Don’t be one of those people who sweats all over the show and doesn’t wipe the equipment down after use – it’s just plain gross! So be considerate and always remember to pack your sweat towel. It might be a good idea to keep two in your bag at all times, just in case this gym essential slips your mind one day.
A rumbling stomach can put anyone off their workout plans, are we right? Instead of calling it quits when you get a bit hungry, be prepared and keep snacks in your gym bag at all times! A great pre- and post-workout snack is a banana but this could very easily be forgotten in the bottom of said bag and we don’t want that to happen, do we? If you don’t trust yourself to remember about said banana, pack a no-nonsense bar like these Nakd Bars, available at Dis-Chem, or a packet of raw nuts for that protein kick.
Nothing makes you lose motivation faster than a lack of tunes at the gym. Sure, most gyms have some sort of music coming out of their speakers but it’s not always the kind you need to get you in the right frame of mind for a good old sweat session.
A Portable Charger
It’s no good having a pair of headphones handy only to realise that your phone/iPod has gone and died on you – talk about ways to ruin a workout! That’s why it’s so helpful to carry a portable charger around with you, to ensure you’re always pumped and ready to sweat!
These nifty things are great for relieving muscle tension and come in sizes small enough to pop into your gym bag. If you’re scratching your head at the very mention of the word ‘foam roller’, here’s a bit of a breakdown. The idea behind these gadgets is to roll over them in order to give your muscles a massage, which is known as self-myofascial release. Just a warning: it can be quite painful, especially if you’re very stiff. Watch this video series to make sure you’re foam rolling correctly.
Dry shampoo can be a lifesaver when you’re squeezing a quick session in in-between a busy day (or in your lunch break – go you!). This stuff will let you skip a hair wash and will save lots of time – especially if you’ve got long hair that takes forever to dry and style (story of our life!).
Extra Hair Ties
Ladies, how often do those pesky hair ties break at just the wrong moment? That’s why it’s a great idea to keep a bunch of spare hair elastics in your gym bag – if your hair tie breaks mid-workout and you land up having to brush strands out of your face every five seconds, chances are you’ll abandon ship before you were supposed to!
A good quality glass or BPA-free water bottle is another workout essential. Think about how much you sweat out during a gym session – you’ve got to replace it with something. While it’s all too easy to grab a sugary energy drink to quench your thirst, having a water bottle on hand will gently remind you that good old H20 is best.
If you get ready for school/varsity/work at the gym, you’re going to need a whole host of items that are oh-so-easy to leave behind – doing so can really ruin your day. Trust us, forgetting a clean shirt at home is not fun – no one wants to put their sweaty workout top back on after a nice hot shower… ew! So here is your checklist (guys and gals together – just ignore the make-up bag if you must):
- outfit (this obviously varies but the basics to check would be that you’ve got a shirt, pants, socks, shoes and underwear)
- full-sized towel
- hand towel for drying your hair
- slip slops (athlete’s foot – no thanks)
- soap or shower gel
- shampoo and conditioner
- comb or Tangle Teezer
- face wash, toner, moisturiser
- body moisturiser
- make-up bag
A Great Gym Bag
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a what-to-pack point but you need a good gym bag to put all these things inside, don’t you? We love this one from Country Road – it fits everything you could ever need inside it!
By Nikki Samakosky