Stash These Essentials in your Gym Bag

Packing your gym bag is a delicate balance.

You don’t necessarily want to feel weighted down by your gear as you head to your cardio or lifting session. You do want to have everything you need before, during and after an effective workout, ready to go by your front door or in the car.

Take a look at this list to get yourself started, though your must-haves are going to depend on what you’re planning to do and what you need to support your fitness and wellness goals.

  • Gym togs and shoes — If you’re unable to come to the gym in your workout clothes every day, you must find room for these. There’s no easier out of a workout than still being in your work clothes. After a full day’s work it can take superhuman resolve to go home, get your clothes and then go back to the gym.
  • Water bottle — Don’t assume you’ll be able to grab a disposable bottle on the way. Even if you can, it won’t keep the contents as cool as you’d like them to be, and you don’t want to get into this landfill-clogging habit.
  • Post-workout snacks — Even if you have a routine that includes fresh food to replenish you after beating yourself to a pulp in spin class or a HIIT session, keep a few nonperishable snacks like nuts and seeds, dried fruit, jerky or protein bars to ensure you have something available to you quickly.
  • Earbuds — A 2021 survey of 2,000 people commissioned by RockMyRun found 65% of respondents have “no motivation” to work out if they aren’t listening to music while working out. Don’t forget to bring your buds with you so you can get caught in a good “jam.”
  • Towels — It’s best to have two, one for wiping yourself off and the other for wiping equipment off.
  • Dry shampoo, deodorant and face wipes — You’re probably going to have to stop at the supermarket or pick up the kids after you’re done at least once in a while.