If you’re new to the wonderful world of gyms, taking your first steps can be daunting. Here’s a list of 7 essentials that should always be in your gym bag, in collaboration with our friends at Warm Body Cold Mind blog; a team of professional athletes and trainers in weightlifting and related sports.
#1 – Water bottle
Water is essential, even when you’re not at the gym. During exercise, you can lose as much as 3 to 4 litres per hour through sweat alone, depending on the intensity and duration of the workout.
You already know the drill – water lost must be replaced; otherwise, you risk being dehydrated, and there could be severe health consequences if it goes too far. The solution? Keep a water bottle in your gym bag so you never have an excuse to be dehydrated. Preferably, get a quality reusable water bottle so you can also help to protect the planet.
#2 – Essential workout gear
There are certain things that make exercises more bearable, like gym gloves that give you firmer grip on weights without giving you calluses, wrist straps to protect your wrist from injury during weightlifting, a yoga mat to protect you from floor accidents, and other gear needed for lifting weights such as waist bands, and barbell pads. In addition to these, a gym towel is a MUST. Not only will it keep you clean and dry during a workout, in most gyms, having a towel with you at all times is mandatory.
#3 – Personal hygiene products
Your gym bag isn’t packed without a few personal hygiene products, from soaps and shampoos to oral hygiene products that keep your breath minty fresh. You should also stash an odor-neutralising deodorant and some feminine hygiene products just in case of emergency. For those with long hair, here is your reminder to dump some hair accessories in that bag such as hair grips, clips and bands.
#4 – Energy boosters and supplements
Although your diet should meet most, if not all, of your energy needs, it’s never a bad idea to take some supplements that are tailored to meet your specific nutritional requirements for your workouts. For example, pre workout supplements are said to improve your performance in anaerobic exercises and give you increased endurance.
Additionally, supplements such as BCAAs, protein powder, and other energy snacks are your go-to fuels for exercise. Here’s a little tip: you don’t have to fit the entire container in your bag! Why not pop a scoop of one of the powdered supplements into a dry water bottle or container, and mix it up later.
#5 – Spare outfits
Outfit disasters happen, and you could encounter a myriad of unforeseeable things at the gym, so it won’t hurt to have a spare pair of shorts or sports bra and underwear, just in case. In summary, Your gym bag should contain a clean sports bra, workout top, leggings, and underwear. A spare pair of socks is also not a bad idea.
#6 – Music gear
On some days, you lack the vibe to workout, but your fitness goals don’t care, so you have to drag yourself to the gym, regardless. With headphones or earbuds and the perfect playlist, you are sure to find that mood boost to get you going for the session. If your listening devices don’t last long, you probably need to pack a spare in your gym bag.
#7 – Workout shoes
Last but not least, you need to pack the right footwear. Make sure you have the right shoes with you, tailored for specific workouts, whether that’s weightlifting to cardio or yoga. If you prefer simplicity, you can possibly get away with a multi-purpose athletic shoe, just make sure they aren’t too heavy or squishy.