Studies show that the number of memberships to fitness centers has been steadily increasing over the last decade!
Even for seasoned gym-goers, finding the motivation to get up and go to the gym can be difficult. There are movies to watch, friends to see, and food to eat!
Don't let this stand in your way. Soon, your friends and family will be admiring your determination and asking if you have any free one-day gym passes.
Got the inspiration? Now make sure you have the proper supplies.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the gym for a running sesh and realizing you forgot your headphones. Or having to borrow a sweaty yoga mat.
The following gym bag essentials will ensure that you're getting all you can out of your work-out. From athletic wear to swimming goggles, we know what you need.
What are they? Keep reading to find out.
You've probably noticed some fitness classes at your gym. Peek through a window and you'll notice synchronized workouts accompanied by music over a loudspeaker.
This happens for a reason. Music has the potential to improve your workout in many ways:
- Disassociation allows you to forget outside distractions or thinks like fatigue
- Music helps you reach a flow state, where performance is fluid and natural
- It can balance and adjust your movement, like in the case of fitness classes
- It allows you to take more pleasure from the workout
Is it just us, or does that make you want to turn some music on?
Either way, don't forget your headphones. And before you get to the gym, make sure you've put together an epic playlist!
2. Foam Roller
This amazing tool helps muscle tension and tightness like no other.
If you're a serious athlete, you should be supplementing your workouts with some recovery in the form of foam rolling. It loosens up your muscles and allows you to target pain points. From there, you can do more work with massage balls (or an actual massage).
Not only does this help prevent injuries, it feels good, too.
3. BPA-Free Reusable Water Bottle
Did you know that more than 40% of plastic items are only used one time? After that, they end up in the trash.
That staggering number should motivate the reusable water bottle mission. Companies like Evian have said that by 2025, all their water bottles will be made from recycled plastic.
One of the best ways you can support this cause? By not grabbing a new water bottle every time you finish an old one.
Instead, take a walk around your gym and you'll notice that most offer filtered water stations. Keep a nice bottle in your bag and use it for BCAAs, protein powder, and good ol'-fashioned water.
4. Gym Clothes
Choosing the right gym apparel may seem a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, you probably have the proper attire right in your closet.
For ladies: do you have a sports bra? A pair of comfortable shorts? A big t-shirt, or a fitted tank? Then you have all you need.
Men: same thing, minus the sports bra!
Depending on your schedule, you'll need either one or two towels.
If you're showering after the gym, bring a towel from home if they don't offer any there.
Otherwise, all you need is a towel to dab at the sweat you'll be dripping after an intense workout. Tie one around the handle of your bag and you're saving room inside your bag, too. Something small and standard should be effective!
6. Yoga Mat
Borrowing some equipment is okay, and encouraged. But for your sake, we recommend bringing your own yoga mat to the gym. A yoga mat is an intimate thing that you may be lying face-down on: make sure it's got your germs, and your germs only.
Yoga does the body good. Yes, even you, weightlifters! Yoga provides many health benefits to athletes:
- Increases core stability
- Increases flexibility
- Better range of motion
- Increases relaxation
Those are all great on their own. Combined with the athlete lifestyle, they're even better.
7. Chalk Bag
This item is great to use at your standard gym, and especially for those who workout at indoor climbing gyms. Both facilities have benefits of using chalk.
Sweaty hands causing you to come down from the pull-up bar? Then you should be chalking up. Only come down from the bar because your muscles are telling you to!
Chalk not only increases your durability, it helps prevent injury caused by sweaty hands and improper form.
8. Swimming Goggles
Summer is upon us! There's no better time to bring your workouts full-circle than with some swimming.
Not only is it great for injured athletes (no risk of falling; less risk of overexerting), it improves heart and lung health. Both of which you need to succeed in the gym.
9. Proper Shoes
Any type of closed-toed sneakers is good for all exercises excluding running. For running, a padded heel is good for softening the blow your knees take.
But otherwise, if you've got Chucks or Vans, you're good to go! The flat sole allows you to feel every step and move, ensuring you're staying balanced and distributing your weight in the proper way.
10. Extra Clothes/Deodorant
If you're like many people out there grinding, you have to squeeze the gym into your schedule.
Don't forget extra clothing to change into before going to work or going out. A stinky friend is not a friend indeed. Pack all the necessities from your underwear out. Throw a deodorant stick in there for good measure.
Ladies, maybe a hairbrush, too!
Don't Forget These Gym Bag Essentials!
Having the proper items with you instills a sense of security and confidence, much like the headphones did during your lift, or the right clothes did during your 3K.
And of course, the number one thing you need to store all these gym bag essentials? A gym bag, of course. We figured you knew that already.
The next time you workout, contemplate all the different ways that certain tools can improve your performance and help you prevent injury. The better you are at preventative and restorative care, the longer you can workout and make those gains.
Let us know if you need a gym buddy!