New years come with good intentions and resolves to be healthier. If you’ve not been a dedicated gym bunny before, then it’s worth thinking about what you’re going to pack in your gym bag. It follows you from home to work, and even while you’re travelling, so packing it thoughtfully doesn’t just mean being ready for the gym, it means being ready for anything!
An important part of your work out recovery and general wellbeing is your hydration. Getting dehydrated means headaches, muscle aches, cramp and worse. Good hydration means tighter focus, better performance and faster recovery from your last gym session.
A bottle of water isn’t going to cut it – because it’s not just water your body loses when you’re working hard. You also lose electrolytes – the salts dissolved in your water reserves that serve vital functions throughout your body. They help to balance your fluid levels (meaning you get hydrated better and faster when your electrolytes are topped up), they help your brain transmit impulses to your muscles, they even help your heart beat, so your hydration solution needs to incorporate electrolytes. Products like rehydration powders or ORS tablets are lightweight, dissolve in water and have a long shelf-life – perfect to keep in your gym bag so you can rehydrate wherever you are.
Whether you’re hitting the gym at lunchtime or after work, there’s plenty of occasions where you’re going to need to brush up and look your best after you shower, and it’s well worth taking that into account when you’re packing your gym bag.
Anti-perspirant and a hairbrush are the bare minimum you need to include. These allow you to restore your ‘normal’ appearance quickly and get back to the office ready for work. If you include a change of shirt, some cologne, and any favoured hair products you can be ready for a night out direct from the office. If you add spare underwear and an extra toothbrush and toothpaste, then you’re prepared for an unexpected overnight stay – whether you get stranded while travelling, crash on a sofa after a night out or lose your luggage on a more substantial trip you can look and feel refreshed and at your best.
It’s worth expanding that thinking so you really are ready for anything. Pack your gym bag as a mini-urban survival kit so that wherever you end up, and however much time you have to prepare, you’re ready to face any eventuality.
Spare chargers are a good place to start – we’re paralysed without our devices, and if you wake up after a night out an unfamiliar sofa then brushing your teeth won’t do you much good if your phone is dead! Keeping spare chargers in your gym bag means you’ll never know that anxiety as your phone ticks through its last ten percent of power while your charger is by your bed at home. A portable battery is an even better investment – as long as you keep it charged and ready to go.