5 Essentials I Keep In My Gym Bag
I have been back exercising properly for about a little over 15 months now since Little Miss A was born. I started back doing a ladies Boot camp at 6 am in the morning twice a week about 4 months after giving birth because I was still dealing with the after effect of Post Natal Depression and it took me that long to feel ready physically and mentally to go back to high-intensity workouts. I kept walking after the birth for mental health more than anything because being out in the fresh air was the best thing when I was having a really bad day.
Fast forward to now and I have joined a gym which I go 3 days a week plus try and fit in at least 1-2 workouts at home if I get the motivation to do it. It's getting a little harder to get out of bed now that the weather is cooling down. Looking back it has been great to see where I came from starting back exercising again to where I am now. There is always room for improvement in the area of exercise but one of the biggest things I wanted to accomplish in the early days was to do an unassisted situp by myself. My core strength was pretty ruined after having three kids in under 4 years so I had a long way to come considering I could never do an unassisted situp before having kids. I think it took me about six months of consistent exercise to do a situp on my own and boy was I ecstatic. I may have done a happy dance at home once I got back from the gym.
When I was doing my ladies boot camp I didn't really bring a lot with me as it was in a local park so all I did was bring a towel and a water bottle along with me. Now that I have been going to the gym I've started bringing along my gym bag again. I use to go to another gym pre-kids so I just had to pull out my old gym bag and restock it with my fave things again. I mostly do classes when I go to the gym that starts at 5.30am (hello early wake up call) but I find this works in best with the family as if I tried to do it later in the day and put the kids in the gym creche I would definitely be more hit and miss with my workouts due to the effort of hauling the kids along as well. Going so early has carved out some "Me" time which I am always craving even if it means getting up at the crack of dawn.
So what do I pack in my gym bag? Let's have a peek inside.
This one is a given if you are going to do any type of exercise. While I put deodorant on before I go there is the odd occasion I completely forget so it's a lifesaver to have a spare tub in my bag. I forego a sports deodorant purely for the amount of aluminium that is associated with normal antiperspirants deodorants. I find the Black Chicken paste to be excellent at repelling odours during a workout even if you still get a little sweaty under the arms. I usually reapply after having a shower when I get home to get me through the rest of the day.
I only added these to my bag in the last month or so as I found after doing a vigorous workout and sweating buckets that I would get a lot of breakouts on my face from the buildup of sweat. I usually try to have a shower after a workout but some mornings are just crazy and I can't get a chance to get in the shower so these facial wipes come in handy to wipe off the dirt and grime in preparation for the day.
When I don't feel like doing a class at the gym or end up doing a workout from home because it's hubby's day for an early morning bike ride I end up doing my own thing. Generally, it's the Sweat app by Kayla Itsines that I follow because it's a 28 min worth of exercises that I can quickly get done and know that I have done a proper workout. If I am at the gym I find using the earbuds to be priceless as I usually listen to a podcast while I make way through the workout list. I also use them at home when I do my workout in my garage to listen to music while I exercise without waking the kids. Although if you follow my insta stories you would have seen last week I had two pairs of eyes (three if you counted the dog) sitting on chairs watching me make my way through my workout. I really want to buy a pair of wireless ones but the really good ones are upwards of $200!!!!. I'd love any recommendations on some more cost effective ones that are also good and don't fall out.
This one follows my earbuds as you need one with the other. I don't normally listen to a lot of music at the gym while I workout (well because the music at the gym is so dang loud) I generally tend to go for listening to podcasts. I have only started listening to them in the last three months and they have revolutionized the way I use my time. I feel like I can learn, be refreshed and motivated while I am doing a workout or driving the kids to school all through a little podcast app on my phone. I also use my phone to follow a workout with the SWEAT app by Kayla Itsines. I think it is about $20/month and I managed to get the app when Kayla was doing a sweet deal of $2.00 for like 3 months. This is my go-to app for my home workouts (I normally do the BBG section for that) and if I don't feel like doing a class at the gym I will do a PWR section with Kelsey Wells that is also on the app. This is more weights orientated and find I can use the equipment at the gym for this. They're 30 min blocks of exercises ranging from weights to BBG which is more of a HIIT style workout to yoga and post-pregnancy options.
I keep a small container of nuts and add in dates for the week to my bag so I have something on hand if my blood sugar drops during a workout session. I know this is not an ideal snack if you a gym buff. Protein bars and all are probably what other recommend but most contain whey powder which I cannot eat but I just keep this in my bag more for emergencies than anything. I normally have a half of a banana before my workouts but other times I do a fasted workout without eating anything beforehand. Having too much in my belly beforehand never ends well. Ha.
If you are looking for some meal prep ideas for things such as breakfast ideas, lunch and snacks to help start your week on the right foot then make sure you check out my Meal Prep playlist on my YouTube channel. I am posting weekly videos on what I make each Sunday in preparation for my week ahead. If this is something you are interested in I was thinking of doing a weekly blog post about it and attaching the video link to it as well. Let me know in the comments if this is something that you're into.
Since writing this post a couple of months ago things have changed in my workout routines. I was diagnosed with pelvic floor issues a few weeks ago and have been advised to stop all weight bearing and high impact exercises for at least 6 months until the issues have been resolved through treatment. Which is pretty much sums up everything I had been doing at the gym. I am currently navigating the best way to exercise through this stage and am finding it difficult to figure out the best way to do this without injuring myself any further. I was extremely disappointed finding out my exercise routine which not only helped my fitness and mental health but it is a time I can have just for me is no longer right for my body at this time. That being taken away essentially left me wondering what the heck I am meant to do with myself. Most of the classes offered at my gym are not suitable for me at this time. So as frustrating and annoying as it is maybe I will find a new way to work out during this time that I will learn to love as well! I'm looking at your spin class! :-)