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Gym Bag Challenge!

isn’t she a gem?

I’m typically not a pink person, but since it’s October, I wanted to increase awareness about Breast Health Awareness Month!

I recently read a blog post about a bag challenge. More specifically, the challenge called for participants to report on the contents of whatever bag they had on hand. I thought this was a great idea for a blog post this week.

Here’s a list of the contents of my gym bag. Enjoy!

FOOD

Chewing gum – I’m a gum chewer. There’s something about chomping on a fresh piece of spearmint gum that keeps me pumped during my workout. I keep a pack in my bag.

1 Protein Bar and 2 Fruit & Nut Bars – I tend to stay hungry and these little treats stop my stomach from growling. They’re very handy on the days I take two back-to-back fitness classes and need a little snack in-between. Tip: I only eat 1/3 or a 1/2 of a bar and drink a few big sips of water. A little goes a long way when I just need something to stop me from thinking about food when I’m supposed to be focused on my workout.

Nutritional supplements (BCAAs, protein powder, & glutamine powder)Along with water, I sip on branch chained amino acids before and during my workout. This helps reduce protein and muscle breakdown. I drink a protein shake (with glutamine) within 20 minutes of my workout to help with muscle recovery and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. Read more about what the NSCA has to say about this.

WRITING TOOLS

2 old pens and 1 black marker – I tend to log my workouts in a small spiral bound notebook. It’s handy to always keep a pen I don’t care about losing on hand.

Small spiral bound notebook – I log most of my workouts here. Maybe one day I will compile my workouts and get them published.

Sticky notepad – This serves as my back-up workout notebook. It also comes in handy when I need to write something down at the gym.

RANDOM STUFF

Lock and key – Most gyms don’t want folks carrying their bag on the floor and plus, I usually bring entirely too much stuff to not keep everything inside of a locker. I always keep my lock and key inside a side pocket of my bag. Tip: I store the key inside the lock hole so it’s easy to find both inside of my bag. I also keep the key on a carabiner that holds extra pony-tail holders, too. The carabiner makes it easy to attach to the little loop on my water bottle, too!

Two mp3 Player Cases – Just in case I want to listen to music on my larger mp3 player, I have two exercise-friendly cases to use. One goes on my arm and one can attach to my waistband. I usually use my smaller mp3 player, but I like to have music options!

Ear bud headphones – This is an extra pair I always keep in my bag just in case I forget my favorite ones. Besides not bringing socks, not being able to listen to my music playlists is the absolute worst when working out. I need my music!

Plastic bag – I can place shoes, wet clothes, clean clothes, food, or whatever in this bag. It’s my “just-in-case I need a plastic bag” bag.

Business card – Just in case I lose my bag, my identifying information is inside. Also, I may meet someone at the gym and want to share my business card for networking and follow-up purposes.

CLOTHING

Multiple pairs of socks – For whatever reason, socks grow inside of my gym bag! I have a total of 4 pair in there! I think it’s because of the one time I made it to the gym and forgot my socks. I was so bummed. At the time, I managed to do some barefoot exercises in the group exercise room, but I was bummed about not being able to do the workout I really wanted accomplish that day. Confession: I even keep an extra pair or two of socks in my car!

Multiple head bands – Similar to the socks, I have entirely way too many head bands in my bag. I think it’s because I have pretty long dreadlocks. It is entirely way too annoying working out with dreadlocks smacking me in the face; hence, four head bands! Tip: Cut the sleeves off of old t-shirts and use them as a headband.

Extra pair of underwear – I have these just in case I forget to bring some when I shower and change at the gym. It’s also helpful to have an extra pair when I need to run errands or delay my time between my sweaty workout and shower. Hot moist environments are breeding grounds for bacteria and I definitely don’t want any of that. You might want to check out these articles (yeast infection, jock itch) about why you want to stay away from wearing warm, moist, or tight-fitting clothes for an extended amount of time. Note: I usually bring a full change of clothes when I go to the gym, but today is an “in-between half-packed bag I’m doing laundry” kind of day.

Weightlifting gloves – I don’t want to build up calluses on my hands, so I use weightlifting gloves.

TOILETRIES

lotion, deodorant, lip balm, feminine products

WHAT’S CURRENTLY MISSING FROM MY BAG

Since this was an off day, several items were missing from my bag…

sneakers, spinning shoes, jump rope, mp3 players, headphones, heart rate monitor strap and watch, change of clothes, sweat towel, water bottle, shaker cup, extra carabiner, certification cards, soap, shower cap, shower shoes, and probably a few other items I forgot at the time of writing this

I hope you enjoyed reading what’s in my bag. I learned three things from conducting this activity.

1. I need to reduce the amount of stuff in my bag.
2. I need to restock my bag.
3. I need to get a new bag. It’s a tad bit beat up.

So, what’s in YOUR bag?

Don’t forget, October is Breast Health Awareness Month! Find a local affiliate and get involved today.

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