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1.08.2015

The Benefits of Packing a Gym Bag

If you made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more, you are far from alone. In fact, losing weight and getting fit* are two of the top New Year’s resolutions year after year. However, while 45 percent of Americans usually make resolutions, only eight percent are successful in achieving them. However, there is an easy step you can take to help make sure you are among those who succeed at this goal – pack your gym bag the night before.

By having your bag ready and waiting in the car or at the office, you have no excuse not to work out before, during or after work. Even if you’re running late in the morning, this tip guarantees you are ready to hit the gym and get to that workout, no matter what.

Once you’ve decided to take the first step and pack your bag, there are a few essential items to include to help make your transition to and from the gym as easy as possible:

  • Gym bag – Find a bag that functions well for you, whether it is small and light enough for your commute or has extra pockets/compartments for shoes or wet items.
  • Water bottle – Staying hydrated is key, and it’s helpful to have your own bottle so you won’t need to make frequent trips to the water fountain.
  • Sneakers – Make sure you have supportive and appropriate shoes for the workout you’re planning, whether it’s a jog around the park or an indoor boot camp class.
  • Clothes – Do a head-to-toe check as you pack to make sure you have everything you need, from a headband or hat down to your socks.
  • Music/Headphones – A great playlist can provide the extra motivation you need to take your workout to the next level.
  • Shower supplies (including flip flops!) – If you’re planning to work out before or during the workday, make sure to pack any toiletries you need to get ready or freshen up before work. To help leave more time for your workout, try to find items that will help save you time in the locker room, like 2-in-1 soap/shampoo, facial wipes and dry shampoo. And don’t forget a towel if your gym doesn’t provide them!
  • Post-workout snack – After a tough workout, it’s important to refuel with a nutritious snack, such as a healthy granola bar, almonds or string cheese with fruit.
  • Any extras – It’s good to have a few miscellaneous items on hand in case you need them, from hair ties and band-aids (for any blisters!) to a lock for the locker room and your favorite wearable fitness device. It might also be helpful to keep a plastic bag in your gym bag to store any sweaty gear or wet towels.

How Health Advocate Can Help

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to Wellness Coaching, your Coach can help you set, and stick to, attainable goals for the New Year, plus provide other valuable tips for establishing a new workout routine.

Other Helpful Resources

To learn more, please visit any of the websites below for additional tips about keeping a health and fitness New Year’s resolution:

* Remember, always consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.