Gym bag must-haves

As gyms are reopening, it is important for athletes to carry specific essentials in their duffel bag that will help them with their workouts as well as their hygiene. Firstly, every athlete should have a pair of slide sandals in their gym bags for preventing athlete’s foot infections. My personal favorite is the Adidas Comfort Slide Sandal. After a hard workout, you need a pair of snug shoes to let your feet rest while walking around while allowing your foot to breath. These sandals come in a variety of different colors and patterns and can be found almost everywhere, including Amazon, the Adidas website, Shoe Palace or any local shoe shop. For the athletes with long hair, another often-forgotten essential is extra hair ties. Erickson Grab and Go Tube is a set of smooth-surfaced hair ties that are very smooth and will not snag on your hair. They are available on Amazon, $18 for 15 hair ties that come in a variety of different colors. When running late to the gym, it’s easy to forget to bring an extra on your wrist, but coming prepared and having a pack in your bag at all times will prevent you from having messy hair after cardio. Bobby pins should also be in your bag in case of annoying flyaways that get in the way of your workouts and stick to your face. You can buy bobby pins at your local Target, Walgreens or Walmart. A post-workout snack is also something that one should have on hand at all times, especially if you have somewhere to be afterwards. It’s important to replenish your nutrients after burning so much energy in a workout. If you have the time to make your own snacks, Street Smart Nutrition is a website that provides creative recipes for athletes. If not, The Feed is another website that sells individual vitamin supplements and quick snacks that can be brought in your gym bag. For the athletes who do a lot of heavy lifting, it is important to have athletic tape in your gym bag to prevent blisters and bruises. Constantly lifting heavy weights or doing vigorous workouts can take a lasting toll on your body if you don’t care for yourself after. You can buy athletic tape at a local Target, CVS or Walgreens. Listening to music can help you get into a pumped workout mood, so bringing headphones in your gym bag and playing an energetic playlist will help your workouts be more fun and better-paced. Music that you enjoy listening to also helps you exercise harder with less fatigue, according to a 2006 study that looked at the effect of music on treadmill runners’ speed.