I have become a regular lunchtime worker outer (ya, not sure that’s what it’s called). I love breaking up the day, getting out of the office and getting my sweat on. What I don’t love is basically having to do my whole morning routine again in the afternoon, but it beats being gross and smelly for the rest of the afternoon. In order to give myself maximum time to get to the gym and actually work out, I have narrowed the contents of my gym bag down to a science. I have even started buying two of everything (so far just the important stuff), so I can keep my bag fully stocked at all times. After a little trial and error, here are the essential items any gym goer should have on hand…including a great bag to start!
- Gym Bag: I used to shove everything into my backpack, but combined with my work things and packed lunch, I was never able to fit anything. If I needed sneakers for that day’s workout, I had to wear them on my feet (which makes me feel like an 80’s working girl). I decided to invest in a functional and reasonable bag that I could carry along with my other things. I had two requests: it needed to be small enough that I could carry it if I walked to work and it needed to have an over the shoulder strap. Here are a few great options (1 // 2 // 3)
- Sneakers: Depending on what workout you’re doing, you’re going to need sneakers. I keep mine in my gym bag now, so that when I wake up I no longer have to wear them to work. Sometimes I don’t even need them, like when I do Soul Cycle, but it’s nice to have the option – they become especially handy if you’re wearing new shoes that give you blisters and are practically immobile from the pain.
- Gym Clothes: This includes a sports bra, pants, a top and socks. These items are going to have to be removed and washed, but I make sure I have one of each item packed away before I leave in the morning. You never know what’ll you need and I just don’t have the luxury of going sans sports bra in case of an emergency. Ouch. Here are a few pieces I love (1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5)
- Regular Clothes: My office doesn’t have a strict dress code, but I prefer to switch into clean clothes once I’m all showered and fresh. I stick in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt in the morning, so I have an option to switch into if I am working out in the middle of the day. I don’t really worry too much about the outfit I’ve created, unless I have plans to go out after work.
- Extra undergarments: I can’t stress this enough – always bring a change of underwear! Sitting in your dirty, sweaty undies is never a good idea for your lady bits. Treat them right and give them some fresh living quarters after your workout. Also, I like to throw in a regular bra, so I don’t have to wear a constrictive sports bra for the rest of the day.
- Facial cleanser, body wipes and moisturizer: I don’t go crazy here, but my I like to have at the very least Pacifica facial cleansing wipes, Pacifica body wipes and a moisturizer with SPF. Whether or not I shower at the gym, I always clean my face immediately after a workout. Picture all that sweaty grossness just sitting on your skin. No thanks! The moisturizer is great to have on hand when I plan on reapplying my makeup and simply use my favorite drugstore kind.
- Make-up: This is an area where I am debating buying two of everything because it is a little annoying having to take out my makeup bag every morning then pack it away. For the gym, I only pack the basics – eyebrow filler, concealer, blush and mascara. It sucks putting on makeup when your face is flush, sweaty and your pores are open, so I try to keep it as simply as I can.
- Hair brushes: These are an absolute must-have and actually I have already bought two of each. My hair does not dry all tame and beautiful like I just stepped out of a commercial. Nope, my hair is unruly and never does what I tell it to. That’s why I always have a wide tooth comb and a round bristle brush to control this mane. Whether I have showered or not, I will pull my hair back into a low braid or bun for the rest of the day. I don’t bother with the hair dryer because that would require a straightener as well and who has time for that?
What’s in your gym bag?