Ok, so in reality, every workout is a good workout. If you’re making the effort to show up, you’re putting yourself in a good place. But there are a few things that can get in between you and your endorphins. For instance: It starts raining when you’re on the track. Or you forget your earbuds and have to listen to yourself huffing and puffing (not the most motivating sound in the world). Here's what to pack in your gym bag so you'll always get the most out of your workouts. Make sure you're never without these things.
What to Pack in Your Gym Bag
1. Extra earbuds
There's nothing worse than when you forget your earbuds and have nothing to listen to on the bike/treadmill/track. Sure, if you're the type who likes to take in the sounds around you, that's one thing. Running on a trail and hearing the birds chirp can be really nice and even help you clear your head. But if you're in the gym and find yourself zeroing in on the sounds of other people's panting and equipment, you might become too distracted to really push yourself.
2. Extra hair tie
Probably the most annoying thing for those with long hair to have to deal with during cardio is a loose mane. Especially when it gets in your face! Don't show up to your workout only to realize that your wrist is bare of that hair tie you thought you had. Stash some in your gym bag so they're always available.
Keep a cap in your gym bag so you can whip it out in case it's raining (or even if it's really sunny). It will keep the weather out of your eyes, hold your hair in place, and offer added warmth to your head if it's chilly.
4. Protein bar
People who work out a lot eat protein bars for a reason. When you work out, you need protein in order for your body to grow muscle (instead of deplete muscle). It also helps to eat a bar with a few carbs for pre-, during, or post-workout fuel. For moderate to intense exercise, choose a bar that has at least 20 grams of protein. It's easy to throw in your gym bag and eat with one hand if you're on a bike or hike. For a few bites when you feel yourself wearing down, try a smaller size, like the FitJoy fun size.
5. Caffeine gum
Honestly, any kind of caffeine and any kind of gum are essentials, so why not combine them? Gum offers a bit of extra hydration in your mouth and keeps you from knocking your teeth while you exercise, while caffeine in this format helps keep you energized during (not just before) your workout.
It's horrifying to get to the gym and realize that you've forgotten to put on deodorant. Do you continue on and just offend those around you? Or head back to your car in defeat? Avoid this dilemma by keeping a small stick in your gym bag to apply before your workout, and add some body spray for after your session, so you can leave the gym feeling accomplished and fresh.
7. Face wipes
Face wipes aren't just for after you work out. If you wear a lot of face makeup during the day and don't want a river of foundation to melt down your face and flick onto your neighbor, you might want to wipe your face down beforehand, too. You can also use them to quickly freshen up your sweatier areas as you exit the locker room.
8. Water bottle
Being stuck at the gym with only the weirdly metallic-tasting water from the water fountain to keep you hydrated? No thank you! Bring a reusable water bottle so you're never without. (Yes, this one sort of goes without saying. But for those of you in the back: Stay hydrated during your workout!!) Plus, downing the plastic bottles they hand you at your cycling class ain't so green. Do a solid for the environment and bring a sustainable option like this one.
9. An extra layer
One final thing that can keep you from getting some serious exercise done is if you hit the outdoor trail or track for your run and find that the temperature has dropped and you're freezing cold. Sure, you'll build up some body heat once you get going, but if you're miserably frigid, you might not get that far in the first place. Pack a light hoodie or a moisture-wicking layer so you won't have to turn around before you're ready.
The FitJoy Team
Our team likes to stay in the know and ahead of the game when it comes to eating, exercise, and wellness in general! We take the latest buzz in the nutrition world and make it easily translatable for your own life.