutely everything you need for your workout.
Let’s start with the gym bag itself, ladies… Don’t go to the gym with your Michael Kors bag, not only do you look out of place, but carrying your kit on one shoulder will only hurt your neck, back and shoulders over time. Find a sensible bag that comes with two straps, this could be either a ruck sack, a drawstring bag or even a dufflebag. That way the weight is spread over your neck, back and shoulders. It is also an easier way to carry your things if you want to walk, cycle or run to the gym and back to extend your workout. Remember to lock your bag away at the gym, most establishments ban bags on the gym floor and it’s just a nuisance to drag around the machines. Generally, if I’m going to the gym, I will take a drawstring bag, if I’m going swimming, I will take a rucksack as the bag is heavier with wet towels. If I’m going running, I don’t take a bag because I don’t like it when it hits against my back in motion.
In my bag, you will find:
1) Make up remover – Personally, I can’t go with a full face of makeup. When I go to the gym, I am there to sweat and push myself, the last thing I need is to have foundation dripping down my face and ruining my clothes and towel. I think that when I’m sweating, my pores are opening and I don’t want to end up with spots because of the dirt and makeup on my face. I also think that if you’ve worked hard on your makeup, you generally don’t want to ruin it; meaning you probably won’t push yourself and work harder than if you weren’t wearing make up, that’s my thinking anyway. So when I’m going to the gym, I take make up wipes just to rub the foundation, concealer and bronzer off my face and just leave my eye make up on; unless it’s in the morning as then I wouldn’t put anything on apart from moisturiser. Yes make up queens, I have heard that make up wipes are bad for you, but I just use standard baby wipes until I get home.
2) Hair bands and hair grips – There’s nothing worse than trying to do cardio and have hair in your face, oh wait…there is something worse. Have you ever been to the gym and you’ve sweat so much that your hair sticks to your face or the back of your neck? It’s SO gross! A couple of times I have forgotten to pack hair bands and hair grips which has been frustrating. From now on, I always make sure I am fully stocked.
3) Sweat band – I love wearing a sweat band, not only does it keep my hair back, keep sweat from dripping down my face, it makes me look as though I mean business! Sweat bands are cheap, I think my Nike band cost around £5 which is the same material as a towel. High street shops also sell thin, elastic material sweat bands for around £2/£3.
4) Music – It has been suggested that people who exercise with music have shown to run faster, peddle harder and lift heavier compared to those who do not listen to music. I’m sure there’s a reasonable scientific explanation for this, but let’s get back to the blog. I am one of those people who trains harder with dance music in my ears. I definitely run or rep to the beat so you’ll always find me with headphones in. A lot of people talk with their friends in the gym, which I find pretty distracting and I don’t really care about what their friend posted on Instagram last night, so I like to keep to myself.
5) Weights gloves – I always carry these in my bag for my weight sessions. If I don’t wear them, I get covered in blisters which makes my hands look horrible and it hurts. They’re also slightly padded which is good for any floor work.
6) Towel – As I’ve said before, I sweat. Therefore, I am in need of a towel all the time. I usually wear the towel around my neck, damp myself down when necessary and tend to lye on the towel when doing floor work because I don’t want to lie in other peoples’ sweat! You can use a general hand towel from home or buy one from a sports store or your gym.
7) Water bottle – There’s nothing worse than arriving to the gym and not having a water bottle with you! I think for every fitness session, I need at least 1 whole 500ml bottle of water. I don’t use the fountains in gyms because they’re slow, there’s always a person waiting behind you, I see people with their mouths glued to the spout (ew) and I’d spend all day going back and forth. I don’t usually drink ‘sports drinks’, they’re full of sugar and to be honest, nothing hydrates me like cold water.
8) Banana – If I’m going 2 classes or if I haven’t had breakfast, I will take a banana with me. I don’t take supplements and I don’t drink protein shakes for the gym. The only time I would have a protein shake is when I’ve been for at least an 8 mile run.
So that’s my gym bag essentials, I hope you’ve found this useful if you’re new to the gym. For those regular gym bunnies, what are your gym bag essentials?
© 2016 Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.