Six Things: What’s In My Gym Bag?

Being back at the gym has been good for my mental and physical health.  I can feel myself getting stronger and it’s a big boost to my post-pandemic confidence.  But heading to the gym in the middle of the day, I need a few things to freshen up after.

Here’s some of what’s in my gym bag.

The Bag // I carry a backpack to the gym because I typically walk there.  My husband let me borrow his Lululemon backpack, and the outside pockets are pretty handy.  For something less expensive, I love the backpacks from Mystery Ranch, a Montana-based company that makes outdoor gear for serious hikers, climbers and backcountry skiers.  Prefer a duffel?  Land’s End makes a great one for under-$100.

No matter which bag you choose, I highly recommend the Athleta Coffee Run Wallet.  It clips to your bag, and holds your debit card, ID, and gym pass so you never have to fumble in your bag.

The Socks // These Lululemon Micro-Pillow Tab Socks are my absolute favorite.  Our smallest dog, Stella, ruined two pair when she was a puppy and I replaced them without a second thought.   They’re soft, pillowy (hence the name), and supportive.  If you’re looking for a more affordable pair, I’ve heard these Zella socks are also pretty good.

The Deodorant // Until a few years ago, I had no idea how many harsh chemicals there are in deodorants and antiperspirants.  So I switched to natural deodorants (that just prevent stink, not sweating) like Milk + Honey Extra Strength Deodorant.  If you prefer an antiperspirant to prevent wetness, the charcoal one from Tom’s of Maine is a good option.

The Shirt // I like to change shirts after I work out, and I don’t want one that is going to cling to my body.  This long-sleeve Pima cotton workout top from CRZ Yoga is perfect for layering on throwing on solo.  I love the loose-fit and the boatneck.  I wear a size XS in the tee, and it’s still plenty loose.

The Water Bottle // This Zojirushi Stainless Mug is insulated to keep drinks cold, and it locks to keep them from spilling.  I’ve had mine for years.  Need one that filters water?  Brita also makes a great water bottle that I see a lot of folks at my gym carrying.

The Snack // Post-workout snacks are usually loaded with sugar and calories.  These RxBar Minis give you 6g of post workout protein in just 100-110 calories.  Eat them with a full carafe of water, and they’ll kill any post-workout cravings.

The Wipes // I do not shower at the gym, but that doesn’t mean I want to leave feeling less than fresh and covered in sweat.  These Honey Pot wipes are my favorite.  They’re great for sensitive skin.  They’re also paragon free, cruelty free, plant based and BIPOC owned.  They’re one of my favorite 2020 finds.

So what’s in your gym bag?  Maybe it’s a utility player that makes life easier or a hero product you can’t live without.  Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Eleni says:

    LOVE HoneyPot products!! Made the switch to their tampons, liners and also use the wipes. Also love that I can just pick them up on a Target run.

    June 16, 2021/Reply
  2. N. says:

    I’d highly suggest checking out a recent article from NYT titled “Are Natural Deodorants Really Better for You?” I found it very enlightening and would love your thoughts!

    June 16, 2021/Reply
    • Jo says:

      I was just thinking of that article – I was briefly spooked a while back and gave some “natural” deodorants a try, but they burned my skin and gave me rashes, which I never had from regular deodorant! I don’t know if it’s the essential oils or the baking soda, but I’ve been relieved to read more since then that it seems like the claims I saw online are overstated. The “natural” deodorants also did not prevent odors for more than 7 hours or so for me personally. That said – obviously everyone should use the deodorant of their choice, people’s bodies vary, etc. 🙂

      June 16, 2021/Reply
      • Maddy says:

        Same. I’m not a super sweaty person unless I’m working out (after which I would shower anyway), so the staying power was expected and not a huge issue for me, but the RASHES! Two out of the three natural deodorants I tried burned and left red rings on my skin that lasted for weeks!

        June 17, 2021/Reply
        • E says:

          Ditto on the rashes from natural deodorants. I’ve been using old spice deodorant (not the anti-perspirant) since it doesn’t contain aluminum (idk, whatever, it also feels un-natural) and doesn’t irritate my skin. My reasons are definitely woo woo and not really science-based, but it does the job and keeps me happy.

          June 17, 2021/Reply
          • Carly says:

            I had rashes as well, even tried some “sensitive” natural deodorants. The only one that works for me is Schmidt’s in the flavor “rose and vanilla” seriously. It’s so odd, other scents all give me rashes!

            June 17, 2021/Reply
  3. Nadine says:

    So curious what you are and aren’t able to do at the gym. The whole shebang here has been closed since March 2020. I’ve missed exercise classes!

    June 16, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      My gym is fully open with proof of vaccine, no masks.

      June 17, 2021/Reply
  4. Liz says:

    I tried a few “natural” deodorants, and like the others, found them pretty lacking. Regular deodorant/anti-perspirant irritated my skin though, until I saw Lume blowing up my social media ads. Honestly.. it really does work. I just bought the sampler to try the different scents out, and I’ve been using it for a month and am barely past the first sample tube (I think 5 came in the box). So if anyone else is looking for a solution, it’s a product that worked for me!

    June 17, 2021/Reply
    • TheLOOP says:

      Thanks for this rec. Amazon sells Lume and I have had it in my shopping cart forever but wasn’t sure if they live up to the hype. Going to try this now.

      June 17, 2021/Reply
  5. MADDY says:

    I never thought I would have strong opinions on socks, but I was an early Bombas customer and immediately became a full-blown evangelist. I bought them for all of my family and friends several Christmases ago. The quality is superb and they never, ever budge.

    June 17, 2021/Reply
  6. Kim says:

    I bought a Lululemon backpack 6 1/2 years ago, and it still looks brand new. I use it for my work bag (I’m a teacher, so it goes back and forth every day). I usually run it through the washing machine once school’s out for the summer, and it comes out looking like a dream. Plenty of storage pockets, including a padded laptop compartment, and nice padded straps. Highly recommend!

    June 17, 2021/Reply
  7. kaitlyn says:

    I know there are a million natural deodorants out there – I honestly never tried anything else but “Meow Meow Tweet,” and I LOVE it. Covers scent very well.

    Also loving Fairlife protein shakes (real milk) after a workout – 150 cals, 30 grams of protein. You may want to try a pre-workout, if you have low energy before a mid-day workout. Pre-workout powder has been saving me during my early evening workouts.

    Also drinking Alani Nu’s energy drinks for a pick-me-up. Amazing!

    June 17, 2021/Reply