They say diamonds are a girls best friend, but I am pretty sure my gym bag is doing a much better job at keeping my life together! I am not sure if I would be able to go a day without my trusted messenger holding everything that I could need during the day. While it may fluctuate what exactly is in my bag at any given moment, there are a few key staples that I can guarantee are in my bag 90-100% of the time when going to the gym aka my second home.
Here are my top 10 Things to Have in Your Gym Bag:

1. Gym Runners + Socks
I feel like this is a no brainer, but it is the most important item for me going to the gym! I have already done another post about gym shoes (read it here!) , but make sure to stick a spare pair of socks with them in your bag. For days that you are either wearing dress shoes/flats/heels and need socks to go with your runners or just being able to change out of a sweaty pair post workout (very important if you have perma-cold feet like me!) the socks are the best compliment.

2. Water Bottle
I feel like this is another no brainer, but I am still amazed at the volume of people who train at the gym/come to classes without a water bottle! Not only is it nice to have water handy whenever you need it, but not having to line up at a water fountain is a great thing. Nor do you have to fork over any money each time you head into your yoga class, because who shows up sans hydration to hot yoga???

3. Extra elastics/headbands
Whether it’s for a quick pony for spin class, or to keep your fringe off your face for boxing, hair accessories can mean the difference between a good sweat session or being annoyed/unfocused for the next 45 minutes. Because even if your track record is perfect, you will have a friend or class mate that will forget and be extremely greatful that you had a spare. I find keeping one either attached to my shoes or water bottle is extra handy for not spending 20 minutes looking in every corner of your bag or elastic breakage during classes.

4. Towel
Even if you clean the bench before sitting down to do chest press, a towel gives you that extra piece of mind your aren’t just sitting in someone else’s sweat. Or being stuck to a vinyl mat post stretch session. Just remember to wash it after going to the gym.

5. Training Notebook
Whether it’s to mark down your sets/reps, follow along your pre-printed out workout, or just to keep you accountable, a training notebook should live in the gym bag. It’ll be handy when you need it, plus there is a better chance you’ll actually remember the workout you did today if you write it down right away.

6. Theraband/Massage Ball
While many gyms/studios are starting to stock bands/massage balls/foam rollers etc. for the general populous, not all of them have access to these tools yet. Further, having your own with you means you can use them as long as you want without being asked when you will be finished with the only foam roller in the gym! (Side note: after working with rehab patients, bringing these with you to the gym will significantly increase the chance of doing your rehab movements. Just saying.)

7. Headphones/Music

While nowadays I have my music on my phone, making sure my iPod was charged and in my bag on cardio days was a key priority during university. 20 minutes of bike intervals is a little more bareable with some awesome tunes! Side note: having a spare set of earbud headphones means less chance of problems with your music, or having to wear over the ear head phones, which in my opinion can get majorly sweaty!

8. Lock
Depending on your gym, you may or may not need this. It is handy to have around though when visiting a new gym or studio and aren’t sure what the lock up situation is like. Peace of mind that your phone or wallet isn’t wandering off can go a long way to helping you relax during downward dog.

9. Emergency Toiletries
This can mean deodorant, lip chap, hand cream, toothbrush, mascara, etc! Anything that you may need to freshen up post gym for an impromptu coffee date or just from a morning of running late.

10. Emergency gym shorts/top/sports bra
This one comes a little bit down to the size of your gym bag and how much stuff you want to be hauling around. Back in my uni days, where I keep my gym bag in my locker, I always keep a spare tank top, shorts, and sports bra in my bag just in case I ended up going to the gym when I hadn’t planned it. (Aka class was cancelled or I really needed to work off some stress.) These clothes can also come in handy if your gym plans change from going for a run outside to an indoor spin class and all you brought was your mid layers. Options are appreciated!

And with all of these, make sure to replace the items if you do use them/take them out of your bag! That way you are always prepared!

While this is all that I keep in my bag, did I miss anything that goes in yours? Leave a comment below!

Happy Training!

-SB

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