Options to Update Your Gym Bag: What’s Your Bag?
If you’re suffering from a case of the post-winter workout blues, now might be a great time to update your gym bag. Here’s why. If you’ve had your same old duffle or tote for years, chances are that it’s stopped inspiring you to force yourself to run, stretch or lift when the couch looks so much more welcoming. (And I’m guessing it’s smelling a bit gamey as well). Instead of washing it out, just throw it out and treat yourself to a new one.
Like your evolved athleisure-ific running or yoga pants that are actually everything pants, the newer generation of gym bags are made of smarter fabrics, incorporate extra detailing and act as a visual cue to get you moving. They’re also stylish enough to double up as a work bag, which will keep you moving after you’re done with the 9 to 5. Many of them have unisex styling and colors, so you can mix and match or swap with your significant other.
The Minimalist Yogini
If you’re more interested in the experience of your practice than showing off your great taste, choose a yoga bag with enough room for a mat and a few essentials. This super cute version from Lululemon is basically an updated fanny pack with room for your rolled up mat.
The (Six) Pack Rat
If you avoid the gym for fear of leaving something essential at home, look for a bag with lots of extra pockets for socks, underwear, or any gear you might need for the gym and after your shower. A basic black briefcase shape also means that you won’t look unprofessional if you leave it at work. This one from Adidas has lots of extra details and room for an extra pair of sneakers if needed.
If you’re as hard on your gym bag as you are on your running shoes, consider a bag that’s specifically crafted to be tough enough to take a lot of abuse. Look for reinforced stitching where straps attach and a thicker layer at the bottom of your bag. Padded shoulder straps will not only protect your shoulder and neck, but also keep the bag from slipping and strap from stretching or fraying. Eagle Creek is better known for their luggage, but their basic duffles are perfect for the gym. If you’d like to keep your schvitzy, smelly clothes away from everything else, you can also treat yourself to a few breathable packing cubes that keep the stinky from the freshly laundered. They even have some for shoes, so your trail run muddied shoes won’t mess up your brand new bag!
If you hate the look of most gym bags, consider investing in one that has an of the moment vibe. Choose a bright green inspired by Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery, or look for unusual fabrics like velvet or satin if you’d like to add an edgier vibe to your workout routine. Pick a pattern that suits your overall fashion aesthetic or gets you in the mood to move. Camo is having a moment and combined with a shape that can double up as a handbag or weekender, you’ll probably get tons of use from this Herschel Supply Company Bowen Travel Duffle.
If you’re not ready to splurge on a gym bag, try upgrading your workout experience. I am loving Box Appetit’s Eau Good bottles which use traditional Japanese Binchotan charcoal to filter tap water. It’s a look great, feel better investment. Or inspire yourself with a new keychain like this adorable one on Etsy with a kettlebell. If you’re prone to sports injuries, you might want to pack athletic tape. CVS Health’s Kinesiology Athletic Tape Strips are water and sweat resistant and come in really fun colors. It’s a nice way of wrapping up your injury and still looking stylish– even with a sprain.
P.S. Don’t forget the snacks
Now’s a great time to upgrade your snack game as well. Justin’s Snack Packs combine their nut butters with pretzels or banana chips. Classic Blue Diamond Almonds are easy to store in your gym bag and you won’t blow your calories for the day. Check out Hippeas, a USDA certified organic range of chickpea puffs (they had me at chickpea puffs!). Or beat the workout blahs with Rhythm Superfoods beet chips which are packed with fiber.