The gym bag. My most trusted ally in the daily struggle of a morning workout followed by a hurried gym shower to look presentable for morning meetings. It takes a village bag.
BL often jokes that my gym bag is more important to me than my laptop carrier, which… could be true. It’s essential. Ever since beginning my current job seven years ago, I’ve had a similar morning routine: workout, get ready at the gym, head to work.
I’ve lamented several times about my need to work out first.thing.in.the.morning. Mainly, so I actually do it. I am really gifted at feeling overwhelmed/overstretched as the day drags on so by the time I’m home from work, I’m focused on dinner, blogging and BL, with very little thought of heading to the gym.
So, a bag to the rescue! Take a peak at what I’ve deemed to be essential along with my top tips for getting ready at the gym.
Running Shoes: I swear by Brooks Running shoes and would have to reallllly be convinced to turn elsewhere. They are hands down the best running shoes I’ve ever owned. Once one pair has reached its expiration date, I’m on to the next model. The brighter the color- the better! (Zappos usually has the best prices on Brooks. Bonus for free shipping both ways.)
Runway Ready: You already know what a huge fan I am of HUM nutrition, and this photo just confirms it. I take my packet of Runway Ready every morning after my workout. I swear my hair and skin have never looked better! Each satchel contains plant-based omega-3 oils and biotin.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: I honestly don’t wear that much makeup this time of year. While I am very fortunate to have pretty clear skin (thank you genetics and most recently, my HUM supplements), it can be pretty uneven in skin tone and color. Since I hate the feeling of heavy foundation, I wear this moisturizer instead. Like perfection in a bottle, it somehow evens my skin and provides it with a healthy dose of moisturizer without feeling too heavy or greasy.
Regenerist Serum: Thanks to my many years of worshiping the sun, I have started to see a few wrinkles. While I’m not scared of aging- yet, I’ve also begun to be more proactive in my approach to skincare. I’ve added this serum underneath my moisturizer and have noticed a huge difference.
iPhone: Since 1/2 the time I head to the gym I’m there to teach a class, I never leave home without my iphone. Fellow instructors, I rely exclusively on John Sines music– nothing else compares! To switch up my own music, I use workout playlists found on Spotify and Pandora. If that fails, I’ve been known to run to Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, and of course, Jack’s Mannequin.
Sweat band: Nothing is worse than a band that won’t stay put! When I am in the zone, the last thing I want to worry about is hair in my face. I swear by these lululemon hair bands, wide enough that they won’t slip off. Also perfect if I don’t feel like blowdrying my hair for work. Sweat band –> Hairband.
Sport Bars/Electrolyte Replacement: I’ve learned my lesson more than a few times. If I forgot my breakfast at home (happens all the time) or don’t have time to go grab something, I like to have a few bars on hand just in case. Favorite brands include Vega, Kind, and LUNA bars. Since it’s still hotter than anything in the CA Valley this time of year, if I’m running outside, I like to replenish with an electrolyte replacement. I like these Ignite Naturals packs, which are gluten-free and vegan.
Waterproof your shower kit: I keep all of my shower stuff in a plastic case. That way, when I head to the shower I just grab the case without having to dig through my bag to find my shampoo, conditioner, etc. I usually purchase travel size items to bring with my to the gym. They take up less space and as a bonus, allow me to try new items without committing to a full-size (and price) product.
Only bring what you need: over the years, my gym bag has shrunk significantly. Now, I just bring the basics with me (instead of my whole bathroom). Smaller travel-size beauty products help as well as a travel hairdryer.
Purchase new must-have items: As a continuation of number 2, I purchase double quantities of the products I use everyday–like my hairdryer, comb, moisturizer, serum and mascara. While it was a little more expensive at first, it’s so nice to have separate stashes of items in my gym bag to avoid having to pack and re-pack every evening.
Don’t forget your underwear! I know this sounds silly but coming from someone who has worn a sports bra to more meetings than I would like to admit, always do a double check of your clothes- including a bra and underwear!
What are your must have gym bag items?
What tips would you add for packing a gym bag?
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Her blog, Delish Knowledge, focuses on making whole-food eating deliciously simple. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, running buddy and taste-tester BL.
One time I forgot my water bottle at home. Of course my whole workout all I could think about was how thirsty I was. Ever since then I packed everything in my bag the night before and double checked it in the morning.