When you’re in a hurry to leave the locker room to get to the office, a well-packed gym bag can take you from flushed to fresh in a snap. “A lot of people go to the gym in the morning, shower, and then go to work, so you want to pack things to help you get through the next couple of hours,” says Jennifer Widerstrom, a certified fitness trainer and Women’s Health magazine expert. Here, a snapshot of her post-workout essentials that’ll prepare you for whatever gym conundrums you might encounter.
1. A change of clothes.
Some workout gear
is so comfy you won’t want to change out of it. But if you do have to get to the office, be sure to bring a change of clothes and shoes. Don’t forget to bring a pair of clean essentials—i.e. undergarments—either!
2. Sandals. Pack a pair of quick-drying shoes if you plan on hitting the shower after your sweat session.
3. A towel. Keep one on hand in case your gym runs out.
4. Dry shampoo.
No time to shower after spin class? Dry shampoo
is a time—and look—saver. Just sprinkle some powder on your roots, rub in, and run out the door with pretty hair.
5. Hair ties, bobby pins, and a comb. You’ll be thankful to have these easily forgotten tools on hand to pin back flyaways.
6. Deodorant. Travel-size deodorants take up little space and do the trick.
7. Lip balm or gloss. “After a workout, your lips feel chappy and you can look a little flushed,” says Widerstrom. Freshen up fast with a neutral colored lip balm.
8. Eye makeup remover.
A gentle eye makeup remover
will clean up any smudging left from your sweat session. (We put on a little mascara before hitting the gym, too!)
9. Hand cream. It’s not uncommon to wash your hands several times a gym visit, since you’re touching weights, mats, ropes, and more, says Widerstrom, but it can dry out your skin and cuticles. Carrying a moisturizing cream will keep your hands soft and smooth.
10. A lock. Most gyms require you to bring your own lock to keep your belongings safe.
11: Recovery snack. Always keep a bite of food on hand to help build and repair your muscles after a workout. Choose a blend of protein and carbs, such as a bottle of chocolate milk or a handful of almonds with an apple.