We’ve all been there: having to go to work in our gym shoes (Holly, I'm looking at you!) or spending the day with our arms crossed because we’re secretly free-boobing.
Fitting in a gym routine is no easy feat as it is, but remembering all the things you need to bring for your workout and post-workout shower is a whole other story. And let's be frank: nothing kills your motivation like forgetting your headphones (I've actually had times where I considered going back home because I couldn't bare the thought of doing a gym workout without my beloved music...).
That's why I decided to share a sneak peek into my gym bag, filled with all my workout essentials and more. I'm notoriously clumsy and forgetful, so I try to prepare my gym bag the day before so that I won't be running around at 5am in the morning in complete darkness trying to look for a pair of clean socks and hair tie.
Shall we take a look?
Running watch : I have the Garmin vivoactive HR GPS smartwatch, which tracks distance, pace, heart rate, calories burned and my personal records. I haven't really figured out all the nitty gritty details of it yet, but I love to a) count my steps throughout the day and b) monitor my heart rate during exercise (read: make sure I hit my target heart rate of 180 when I'm in that cycling class and the teacher screams go go go!). Many people have asked me how it compares to other activity trackers, but since it's my first I don't really have grounds to compare. I do definitely love the wrist heart rate technology and would never get a watch where you need a chest strap, I personally find those super annoying.
Jump rope: I got this Smart Rope as a birthday present from my boyfriend last year. Essentially it's an LED-embedded jump rope that displays your fitness data in mid-air, as you work out. Sounds funky, huh? Check out the video here. Obviously, a simple jumping rope will do just as fine, but who doesn't love a good gym gadget for extra motivation?
Headphones: You never want to leave the house without these, trust me.
Deodorant: I’ve been trialing a lot of natural deodorants lately, but haven't really discovered the right one for me yet. For now, I'm using Sukin's natural deodorant and it's probably the best one so far.
Facial wipes: These are an absolute must-have in my gym back and I use them to quickly freshen up after a sweaty session. I personally like the ones from WotNot, as they are 100% natural with certified organic ingredients (including avocado oil, rosehip oil and apricot oil)
Sunscreen: Because I always forget to put on sunscreen, I prefer a daily essential moisturizer like this one from Alpha H. It's ultra sweat resistant and water resistant for 4 hours, which makes it perfect for all sport and outdoor activities.
Recovery spray: I was gifted this Recovery Magnesium Oil Spray from ECO Aroma and have been using it on my body after particularly grueling sessions, usually heavy weight lifting sessions or HIIT training. The spray is high in magnesium (also includes Black Pepper Oil, Pink Grapefruit Oil, Thyme Oil and Marjoram Oil), an essential mineral which works on a deep tissue level and is rapidly absorbed, to relieve muscle stress and strain from exercise. While I can't vouch for the fact that it actually helps me be less sore, I enjoy the #selfcare factor of pampering my body a little after a workout.
Loose powder and lipstick: I rarely bother to put makeup on after exercising, but if at all, I'll put on a bit of powder and lipstick. In the picture, you'll see a loose powder from Clinique and a lipstick from a brand I can't remember, but I've recently made the switch to Ere Perez's natural cosmetics. Even though it's been taking me years, I am sloooowly getting to an all-natural skincare/cosmetic routine, yay!
Shoes: My favorite gym shoes are the Nike Zoom Pegasus in black, but lately I really like wearing my Pure Boost X shoes because they are so light and easy to carry around.
Workout gloves: A must if you like to lift heavy!
My favorite gym jacket at the moment: Shay Windbreaker Jacket from Vie Activewear
Sweat towel: Choose a towel that is made from antibacterial material and is quick drying. I personally love the ones that have a zip storage pocket as well, so that I can put my locker keys in there.
Water bottle: It's time to ditch the plastic water bottle! Using vast quantities of fossil fuels and water, these bottles are manufactured, filled, and shipped around the globe, adding to our carbon footprint. Instead, choose a durable, re-useable water bottle (BPA-free or stainless steel), like this cool option from Lorna Jane.
Below are some other goodies I usually like to pack
Intra Strength BCAA's from Prana: I recently started drinking BCAA during my workout when I know I will be pushing my body a lot. Branched chain amino acids, or BCAA's, are known to help to build muscle, improve exercise performance and can decrease post-exercise soreness and recovery time. I was always super reluctant to use them because I couldn't find a brand that wasn't full of crap, but Prana does some pretty cool stuff.
Spiral hair ties: Rubber hair ties and those with metal brackets can snag and cause hair breakage when you tie your hair or during removal. The best part? You can have your hair up in a cute bun for yoga and leave the studio with no kink in your hair afterward.
Change of clothes/underwear/socks
I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak, let me know in the comments below! xx