The 7 Must-Have Essentials to Have in Your Gym Bag

While sitting in the salon chair this weekend, I came across an InStyle article where celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson was sharing her favorite sweat-proof cosmetics for the gym. If like me, you often skip makeup before your sweat sessions, you might be as apprehensive as I was. Nonetheless, I’m a bit of a product junkie so I read on. “Many women don’t realize that so much of your calorie burn is attached to your adrenaline, which is attached to how you feel about yourself,” she says. “So if you look at your workout like a performance and put a little effort into getting ready, you’ll actually do better.” Whether you’re up for applying makeup before the gym or not, there’s good news: it’s time to go shopping in an effort to feel your best (and burn more calories) at the gym! Here is my fail-proof list of must-haves items to keep on hand in your gym bag. They’ll ensure you have an effective workout and will leave you feelin’ your absolute best.

gym bag essentials: high-waisted leggings

1. A Reusable Water Bottle

Don’t forget to stay hydrated! If you haven’t broken up with single-use plastic bottles for your h2O yet, make this your year. I can go on and on about how it’s bad for the environment and bad for your body (no thank you, BPA) but I’ll just leave these super stylish water bottles right here for you. They’ll either convince you to jump on the reusable train or enhance your existing collection so you can feel great about doing what’s right for the planet.

2. A Silk or Satin Scrunchie

It goes without saying many of us take our blowouts very seriously and for good reason: ain’t nobody got time for that! Prolong your blowout during workouts with a silk or satin scrunchie. They help preserve your hair by leaving behind zero creases and they have the added benefit of looking super-cute on your wrist.

 

gym bag essentials: silk scrunchie

3. A Fitness Tracking Watch

Not only can you use some fitness tracking watches for music and phone calls (yay, no phone needed), but they can also be super motivating and help you track your progress. I wear mine so much that I feel naked without it! Here are the best fitness tracking watches for 2020.

4. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is great to put on daily, but it’s definitely a must-have if you plan on taking your workout outdoors. Anything SPF 30 or above will do, but I love one that provides moisturization and other skincare benefits whenever possible. Lately, I’ve been loving this SPF 50 formula that helps combat the appearance of skin aging while it delivers sun protection.

 

gym bag essentials: pullover

5. A Pullover

No matter the time of year, I love a good pullover to have on hand for layering. They help to keep me warm before and after a workout. Extra points if they have thumbholes like this one that came to be in my lastest Wantable Edit!

6. High-Waisted Leggings

I just discovered a new (to me) brand Jade + Jude that makes the best sustainable activewear. These leggings came in my last Wantable Active Edit and I have been wearing them on repeat. They use a water-free dyeing technique that helps in reducing pollution and saving water and all pieces are made in the U.S. They are also inclusive of all body types which I love!

7. Dry Shampoo

In the aforementioned article, Anderson recommends OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Dry Shampoo Foam. I think any dry shampoo that meets your quality standards will do the trick, just follow this tip my hairstylist gave me: apply dry shampoo BEFORE your workout to keep sweat from ever reaching your strands. Apply again after for optimal freshness.

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Bethann Wagner
Written by Bethann Wagner
Hi! I’m a wife, mother, former fitness instructor and clothes hoarder living in Los Angeles. I started my blog (bethanimalprint.com) in 2013 during my time at YouTube working with fashion bloggers because I wanted to better understand their processes and challenges. I now create content full time while spending time with my kids!