Getting to the gym can be difficult as it is. You have work to go to, a social life, a partner, and maybe even children. We get it. Getting your gym bag organised and ready needs to be easy. We want you to exercise as much as possible, as we truly believe in the benefits of exercise and good nutrition. This is why we’ve listed our 10 reliable gym bag essentials. Keep reading for more.
What do you need in your gym bag?
Here’s a list of our top 10 gym bag essentials:
How are you going to work out without gear? You’re not, obviously! Unless you want to work out in your work clothes?! I didn’t think so. It may sound obvious, but workout gear needs to be the first thing inside your bag.
Depending on preference, this includes shorts, tracksuit bottoms, or leggings, a t-shirt or a vest, socks, and trainers.
On colder days, consider wearing more layers, especially if you work out in a cold gym, or if you do anything outdoors.
Reusable water bottle
Drinking water throughout the day is important to have a good gym workout. This is because water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. You can read more about the importance of water here.
A reusable water bottle is helpful to ensure you’re getting enough water every day, especially whilst you exercise. They are better for the environment, can help you save money, and are better for your health (in comparison to plastic bottles).
Some people prefer not to listen to music while they work out, but for those who do, headphones are a must for any gym workout. If you can get them working, that is…
Music can help people feel happier and more motivated whilst they exercise. This means you’ll work harder, and your workout won’t feel like a chore. A study here supports this.
Consider buying some Bluetooth headphones and leave your phone on the side (in a safe place), so it’s not constantly distracting you whilst you exercise.
Everyone needs a gym towel for those sweaty workouts! Gyms aren’t the most hygienic of places, so let’s improve this by wiping our sweat when we’ve finished using the equipment. You can either sit or lie on the towel or use it to wipe things down with – either works.
You could even invest in a gym towel with a built-in pocket to put your keys or small valuables in.
Why not treat yourself to a new gym bag from Sports Samurai?
If you sweat a lot, put on some deodorant before your workout. You’re likely to sweat less, and you’ll also smell better, especially if you’ve just finished a long day of stressful work. This will help you feel fresher too before you start exercising.
If you shower at the gym, toiletries are a must. Keep some shower gel, shampoo, face wash (if you use it!), and some aftershave in your bag so you can look and feel great after your workout. A good toiletries bag will help to keep everything organised.
Some gyms can be unsafe. You’ve spent a lot of money on your phone, mp3 player, watch, clothes, and other valuables. Why risk these getting stolen? Something like this looks much safer…
A padlock is essential for your bag, and a heavy-duty one is best. This will stop the majority of thieves from getting into your locker, and give you peace of mind whilst you exercise. Just make sure you don’t lose your keys, or forget your code. That’s not going to make your day fun!
If your gym has a swimming pool, a sauna, or a steam room, consider putting in a pair of flip flops in your bag. Some people also wear flip flops to shower, because changing rooms are usually filled with germs.
Without flip flops, these can stick to the bottom of your feet, and potentially cause infections. Keep a pair handy at all times.
This is one of our favourites at Sports Samurai. Skipping is a great tool for warming up, especially when time is limited. It’s a great way to increase your heart rate, and burn calories. Skipping ropes can also be more fun and creative compared to warming up on standard cardiovascular machines.
Skipping ropes are light and portable, which means you can use them anywhere you go. Here are further benefits of using a skipping rope, and this contains some ideas for workouts you can do using one.
Once you’ve showered, you’re going to need some spare clothes, unless you want to get back into your sweaty gym clothes again… Didn’t think so!
Keeping spare clothes on you can help if you’re heading somewhere straight after the gym, or it can make life easier once you’re home. Knowing that you’ve already showered can make all the difference, as you’re more likely to feel awake and motivated, rather than lazing about, waiting to shower.
Gloves or liquid chalk
For those who lift weights, gloves or liquid chalk (if your gym allows it) is essential. Either of these should help you to lift heavier weights. Liquid chalk soaks up the moisture on your palms and fingers, whilst gloves can help with callous prevention, improved grip strength, and comfort. Further information on the advantages of gym gloves can be found here.
Bear in mind: if you do use chalk, try and clean up after yourself once you’re finished. It can get messy, and this isn’t fair on other people.
How do you get the sweat smell out of a gym bag?
Now that you have your gym bag essentials, you need it to smell good! Everyone hates the smell of sweat. Let’s go through our 5 unique ways to stop a gym bag from smelling:
Use antibacterial wipes
This is one of the easiest ways to clean your gym bag. Simply remove all your items from your bag, and give it a wipe with antibacterial wipes, inside and outside. Whilst you’re there, you may also feel adventurous and go around the house with them… Ok, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves!
Antibacterial wipes are great because they’re, well, antibacterial. Antibacterial products contain chemicals and natural oils that have antibacterial and antifungal properties, making them ideal for killing or reducing bacteria. Now… for those who are more interested in this, and the description above isn’t enough, this is a good place to read the benefits of, and different types of antibacterial products available.
Spray it with Febreze
Because Febreze can be used everywhere. It’s like magic. And what’s even better… they even do extra strength Febreze now, for those extra smelly gym bags! Using Febreze is another easy way to clean your gym bag. The benefit of using Febreze is that it can be used for nearly everything inside and outside of your gym bag.
As a side point, and we know we might be taking it too far now, but gym trainers are another example of something that doesn’t get cleaned often – Febreze can help here too! As we said, it can be used nearly everywhere! And it’s a cheap and easy solution, too!
Put it in the washing machine
Depending on the material of your gym bag, it may be machine washable. Note: Always check the label before you do this.
I know what you’re thinking: is it safe to put my gym bag in the washing machine? You don’t want this to happen…
Fabric bags (think nylon and polyester), such as this, are generally safe to wash in the washing machine. This is because of the material they’re made from. Leather bags can’t usually be machine washed, so be careful here.
You may need to do a cold wash here to stop your bag from shrinking, but, again, make sure you read the washing instructions on the bag. Follow these.
Wipe it down with a warm, damp cloth
Similar to the first point above, but using a warm, damp cloth instead. If you don’t have antibacterial wipes handy, use this method instead.
Hand wash it
For those who remember the time before washing machines, this one is for you! Fill a bucket with warm water, add in some washing powder, and let your empty gym bag soak in this for a couple of hours.
Once a couple of hours have passed, take it out of the bucket, rinse with some water, and let it dry. If it’s a good day, leave it outside to dry – this will help air it out too.
We’re trying to make your life easier with our article on gym bag essentials. Some of these 10 gym bag essentials may seem like common sense, but it’s worth printing off the list or writing it down. Keep the list in your gym bag to make life easier. And don’t forget to give your bag a clean once in a while, too!
Pro Tip: Being organised helps with smashing your workout. Think about other areas in your life that can help towards this, and work on them.
Do you have any more gym bag essentials that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below!