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It's In the Bag

What to bring to the gym


Updated November 25, 2009

What you put in your gym bag can make or break your workout. Just imagine the horror of showing up at the gym for a nice run on the treadmill. You slap on your shoes, grab your towel and reach into your bag only to discover that...GASP...you've forgotten your iPod. It's enough to send you right back out the door.

Then there are those days when you don't have a lot of time and you're stuck waiting in line for the elliptical trainer while precious moments of your life tick away. Wouldn't it be nice to have an alternative like, say, a little jump roping? Below you'll find a list of things that easily fit into any standard gym bag and that will ensure you get a great workout no matter how long that guy hogs your favorite machine. 

  • A Jump Rope: Jumping rope is a great cardio exercise and really works those legs. Instead of standing and waiting for your favorite cardio machine, find a spot in the corner and start with a few minutes of light jumping. If you having jump roped in a while, jump for a few minutes at a time and then take walking breaks for a great interval workout.
  • An exercise mat: Most gyms offer mats for stretching and ab work, but who knows how many sweaty people have used those mats before you? Keep one in your gym bag to avoid those germs.
  • Weight lifting gloves: If you lift weights, you'll want a pair of gloves to protect your hands and help you grip the weights safely.
  • An MP3 Player: These days, the idea of exercising without music is almost like driving a car without the steering wheel. Invest in a quality music player and make sure you have some great songs to listen to.
  • A Heart Rate Monitor: A heart rate monitor is a great way to insure you're you're working in your target heart rate zone and getting the most out of your workout.

Quick Tips for Your Exercise Enjoyment

  • Keep an extra set of everything in your gym bag (i.e., towels, underwear, workout clothes, etc.) so you know you'll never be without.
  • Keep small plastic bags in your side pocket to hold your sweaty clothes.
  • Always bring an extra lock if your gym allows you to use your own.
  • Keep change in your bag in case you have to buy bottled water or a quick snack.
  • Have an extra set of headphones, just in case you leave yours at home.
  • Don't keep anything of value in your bag or in your locker. If something gets stolen, your only worry will be buying some new workout clothes.
  • Always carry a towel with you to wipe down the machines you use.
  • Pack your bag the night before and clean it out every once in a while so your car doesn't stink to high heaven.

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