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Best Gym Bag Essentials For Beginners

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You don’t need much to get started with fitness, but some workout must-haves that will make your life easier. 

Don’t worry; I’ve made it easy for you with this list of the best gym bag essentials so you can get off your phone and start your workout!

Proper footwear for your activities

Did you know that many are wearing the wrong sneakers for their workout? Having the right footwear tops the list of fitness essentials.

Why does this matter? Different workouts have different demands, and only one type of sneaker doesn’t cover all the bases. The wrong shoe can even set you up for injury. Don’t skimp on footwear!

Many people just default to running sneakers as their everything shoe. Running sneakers are great for, well, running, but not so great for things like HIIT, weight lifting, and Zumba.

Cross-training sneakers, like the Nike Metcon and the Reebok Nano, are an excellent option for a variety of mixed cardio and strength workouts. NOBULL is another training shoe brand that has some interesting and durable options.

Cross-trainers offer additional lateral support and less grippy bottoms (compared to running sneakers) to make pivoting and quick directional changes easier. 

Take a look at your favorite fitness activities and choose footwear that matches the demand. Explore different styles and brands to find what fits your foot.

And whatever you do, say no to slip on shoes at the gym! They have no place in your workout!

More information on how to choose the right footwear:

woman looking down at her fitness watch, a decorative image in an article about the best gym bag accessories for beginners
image source: depositphotos.com

A fitness tracker that monitors heart rate

Getting the right amount of exercise for health benefits depends on intensity. Most adults should aim for at least 150 min of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week.

With a fitness watch, you’ll know in real-time how hard you’re working.

A fitness watch is a must-have workout essential for me. There’s a certain sense of accomplishment in seeing the value behind my hard work, in the form of heart rate and calories. It helps boost my motivation and gives me a goal to strive for that day. 

When it comes to fitness trackers, there are many options to choose from, but not all technology is created equal. 

For all the details on how fitness trackers work and which ones are the best, read The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Fitness Tracker. 

If it’s TL;DR, here are some of the best fitness trackers to narrow your search:

The right fitness gear for your activities

Does your new activity require some extra fitness gear? For example, cycle shoes or a yoga mat

Sure, some places have mats available, but do you really want to put your face where someone else’s funky feet have been?

Lean into your new activities and take the plunge to get some fitness gear that goes with them. It might even help with your motivation! 

Related articles:

flatlay image of headphones, sneakers, and workout gear as a decorative image for an article about fitness accessories
image source: depositphotos.com

Wireless headphones

Whether it’s motivating music, podcasts, or audiobooks, get yourself a good pair of wireless headphones to stay in your zone and ditch fumbling around with cords.

Wireless headphones ensure you’ll never lose a Discman smartphone off the elliptical again (maybe). 

They might even keep people from talking to you, an anti-social introvert’s dream. 

Proper workout attire

Every gym has someone working out in denim shorts and a polo shirt. 

Don’t be that guy. 

If you’re adjusting your clothes more than working out, something’s not right. Dress appropriately for the activity and climate so you can keep cool and have full range of motion to avoid injuries.

If you’re looking for some colorful, functional new attire, check out one of my favorite brands, K-Deer. (Just be ready to be stopped by total strangers in awe of your amazing leggings.)

lululemon and ALO round out my favorites for high quality, functional fitness gear. Bonus if you’re tall, their sleeve and pant lengths are usually great!

woman outdoors on a yoga mat demonstrating tiger pose
Copyright Maura Blackstone

A large water bottle

Statistics show that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. During exercise, you’re losing water even faster.

Get yourself an extra-large reusable water bottle and drink drink drink! 

You can even make it a goal to finish your water by the end of the workout. I finish a 32 oz bottle before the end of every spin class and sometimes rush to the water fountain to get more.

Eco-friendly bonus – you’re helping the environment by using a reusable bottle. 

On-demand workouts at your fingertips

You know that feeling when you know you need to work out but not sure what to do? 

Don’t you wish you just had someone (or something) to guide you through a workout so you can get on the rest of your day?

Never draw a blank on a workout again. Hook yourself up with workout apps that are ready when you are. 

These apps are a perfect workout essential for the gym or home and have options from beginner to advanced workouts.

Related read: Aaptiv Review – A Hands On Look At This Popular Fitness App

A workout towel

If your gym doesn’t offer towels, grab a few packs of gym towels to have on hand. I have a few packs of these microfiber fitness towels.

I really like these towels because they’re super absorbent, wash well, and I don’t have any problems with lint.

When it’s extra hot, I like to use my cooling towel. It feels similar to a chamois towel that you wet before use, then the surface feels cool to the touch.

This towel has been a savior in hot, sweaty spin classes. Plus, it’s not cool to sweat all over the equipment.

Dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is a lifesaver to keep your hair looking fresh and sweat-free.

I’ve tried a lot of dry shampoos, and I keep coming back to the same two; Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder and Living Proof. They smell clean and fresh without being overly perfumey. 

I love the Bumble & Bumble because it’s not aerosol (also making it great for travel). It’s a shakable powder (which has a learning curve), but once you get it, the bottle lasts for a long time.

A little goes a long way. The 2 oz bottle lasts me several months – so I feel like I get my money’s worth. Let me know what you think. 

Wrapping up

Make sure your workout bag is stuffed with the right fitness accessories to get the most out of your workout and make your life easier.

What are your favorite workout accessories? 

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