Health & Wellness

Gym bag essentials that will help you never skip a workout

As a women’s health and weight-loss coach, I’m always looking ahead at potential obstacles that may derail my clients from following through on a workout. One of those obstacles has to do with not packing the right stuff and using this as an excuse to skip a workout — whether it’s snacks, deodorant, sweat wipes or not having enough time to change into happy hour attire afterward.

Don't let that happen to you! Here are some essentials to keep in your gym bag all the time.

1. Snacks

Vega Protein Bars, $19, Amazon

Ready for a pre-workout snack but worried about it staying fresh in your gym bag? Try out my favorite pre-workout snack, which can also double as a post-workout snack if you break it in half.

If you’re not a protein bar fan, keep another healthy snack in your bag. You can have anything from a can of tuna to a packet of almond butter, and even a healthier version of beef jerky that’s packed with protein.

Krave Pork Jerky, $5, Amazon

For more inspiration, check out are TODAY Food's lists of healthy snacks for kids and snacks you can buy in bulk!

2. Deodorant

Now that you’ve got your fuel ready, it’s time to make sure you’re prepared not to stink! Especially if you have somewhere to go after a workout, you may be worried about smelling sweaty. Thankfully, this contains activated charcoal which absorbs wetness and neutralizes odor naturally.

PiperWai Natural Deodorant, $13, Amazon

3. A towel

Are you trying to avoid getting overheated altogether? If you dislike sweating, try wetting and snapping this towel to your neck.

It’s water- or sweat- activated and cools to 30 degrees below average body temperatures. It stays cool for up to 2 hours when wet! To reactivate, simply re-wet and re-snap.

MISSION’s HydroActive MAX Cooling Towel, $20, Amazon

4. Hair ties

The last thing you need to stop you from a workout is forgetting a ponytail holder! Try wearing this bracelet (that doubles as a hair tie) to work so that you’re never left without a way to pull your hair back for your workout. It comes in five different finishes: black, gold, gray, rose gold and silver.

Hair Tie Bracelet, $45, Amazon

5. Headphones

Speaking of bracelets, these headphones can be worn as an accessory on your wrist, too! For extra motivation while you’re working out, wear this on your wrist on your workout days, or leave a dedicated pair of headphones in your gym bag that remain there at all times. Listening to upbeat music will push you to work out harder, faster, and even longer.

Wraps Wearable Braided Wristband Headphone Earbuds, $31, Amazon

6. Air freshener

Ready to have just one pair of workout shoes that stay in your gym bag? This trick will leave you with no excuse to skip your workout. To keep your gym shoes from smelling, try adding in an iPhone-sized pouch that absorbs moisture and odor particles while releasing a fresh scent in your shoes.

Just place these into your shoes for about 12 hours. When you’re ready to wear the shoes again, simply remove the SmellWell.

SmellWell Moisture Absorbing & Odor Eliminating Shoe Freshner, $10, Amazon

7. Face wipes

Post-workout, you can go from sweaty and red-faced to refreshed and glowing with a few beauty products. These sweat wipes are great because they’re all natural.

Skin Laundry Purifying Cleansing Cloth, $15, Amazon

8. Body wipes

Another option is wipes that you can use from head to toe! These are unscented with soothing aloe and Vitamin E.

DUDE Shower Body Wipes, $8, Amazon

9. Sanitizer for your hands or yoga mat

If you’re worried about germs from the gym equipment, be sure to sanitize your hands after a workout. Keep these single packs in your gym bag!

Unlike common sanitizers, MiiStS can also be used to wipe down a yoga mat or stinky shoes post-workout.

MiiSTS Hand Sanitizer, $21, Amazon

10. Perfume

For a little fresh scent post-workout, try out these roll-on perfumes. They’re so small you can put them in the pocket of your gym bag.

Demeter Roll On Perfume Oil, $14, Amazon

If you already have a scent you love, check out the wide variety of rollerball perfumes at Nordstrom. They have everything from Chanel to Marc Jacobs to diptyque.

11. A back-up plan

Finally, what happens if you absolutely can’t make it into the gym? Bring the gym to you!

This is a portable device and app that coaches you through quick 5-minute full-body workouts. It features over 100 workouts for all fitness levels and measures data such as strength, precision and other personal metrics. It also makes a great holiday or birthday gift going into the colder winter months.

Activ5 Strength Training Device, $120, Amazon

Stephanie Mansour is a lifestyle and weight-loss coach for women. Join her weight-loss challenge here!

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