Let’s get real. In between adventures, I work a day job 40 hours a week. I mostly sit at my desk answering or sending e-mails, planning projects, or researching new projects. To break up all that sitting and to keep in shape for outdoor adventures, I head to the gym at lunch. Fortunately, my work gym offers a multitude of awesome classes that I partake in almost every day of the week. Some of the classes that I take include: yoga, locomotion (hi/lo impact cardio dance), kettle core, zumba, kickboxing, step & strength, and pilates. To give you an idea of what I bring to my indoor workouts, here’s an episode of “what’s in my (gym) bag?”
(note: I am not endorsed by any of these products)
First and foremost: The Bag
My mom got me a Love Bag for Christmas and as strange as it sounds, I love it. It has a super cute design, is very light, can hold a ton of stuff, and packs down to fit in the palm of my hand. What more could I ask for?
For yoga and pilates I am barefoot, but for the rest of the time, I wear the ASICS Gel-Fit Sana Cross-Training Shoe. I did a lot of research on a good indoor cross-training shoe and I ended up with these. What drew me to them was the weight, the flexibility, and the breath-ability. I am not sure of the exact weight, but ASICS describes them as “ultra-lightweight” and I can tell you that it feels as though I am barefoot when wearing them. The stretchy upper sole is also great for dynamic dance movements and I have never had the problem of hot feet with these. For indoor dance, cardio, or lifting, I highly recommend checking these out (this color was cheaper than the rest of the colors – save some money by buying ugly colors is the lesson here) .
The perfect yoga mat is an elusive thing. For some, grip is key, while for others, cushion is most important. For me, I was looking for a little of both. The Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat has two sides each textured differently so that you can choose which grip best fits your practice that day. The cushion is also enough that I can plank on my elbows with no discomfort, but it is also long enough that I can fold over a side if I ever need any extra cushion. When looking for a yoga mat, I definitely recommend touching each mat to feel the grip and texture. I love the feel of the Prana E.C.O Mat and if you use it often, I believe that it is worth the $50 price tag. I carry my mat in a simple Gaiam Full-Zip Cargo Pocket Yoga Mat Bag. The pockets can’t hold much because the mat takes up most of the bag, but it does it’s job. Other yoga extras that sometimes end up in my bag include yoga blocks, a yoga strap, and my REI Camp Towel.
I use the Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS-Enabled Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor to track all of my workouts. I got this watch off of Groupon because I had a $50 gift card, so I didn’t have a ton of options to choose from. Admittedly, I wish that I had just paid extra and gotten one with internet capabilities because it is really a pain to plug this thing into the computer to sync my workouts with Garmin Connect and Strava. Those of you that follow me on Strava (tina_pico) know that I will just end up taking a picture of my watch after my workout and posting that because it is easier than plugging it in every day to sync. With that said, if you are just looking for a watch to track heart rate, distance, pace, and time, this watch is great. It accurately measures everything and I love to bring it on hikes or runs as well as use it indoors to track my heart rate. The GPS feature almost seems secondary because I cannot see my route unless I plug it into the computer and sync my data with Garmin Connect.
My clothes obviously differ everyday, but today I have one of my favorite shirts, the Columbia Total Zero Short Sleeve V-Neck Top. I really love this shirt. It is super soft, lightweight, and keeps me cool during sweaty workouts. I have worn it on multi-day backpacking trips, attempting a trail marathon, dancing my face off in zumba, and just walking around town. I’d like to purchase this shirt in every color they have! My only complaint is that it claimed to be odor resistant, but maybe only for an hour long workout. After the first day of a summer backpacking trip, the shirt did not stand a chance against odor. Some other clothing items not pictured include my Buff (I have 3 and wear them almost every day) my sports bra, and my socks. For light activity like yoga or pilates, I like the Exofficio Give-N-Go Cross Over Bra. For more intense workouts I wear my Patagonia Active Mesh Bra. I’m not sure if I would 100% recommend the Patagonia Active Mesh Bra because I have had issues with it riding up into my armpits and staying wet for a long time. If you have a good recommendation for a medium to high impact sports bra, let me know because I have yet to find the perfect one. I’ll save socks for a separate post because they deserve extra attention.
Natural deodorant is a hot topic these days. I have found that Alba Botanica’s Clear Enzyme Deodorant Stick works well for me. They have a few different scents and I prefer their tea tree product. It is a bit pricey (~$6) but they last a long time for me. I have one at home and one in my gym bag. I was pretty skeptical of Aura Cacia’s Yoga Mist when I first saw it in stores. I thought it was just a marketing scheme aimed at the yoga industry (which it probably is), but it went on sale and I decided to try it out. I have to say that I love the scent of the tea tree & lemon mist. I use it more as a body mist than a yoga mist, but I have also gotten compliments from people saying that my bathroom smells great when I spray it in there! Finally, I always carry Vicco’s Turmeric Cream. I had heard rave reviews about this product on all kinds of websites, so I headed to my local Indian grocery store and picked it up to try. The smell of sandalwood is quite strong, but if you can get over that, the cream is great! I wash my face with cold water after my workout and then put this cream on. My skin is so smooth that it might actually be magic. I also have a coconut oil turmeric blend that I use as lotion at night and in the morning. Turmeric for skin care gets two thumbs up.
Last but not least: Water
I get pretty thirsty after a sweaty workout, so I always bring a water bottle to replenish afterwards. I have tried many water bottles with mixed results. I really like my CamelBak Eddy, but I find that my mouthpieces get moldy even if I just have water in the bottle, and it is a pain to clean with all the little nooks and crannies (maybe that’s just me?). Therefore, I have been using this basic Blender Bottle for a while now. Nothing fancy but it holds the water and doesn’t leak so it is good enough for me.
So, that is what I carry in my gym bag for indoor workouts. What do you keep on hand in your bag? What products do you love? Do you have suggestions, comments, or questions? Leave a comment below and then HIT THE GYM!