Seven Gym Bag Essentials for Women
By: Heather Bien
If your sleek, lightweight gym bag tends to resemble an overstuffed airplane carry-on, then you know that packing for your next workout is no simple task. Whether it’s an extra pair of sneakers or a bathing suit for that one time you might go for a swim, there seems to be a good raison d’être for every item in your duffel.
But when lugging your bag to the gym becomes the workout itself, it’s time to reevaluate. Keeping a bag of gym essentials handy and ready to go is important to preserve your energy for the actual workout session.
To help you pack more efficiently for your next sweat session, let’s focus on these seven gym bag essentials, from essential women's activewear to headphones and a snack. Our trusty guide will help you get back to the basics so you can rock that workout while keeping your gym bag clutter-free.
Gym Items to Get You in the Zone
When you’ve made time for the gym between office meetings and your weekly grocery shopping, you want to get the most out of your hard-won workout. Cut down on the friction of getting started by bringing along the following items:
Listening to music actually makes you tougher, increasing your endurance, whether you’re putting in the hours on the spin bike or adding that extra bit of weight to your lifting routine.1 Pop in some tunes before you start to set the tone, while you’re changing in the locker rooms or lacing up your sneakers.
#2 Small Pouch
Keeping organized means you can work out while minimizing worry. Pack a small pouch in your gym bag for any valuables, including your phone, wallet, and lock for the locker room. That way, you won’t be spending five minutes rummaging for those essentials before hitting the treadmill.
#3 A Light Snack
Is there anything worse than looking forward to going to the gym after a long day and then feeling too light headed to continue during your intense HIIT session? Fueling up with a healthy snack can make a difference. Throw an easily digestible carb in your bag, such as an apple, banana, or granola bar.2
Bonus: Find Your Motivation
If you’re lacking the energy to begin your workout, you’re definitely not alone. Beyond just the items to put in your gym bag, try these pre-workout tips and tricks:
- On those days when you’re not feeling up for a tough workout, try toning down the intensity. A short, light workout is better than none at all.
- Start early and get moving throughout the day with frequent walks, a quick yoga session, or jumping jacks to get in the mood for a more intense workout later.
- Keep a fresh gym bag in reach so that you’re prepared for a last-minute workout on those days when your schedule frees up unexpectedly.3
Essentials to Help You Work Out with Ease
Once you’ve started your workout, keep that flow going by limiting the possibility of distractions. After all, you don’t want to have to step off the treadmill when your hair tie breaks simply because you didn’t pack extras. Apart from loading up on hair ties, headbands, and bobby pins, consider keeping the following workout essentials on hand as well:
#4 Trusty Towel
Whether you’re in the middle of an intense leg day workout or finishing out your recovery on the yoga mat, have a towel close by to dry yourself off. Choose a moisture-absorbing microfiber towel made from cotton or viscose.4
#5 Reusable Water Bottle
Keeping hydrated is a must, and having a sustainable, eco-friendly way to do it is even better. Reusable water bottles come with a host of advantages, such as ergonomic grips, insulation, and anti-spill features.5 This means you can personalize your go-to gym bottle based on your unique needs.
Things You’ll Need to Keep That Post-Workout Glow Going
Sweat session? Check. With your workout behind you, it’s time to transition to the next part of your day with your endorphin level at an all-time high. Keep the good vibes flowing by remembering to pack the following post-workout items:
#6 Extra Undergarments
Get out of those sticky gym clothes and into a clean set of staples so you can feel fresh for your next event. When it comes to packing the right bras and underwear, remember that you might still be breathing hard from your workout. Choose lightweight, airy fabrics that won’t sacrifice comfort. In the case that you're squeezing in a workout session on a busy day, you can throw your workout clothes in your bag, just make sure to wash them when you get home. And, if you're wondering how to wash workout clothes, you can always follow the instructions on the tag when in doubt. But, never let sweaty gym clothes sit in your bag.
#7 Shower Slippers
If you don’t feel right without a post-workout shower, stash a pair of slippers in your gym bag so that you can use these public spaces without inconvenience. Reserve a separate pocket for your slippers, throw them in a drawstring pouch, or stick them in the side with the soles facing the gym bag to protect your clothing. Keeping your workout bag light is important so you're not overpacking unnecessary items.
Boody Eco Wear: Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Staples for Your Dream Workout
One more gym bag essential you won’t want to forget? Activewear staples from Boody Eco Wear. If you’re wondering “what is activewear?”, check out our blog to learn more.
Get in the spirit with flawlessly simple staples, designed with your workout in mind. Whether it’s a pair of high-waisted leggings providing ultimate support for your mid-morning run or a breathable pullover for lounging around afterward, look no further than our soft, environmentally-friendly bamboo clothing and activewear collection for all your fitness needs.
Step into sustainable comfort with Boody Eco Wear today.
About the Author:
Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.
- Jabr, Ferris. "Let's Get Physical: The Psychology of Effective Workout Music." Scientific Ammerican. 20 March, 2012. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/
- "Food as Fuel Before, During and After Workouts." Heart. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/food-as-fuel-before-during-and-after-workouts
- Lindberg, Sara. "32 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out." Healthline. 16 July, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/how-to-motivate-yourself-to-workout
- Yashita. "9 Latest Gym Towels For Workouts, Exercises And Sports." Styles At Life. 6 December, 2019. https://stylesatlife.com/articles/gym-towels/
- Bell, Lee. "Best water bottle for the gym to stay hydrated on the go." Fit And Well. 15 March, 2022. https://www.fitandwell.com/buying-guides/best-water-bottle-for-gym
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What is Organic Cotton?
By: Heather Bien We’re all trying to be better stewards of Mother Earth. From recycling to upcycling and eating conscientiously to dressing mindfully, our choices affect the planet. So choosing organic cotton clothing seems like an easy decision, right? Not so fast! As with all sustainable choices, it’s important to take a moment to learn a bit more about why organic cotton might win over conventional cotton—and what makes these two materials different in the first place. Read on if you’re interested in learning about organic cotton and whether it’s the best choice for you and the environment. Conventional cotton Before we get into debating modern cotton farming techniques, let’s get familiar with the plant we’re talking about: cotton. It’s soft, durable, and probably on your body right now. But what else do you really know about cotton? Here are the basics: Cotton comes from the cotton plant – The cotton plant is a warm-season woody perennial shrub from the genus Gossypium and the family Malvaceae. Cotton fabric is made from the plant’s fibrous seed-hair (which is also called a cotton boll). Cotton is one of the top agricultural crops – Traditional cotton is the most widespread and profitable non-food crop in the world. Although the plant is capable of growing in any warm-weather climate, India and China are now the top producers of cotton globally. Cotton is thirsty – A normal cotton plant requires 10 gallons of water to reach peak potential. That doesn’t sound so bad, but multiplying it outward, that means it takes about 5,000 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of cotton fabric. Pests think it’s delicious – Not only is cotton thirsty, but it’s prone to pest infestations from bollworms, weevils, aphids, stink bugs, thrips, and spider mites. In order to combat these common pests, conventional cotton is routinely sprayed with a veritable salad-dressing of pesticides, many of which can remain in the soil and water supply for years afterward. Cotton harvesting requires defoliation – In order to quickly and efficiently harvest cotton, many commercial growers use chemical defoliants to strip the leaves from the cotton plant prior to harvesting the bolls. Like pesticides, these chemicals remain in the environment and on the cotton itself. Is organic cotton better? All of those cotton factoids point pretty compellingly to buying and wearing organic cotton fabric. But first, it’s important to understand what sets this organic alternative apart. Why exactly is “organic” cotton anyway? You might associate the word organic with your healthy fruits and veggies, but it’s not always clear what this term means when it comes to cotton. For many years, there was not a standard definition, but today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require that any cotton product labeled “organic” meet the following criteria: Made with fibers from USDA-certified organic crops Third-party certified (ie., through the Global Organic Textile Standard) under the National Organic Program standards Has a specific percentage of organic material (depending on the crop) But this definition is a little circular, so we need also to define USDA-certified organic crops. According to the USDA, organic crop standards are defined as follows: Land must have had no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop. Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops. These can be supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials. Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices, including physical, mechanical, and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used. Operations must use organic seeds and other planting stock when available. The use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge is prohibited. What is organic cotton? In short, it’s cotton that is farmed according to these practices and certified organic by the USDA. Why should you choose organic cotton? With fewer pesticides, fewer synthetic chemicals, and more thoughtful cultivation practices, organic cotton can certainly offer a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to regular cotton. Is organic cotton sustainable? Here are a few other reasons why organic cotton can be a better alternative for you and the earth: It’s better for our water resources – According to an analysis by the Textile Exchange, producing an organic cotton T-shirt requires 1,982 fewer gallons of water compared to a regular cotton T-shirt. Because organic cotton uses less chemicals, its production also releases fewer toxins into our aquatic ecosystems. It’s good for the soil (and our carbon footprint) – According to the Soil Association, the more natural cultivation practices and fewer pesticides used by organic cotton farmers can support healthier soil. That soil, in turn, can absorb more carbon from our atmosphere and help keep the planet healthy. It encourages biodiversity – Multiple studies have shown that organic farming practices can encourage more diversity among the animal species of our planet. Sustainability is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative. Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources: Britannica. Cotton. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. https://www.cotton.org/pubs/cottoncounts/story/where.cfm World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. https://textileexchange.org/quick-guide-to-organic-cotton Soil Association. What is organic cotton? https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/fashion-textiles/organic-cotton/ USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/02/29/conservation-and-biological-diversity-organic-production About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.