Pack your bag and check it twice! We’ve all been there… Monday morning comes around, and after a BIG weekend of partying hard the guilt sets in – you freak out about all the calories you’ve consumed over the last 24 hours, so much booze and greasy late night food, followed by the obligatory McD’s hangover fix the following day. So there’s only one thing for it… Gym; that’s where you’ll be living for the next 5 days!
You’re too hungover to move from the couch all day Sunday, so you quickly pack your gym bag before you leave for work on Monday morning, and low and below you get to the gym and you’ve forgotten an essential item – it’s the most annoying thing ever, your workout is ruined before you’ve even begun!
Here’s 5 gym bag essentials you can’t be without, pack your bag the night before and be sure to check it twice:
Hair bobbles – you buy these things in the hundreds, but when you need one they’re nowhere to be seen, where do they all go?! Forgetting these and having to put up with your hair flying all over the show when you’re going hell for leather on the treadmill is the worst! Then sweat starts pouring and you look like a wet dog, with hair stuck to your face, neck, chest and back. Scrape your mop up top guys and girls, get your long locks out of the way!
Sports bra – in my opinion this should be number one priority ladies! Whatever your size, big or small, you need to invest in a decent sports bra – keep your rack stacked and packed! Read more about the importance of a sports bra here.
Headphones – ARRRRRRRGGHHHH! You’ve got the gym and you’ve forgotten your headphones, you’ve got to listen to whatever crap they’ve got on in the gym, or to that annoying person grunt, moan and groan like a crazed wild boar on the piece of kit next to you – your head falls off and you can’t get in the zone no matter how hard you try. Worst workout of the week, all because you forgot your headphones!
Water bottle – this should be by your side at all times people, drink more water! 2-4 litres per day is what’s recommended, more so when you train. Read more about the importance of drinking water here.
Gym leggings – so obvious, probably one of the first things you should pack, but I’ve forgotten these a few times! One particular occasion when I forgot said gym leggings, I was wearing black everyday leggings; you know the thin ones that are pretty see through (that shouldn’t ever be worn as pants, too many girls make that fashion faux pas and do). Well it was my knickers that were on show that day, leopard print naturally, I got lots of funny looks but chose to play dumb and crack on.
Other things to consider packing…
A hand towel, weights gloves, arm band for your phone/music, face wipes, dry shampoo, deodorant, padlock/change for lockers.
I felt compelled to write this after a bank holiday hike in Malham over the weekend. Some of the sights I saw (not scenery) were simply shocking, my face said it all… as above! The scenery was stunning!
Now I’m no Gok Wan of the walking world, but some of the choice outfits left me speechless – which is unheard of! I honestly couldn’t believe what some people were wearing to hike up hills, through cow pat covered fields and scrambling up rocks… the ‘looks’ included:
Jeans – lots of people wearing jeans (to trek 8 miles!), jeans have no give and they’re not lightweight.
Converse or other streetwear footwear – don’t get me wrong Converse are cool, I own a couple of pairs myself, but you’d never catch me trekking 8 miles in them. They rub after wearing them for a few hours, and give no support for your feet/ankles on that kind of terrain.
It gets better…
A leather mini skirt and ankle boots – honestly! WTF…
Shirt, smart pants and nice shoes – this guy looked like he was going on a night out… he looked great, for a night out!!
A lovely summer dress and strappy sandals – serious!
I feel like my mother saying this (that transition is definitely happening), but it’s not a fashion show! Your first thought should be comfort, second thought should be care (for your joints) and finally preparation (for all weather conditions) i.e. light layers.
You don’t need to go all Bear Grylls, equally you don’t need to spend a small fortune. Think about it, you’re exercising, getting a sweat on, you don’t want to dress in your Sunday best.
Again, I’m no Gok Wan or active wear guru, and I don’t spend a fortune on sports gear myself (to sweat in for a few hours!). Nor do I own much of your typical outdoor gear, however, my outfit included:
Things to think about when picking your exercise clobber…
Comfort and ease of movement – you don’t want to feel restricted, get friction burns and so on.
Support for your joints – ankles, knees, hips; wear suitable footwear. I’m a self-confessed shoeaholic, I LOVE shoes. But there’s a time, place and fittingness for every pair… unless they’re Crocs, they should be banned!
Layers – whether you’re in the gym or the great outdoors, lightweight layers are key! Easy to add and remove as required.