How To Pack The Ultimate Gym Bag!

GymbagGym bags come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. Some are like a backpack while others are duffles with wheels! And then you have pockets! Some pockets are waterproof while some are a mesh that lets air in!

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Which Bag?

Your gym bag is really a personal choice, but I'll tell you what I like! To start with I prefer a duffle type bag that comes with both handles and a strap, this allows me to carry it however I choose. The next thing I'll look for is size, and I like them big! My gym has a pool, so I'll carry both swim gear and gym gear. And speaking of swim gear, a waterproof pocket is fantastic, even with the suit drier, everything is still damp. I also like external pockets, and my bag has a long pocket along the side as well as a pocket at each end. One of the end pockets is mesh, while the other is waterproof. There is also an inside pocket to keep things a little better hidden.

So, What Should You Pack?

1. Refillable Water Bottle

This is just common sense, why spend money on plastic bottles that just add to the plastic waste problem. A refillable bottle is the best way to stay hydrated! A lot of gyms now have bottle filling stations that you can refill your bottle. Plus, if you use an electrolyte mix, you can mix right in the bottle.

2. Flip-Flops

This can be pretty basic and you can use them to keep your feet safe from bacteria when showering at the gym. Or, if you're like me and shower at home, they can give your tootsies a much need breather on the trip home.

3. Workout Fuel

Bring your own healthy treats; protein bars, nuts, or an apple, so you're not eating unhealthy snacks like chips. If you're lifting, make sure your snacks have some high protein levels. But, if you're doing a long cardio workout, carbs are needed!

4. Hand Sanitizer

Most gyms seem to have this, but if your's doesn't provide disinfectant wipes for cleaning the weights and machines, a little sanitizer by your side can help. Remember, you may be wiping a lot of sweat from your face where the germs find a great breeding ground!

5. Spare Toiletries

If you shower at the gym, a spare toiletry kit can be a life saver! Include body wash and deodorant! Back in my younger days, I carried a full shaving kit in my bag! Shaving after a sweaty workout was just fantastic!

6. A Gym Towel

Even if you don't shower at the gym, you should have a small towel to take along with you to wipe the sweat off your brow! I like a small microfiber “camp” towel, they absorb a lot, and wash easily. Plus the microfiber towels can help cool you down, soak them in some cold water, wring them out and place around your neck. They actually sell towels just for this purpose.

7. Headphones

I recommend two sets of headphones. I have one wireless set and a backup wired pair. I keep the wired pair in case the battery dies in the wireless. And if I'm doing a “long run” wired is the only way to go!

8. Gloves

If you're lifting weights, gloves will improve your grip and help you avoid blisters.

9. First Aid Kit

Your gym should have its own first aid kit, but sometimes having your own that includes band-aids and anti-bacterial ointment can help in the locker room when you discover that your gloves didn't stop the blisters for forming!

10. Shoes!

Now, you may think that you'll wear your shoes to the gym or use the sneakers you wear all day. Well, if you've ever stepped on a treadmill that had puddles or mud all over it, you know why I suggest your bag carries your shoes! I've played on racquetball courts that had mud all over them, worked out on machines that had puddles. My rule is that my gym shoes should never step outside! The only exception are my running shoes, which I always make sure are dry and clean. (I carry them to the gym in my bag unless I'm running to the gym and then I'll change into gym shoes there.)

What Did I Miss?

My gym bag also carries a big towel for showering when I swim along with all my swim gear. What does your gym bag include that I missed? Let me know down in the comments!

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