Sometimes just thinking about loading up your gym bag can make you want to skip your workout and Netflix/Nutella binge instead. While you don’t need to carry your whole bathroom with you, having these few essentials can help make your life pre, during and post gym way easier.
A Small Towel
Most gyms provide towels so this may seem like a no brainer, but I highly recommend you DON’T use these. Gym towels are fine for wiping down machines and equipment but they can wreak havoc on your skin. The towels are usually washed in giant machines with industrial strength cleaner and those harsh chemicals can cause breakouts and skin reactions. I didn’t even realize my gym’s towels were making me break out until they didn’t have them for a week. It’s far more hygienic and nicer to have your own.
Boring, right? WRONG! Do you want all your sweaty clothes touching all of your clean clothes and toiletries and making your bag smell? No, you probably don’t. If you bring a plastic bag with you, you can put all your dirty clothes and socks in the bag and tie it up so that it doesn’t affect the rest of your bag. You could use anything from grocery bags to cute plastic bags found online.
Extra Hair Ties and Bobby Pins
This one also sounds obvious. But until you have been caught with a broken hair tie trying to finish a HIIT workout, you don’t know irritation. It’s in those moments, I think about chopping off all of my hair, or more likely, just abandoning my workout. Hair ties break and fly-aways are a real issue. If you can’t stand having hair in your face while you workout, make sure you always carry at least two extra hair ties and a little case of Bobby Pins.
Now that the smartphone has taken over the world, most of us have the luxury of listening to music, podcasts, or audio books while we break a sweat. So although headphones are basically a given, having good headphones can make or break your gym experience. Those free apple ones that come with your iPhone just aren’t gonna cut it for a killer workout. Try and find ones that stay in really well, or that wrap around your ear. Or, if you want to go even further, over-the-ear headphones stay on really well for running and weights and can be a pretty bad ass accessory.
Picture this, you have to get ready for girl’s night right after the gym. You guys are going to a nice dinner and then some shopping, and then ALL the showers are FULL. Oh, the humanity!! Dry Shampoo to the rescue. A sink can provide you with all you need to wash your face and even your body if needed, but it is pretty difficult to wash your own hair in a sink. If you keep dry shampoo in your bag, you can just add a bit to your hair and your sweaty strands will disappear in no time. It’s more of an emergency product, but you will definitely regret it if it’s not there when you need it.