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Your Gym Bag Essentials

Let’s face it. Finding enough spare time to go to the gym and get a workout in can be hard. Some days, you find yourself with just enough time to hit the gym to and from appointments and meetings, without taking the time to go home and change, or even take a shower. It takes serious commitment to keep up a regular exercise routine, and having a gym bag packed and ready with everything you need might just make it easier for you.

1. Sturdy bag with enough room

A gym bag is essential if you want to keep up a good workout routine. Make sure it’s big enough to hold workout clothes, fresh clothes to change into post-workout, shoes, toiletries, a towel, and even a water bottle and granola bars. If you decide to opt for material that isn’t moisture-wicking or water proof, make sure you have plastic bags or water-proof pouches big enough to hold wet towels and sweaty, used clothes. The last thing you want is for your bag to smell like sweat!

2. Toiletries kit

Of course, a toiletries kit is a must, too. You don’t have to take your whole bathroom with you—thanks to convenient products available in the market, convenient staples make showering (or not showering!) on the go easy. If you have enough time to shower, keep small travel-sized bottles of soap and shampoo. If you’re squeezing in a workout on your lunch break or between other appointments go a long way. Pack a good dry shampoo that’ll absorb sweat from your hair and scalp, a good hydrating mist for your face and neck, fresh deo, and a good towel, of course! With the right products, freshening up without the need for an actual shower is possible.

3. Spare workout shoes and clothes

Sometimes, the mad dash out the door in the morning means you don’t have to pack your workout clothes, and getting home just to change into workout clothes and leave again is unthinkable. Ditch that dilemma by keeping a whole workout outfit (even if it’s your ratty compressions, sports bra, gym shorts, and an old t-shirt) and old shoes (that still work but are worn out and have been replaced with a new pair) in your gym bag or trunk as your emergency workout outfit. That way you can workout any time you have a sudden free hour or so—check out 7 Must-Have Fitness Apps for apps that’ll provide you with tons of workouts depending on how much time you have.

4. Fresh clothes

This is just basic good hygiene—you will sweat through your gym clothes and underwear, so if you’re heading somewhere else post workout, fresh underwear and a change of clothes is a must.

5. Cheap headphones

Stash spare headphones in your gym bag for emergencies—let’s face it, working out in a busy and crowded gym feels impossible without your workout playlist to block out the crowd. This is especially essential for cardio days on the treadmill or stationary bike.

6. Flip flops and a towel

Communal bathrooms can be a pain, and you never really know what kind of bacteria and fungi may be lurking. Never go barefoot when you take a shower or freshen up, and don’t forget a towel. Stash a cheap pair of rubber flipflops that you can just always keep in your gym bag so you don’t risk going barefoot in a public bathroom.

Trisha Bautista is a freelance writer, food and product stylist, social media manager, and violin teacher. She was formerly editorial assistant and social media editor for Women’s Health Philippines, and the assistant lifestyle editor and social media editor for Cosmopolitan Philippines. She enjoys discovering easy recipe hacks, working out by herself and trying out DIY workout programs, traveling outdoors, and enjoying wine and whiskey.