By Jenna Michael for Discover and Play
Living an active life can also mean living a life on the go. Whether it’s your car, purse or gym bag, if you are anything like me, you feel like your whole life is always portable. Over the years, I have discovered what basic essentials every gal needs to keep in her gym bag.
First thing’s first — we need a good bag to carry everything in. I depend on my Apera yoga tote to keep all my belongings organized wherever I go. Each bag is designed for a healthy lifestyle and features all the qualities of a “gym goer’s” ideal bag. They are built with anti-microbial material, have vented compartments and wipe-able linings (to air out the stinkiness), and each bag comes with a washable insert for your dirty clothes.
Apera makes all sorts of bags, ranging from a yoga tote to a simple drawstring sling bag. I use mine for work at the gym everyday and I can fit a TON of stuff in it. Investing in a durable, well-made bag will be well worth your money when you use it for years.
Next on the list are your basic gym bag essentials: spare clothes, your purse, extra socks, an umbrella just in case (you wouldn’t believe how many times that’s come in handy), a water bottle, and a granola bar. Even if you aren’t a granola bar person, keeping a small snack handy is a safe way to prevent an incident. I’ve gone to the gym many times and realized my body needs a little extra sugar or energy so – voila! — granola bar! I typically keep a spare pair of work and workout clothes in my bag just because of the nature of my job — better safe than sorry!
Once you fill your bag with the basic essentials, next come the workout essentials. Sweat towel, lifting gloves, iPod holder, headphones and music are all an awesome bonus to your gym bag. You never know if your hands will need a little extra padding or if you will need music for extra motivation. I also included my iPad because I use it for all my class music and have been known to watch Netflix while running on the treadmill.
After your workout essentials go in the bag, we get into the locker room essentials. Depending on where you go after you hit the gym and what kind of gym you go to, not all of these will apply to you. Shower flip flops, extra hair ties, first aid supplies, hand sanitizer, face wipes, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, body wash, a small package of tissues, cough drops, and a hair brush are useful. Some gyms are kind enough to provide generic versions of various products, but I prefer to bring my own. You also may need to pack a shower towel if your gym doesn’t provide a towel service. Can’t shower without one of those! All the products below (including the shoes) can fit into one overnight bag.
Lastly, I never leave home without my Apera washable insert for my dirty workout clothes. I used to use a plastic grocery bag because I couldn’t find a bag that would contain the stink and be washable. This insert is absolutely awesome and I just throw it in the washer with the rest of my clothes!
To make your life a little easier when packing your gym bag, here’s a list of everything you may need while on the go.
Gym Bag Packing List
- Water bottle
- Granola bar
- Spare clothes/socks
- Sweat Towel
- Lifting gloves
- iPod holder
Locker Room Essentials:
- Shower flip flops
- Extra hair ties
- Face wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid supplies — Band-Aids, Advil, lady products
- Body wash
- Small package of tissues
- Cough drops
- Hair brush
- Bath towel
Jenna Michael is a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and creator
Green Running Shoes, a healthy living
and exercise blog where she writes about her latest exercise tips. Jenna has
dedicated her life’s work to helping others reach their healthy living goals
through exercise and positive thinking.