Whether you’ve recently embarked on a fitness journey or are making plans to get in better shape, there’s a good chance you’ve joined a local gym. Having a gym membership can be a great way to stay motivated and enjoy access to all the latest and greatest workout equipment, fitness classes, and even personal training services.
At the same time, your good intentions to work out can be quickly and easily sabotaged if you don’t have the right essentials at hand. Here are the 8 essential items that you need in your gym bag:
1. The Right Shoes
Not all gym shoes are created equal. What kind of shoes you need can vary depending on the kind of workout you plan on doing. For example, you won’t want to wear soft and flexible tennis shoes to a spin class, just as you won’t want to wear casual walking shoes if you’ll be hitting the treadmill hard. Make sure you understand the right shoes for your fitness level and pack an appropriate pair in your gym bag – your feet will thank you.
2. Practical Workout Clothes
Unless you have the time and ability to change into your gym clothes before you head out, you’ll also need to pack your workout clothes in your bag. Be sure to keep comfort and breathability in mind when you select your workout gear. Moisture-wicking materials will keep you cool and comfortable even during an intense workout.
3. A Microfiber Towel
Many gyms offer free towels for wiping down equipment while you’re there, but many people prefer to bring their own towel to the gym. A microfiber hand towel is a great choice because it will absorb the most liquid. If you plan on showering at the gym after your workout, be sure to pack an additional (and larger) towel for that as well.
4. Earbuds and Music
Listening to music while you exercise can actually improve your performance. Studies have shown that higher tempo music can help you maintain or even improve your pace during a cardiovascular workout. This is where it can really come in handy to pack your own earbuds and a device for listening to music while you exercise. Wireless earbuds will provide you with the best experience and prevent you from getting tangled up in cords, especially during a cardio workout.
5. A Water Bottle
Staying hydrated while you work out is a must. And while any reputable gym will have plenty of water fountains available, do you really want to have to constantly pause your workout to head over to the water fountain?
Always keep a water bottle stashed away in your gym bag; you can either fill it up before you leave for the gym or use the water fountains to fill it up once you arrive.
6. A Gym Lock
If your gym offers lockers, you’ll probably want to stash your gym bag away while your exercise. Some gyms even have policies against keeping your gym bag with you while you work out because they can become a tripping hazard. If your gym offers lockers, you can enjoy added peace of mind when stashing your gym bag (and any valuables) away while you exercise by bringing a quality gym lock. Combination locks tend to be the best option for this purpose because they don’t require you to keep track of a key while you work out.
7. Basic Toiletries
If you have anywhere to go after the gym besides straight home for a shower, you’ll also want to bring some basic toiletries and hygiene items in your gym bag. Deodorant and body spray are a couple of essentials you won’t want to be without after an intense and sweat-inducing workout.
8. Post-Workout Snacks
Recovery snacks are always a good idea to keep on-hand for after a workout – especially if you do a lot of strength training. Protein bars are a great snack to keep in your gym bag because they don’t take up much space. Just be sure to avoid any protein bars that contain ingredients that could melt (such as chocolate), especially if you tend to leave your gym bag in your car or another place that’s not temperature controlled.
By having the right items in your gym bag, you can make sure to make the best of your time at the gym. Looking for a great gym in the Arlington area? Contact TexasFITT to find out about all the great equipment, personal trainers, and amenities we have to offer.