As an avid morning exerciser, I got ready for work out of my gym bag for years and over the course of that time, experienced several what I called “gym bag fails.” Essentially, a gym bag fail meant I forgot an essential gym bag item at home thus leading to an awkward workday. Sometimes it would be an important toiletry item or a regular bra. And one unfortunate time, I forgot pants to wear to work entirely.
From these experiences, I learned how to efficiently pack a gym bag with all of the essential items, and now I want to share this knowledge with you, with hopes to save you from any gym bag fails of your own.
Designated Set of Toiletries
It’s most efficient to have a designated set of toiletries that live in your gym bag, that way you don’t have to remember to grab them each day (and risk forgetting them). Having travel-sized products including facial wipes, deodorant, body wash, dry shampoo, and body spray that live in your bag and are only removed when you’re using them at the gym can help prevent any post-workout hygiene faux-pas.
Trying to get through an intense workout when you’ve forgotten your water bottle at home is the worst, so have a designated “gym” water bottle that you keep in your bag and only use while working out. Again, we want to reduce the number of things you have to remember to pack.
Research suggests that listening to music helps enhance physical performance (source) – and anyone who has enjoyed a workout class thanks in part to a bumping playlist can attest to this. Set yourself up for success by having a designated pair of headphones that live in your gym bag (and make sure you keep them charged if they’re a wireless pair).
Extra Hair Ties
Is there anything more annoying than trying to workout and having your hair fly all over the place? Nope, I don’t think so. Stash some extra hair ties to keep in your bag to keep your hair out of your face during your workout, and to help you easily put your hair in an updo if you have plans after the gym and don’t have time to do your hair.
It’s a good idea to have a towel on hand to help you handle any excess sweat or to lay on if gym surfaces and mats gross you out.
If you do shower at the gym, make sure you have a pair of flip-flops on hand to keep your feet fungus-free.
Extra Pair of Socks
Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair of socks on hand in your bag at all times, because they are an important item that is easy to forget.8