Whether you’re a regular or occasional gym-goer, having your gym bag essentials in one pack makes workout sessions stress-free, from start to finish. They also keep you ready no matter what gym you visit. So, for a smooth-sailing gym experience, make sure to include these must-have items and accessories in your fitness goals.
1. Gym Towel
Some gyms provide fresh towels for their members. But for hygienic reasons, I recommend bringing your own. I also suggest packing two towels: one for your gym workout and the other for shower use. If you love working out with your phone and other valuables with you, getting a gym towel with built-in pockets is ideal, too.
Absorbent cotton towels are excellent as well, but they can be heavy and bulky. So, opt for compact microfiber towels instead, like the SYOURSELF Microfiber Sports & Travel Towel. These towels come in different sizes and colours. They’re ultralightweight, smooth on the skin and fast-drying. The brand also has its range of cooling towels to absorb sweat and cool your body faster post-workout. Both come with a reusable waterproof pouch with a carabiner, too.
2. Pair of Earbuds
What’s a workout routine without great music to go with it, right? So, keep yourself motivated during your intense exercises with headphones or earbuds in your gym bag essentials list. Ideally, choose wireless headphones for easy storage and workout safety.
The Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earbuds are not only light and compact but also sweat-resistant. Its pocket-friendly case has a fast-charging ability, so you can listen to music or podcasts for 1.5 hours after just 15 minutes of charging time. With three ear gel options, you get a snug and secure fit every time. Plus, it comes with voice assistant access – perfect for studying or working from home.
3. Reusable Water Bottle
Nowadays, it’s best not to queue for public taps and water fountains even if they are available. Buying bottled water, on the other hand, is costly and adds to waste. So, make hydration a priority and your water bottle a part of your gym bag essentials. Pack it every time you work out to restore the water and electrolytes you’ve lost.
There are several options for water bottles in the market. I like the double-walled ones that can keep water hot or cold for hours. Sports bottles with built-in fruit infusers are great, too. But if you want something lightweight with generous water capacity, the Healthywish Motivational Sports Water Bottle fits the bill. Aside from the minimalist design (for easy cleaning), it comes with time markings, too. This way, you know you’re getting enough water daily.
Our article on the ideal amount of water for gym workouts should help keep your intake in check, too.
4. Energy Bars or Snacks
An energy bar or two in your gym bag will keep you active to pull off your yoga, cardio or dance moves. Plus, a quick snack after a workout can curb hunger cravings the healthy way.
You can bring whole fruits or homemade protein shake, of course. But I find energy or protein bars easier to pack. I especially like Carman’s Mixed Nut Bar Pack because it’s healthy but super tasty. The Australian-made bars are gluten-free and come in various delicious flavours, too. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work out and enjoy a dark chocolate and cranberry bar later?
5. Toiletry Bag
The last thing you want is to walk out of the gym looking all tired and sweaty. So, make sure to allocate space for hygiene-related gym bag essentials. These include a shampoo bar, body wash, spare clothes and underwear, comb, cleansing wipes, antiperspirant and shower shoes.
Small things can get lost or misplaced easily, though. A bag organiser can help in this case. Better yet, get a toiletry bag that you can take to the shower room with you. The large Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag comes with multiple compartments to organise your shower essentials. Best of all, it has water-resistant fabric, a detachable mirror and a hook for hanging.
If you prefer to keep your valuables near you while working out, an armband can help ease your worries. It’s a versatile organiser that you can use in the gym or outdoors. It often comes with an adjustable band to fit varying arm sizes. And with its multiple zippered compartments, you can keep your keys, cards and phone in one place for quick access.
For fitness enthusiasts who work out while listening to music, the AiScrofa Multifunctional Sports Armband is a great choice. Aside from being affordable, it has stretchable fabric to suit most mobile phones and a sweat-proof lining to protect valuables from moisture. My favourite feature would have to be its earphone hole that keeps wires neat and secure.
7. Gym Lock
While in the gym, you’d want to focus on your fitness routine. Your mind shouldn’t be worrying about your personal belongings. So, if your gym has self-locking combination lockers, that’s great! But if not, having a padlock in your gym bag can protect you from mishaps and security issues.
I’ll be honest. I struggle with remembering codes or numbers. Unfortunately, I also have a habit of misplacing lock keys. That’s why I find fingerprint padlocks like the Perfk Fingerprint Lock super convenient. On top of being password-free, tampering with this gym lock is difficult. If your gym doesn’t have lockers, use this lock for your bag, so you can safely bring it to the floor with you.
Good gym shoes are also vital for a worry-free workout. Keen to know how to choose the right pair? This previous article has the factors you need to know when choosing the best running shoes.