What’s in my gym bag?

As a fitness instructor, I’m more likely to be carrying a gym bag/rucksack rather than a cute clutch, and as my schedule gets busier and busier, I’m finding I need some staples and ‘go to’ products by my side to get me through the day. Maybe you are vamping up your gym routine leading up to the New Year; after all you know what they say, “summer bodies are made in the winter.” FYI, I don’t quite agree with this, I think a healthy lifestyle and body is created and maintained all year round. Anyway, with those regular sweaty workouts, it’s best to be prepared with a well packed gym bag!

♦ My number one (and recently new purchase) is a water bottle. In my case, this isn’t any old water bottle, but an all hailing avocado covered stainless steel water bottle. Not only does it look pretty f***ing cool, it also keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12 hours, with no condensation or sweating on the outer part of the bottle; it can be super annoying when all the stuff in your bag becomes damp, right? The brand is ‘Chilly’s bottles’, they have lots of cool designs, and they are the first bottle I’ve found that doesn’t leak everywhere. Even better, I have already saved money (and the environment) by using one of their bottles, rather than buying 1-2 plastic water bottles a day!

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♦ There’s nothing worse than being starving after a workout, missing breakfast, and then turning to the closest snack that you can find, that may not be of great nutritional value. I find that having a bar, or an easy snack in my bag saves me from buying more when I’m out. There are plenty of protein bars and snack bars that are taking over the shelves in the supermarket, and admittedly I often buy a few from Whole-food’s in a rush. However, recently I’ve taken to having a banana, plus a sachet of ‘Mindful Bites’ nut butter in my bag as my ‘go to’ snack. The small sachets of nut butter have a straw like feature on top, which means they are mess free and easy to squeeze on top of a banana/alternatively squeeze straight into your mouth! My favourite is the orange sachet of almond butter + maca! Check them out!

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♦ All I can say is, sweat can take a serious toll on your skin, as can a lot of other things. I always think skin is the first tell tail sign of being run down, stressed, or tired etc. It’s so important to get into a regular daily skin routine, let alone a sweaty post-workout skin regime. I always cleanse, tone and moisturise morning and night, and although it would be great to follow this after every workout, honestly, it just isn’t do-able. I’m often teaching 4 classes a day, which would mean 6 rounds of cleansing, toning and moisturising, and who an earth has time for that?! Instead, as soon as I finish teaching/working out, I immediately wash my face with a face wipe to make sure post-workout dirt and oil doesn’t hang around to cause a break-out. I sometimes follow it by using a light moisturiser to help hydrate my skin.

♦ A must have stash of spare hair ties and a mini dry shampoo is essential. Please say it isn’t just me who-
  1. Buys hair ties and realises that somehow they are all missing 2 weeks later.
  2. Gets that slicked back sweaty hair look post exercise.
It is the most annoying thing when you’re just about to start a workout and realise you have nothing to tie your hair back with. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people who can rock the hair down kind of look during a workout, instead each strand ends up falling over my face, in front of my eyes, and sticking to it with sweat, yum! A spare few hair ties and grips, plus a mini dry shampoo to apply post workout are two of my little gym bag saviours.

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♦ Now, let’s all admit that sometimes it just isn’t possible to take a leisurely post workout shower at the gym before having to rush off to complete the rest of the never ending to-list/head off to work. Often just getting that hours workout in was challenging enough let alone using another hour to shower and change, whilst getting tremendously hot in the gym changing rooms (please tell me other people find changing rooms crazy hot too?!) With a lot of back to back classes and a busy schedule, I have found (and no judging) that carrying a pack of baby wipes, plus deodorant is the perfect DIY shower.

♦ And lastly… a few handy back ups. The obvious for us ladies to avoid that unexpected panic, keep time of the month supplies with you at all times!
I always think it’s good; especially with teaching, to carry a spare pair of socks, and a spare gym top. It’s always nice to feel slightly fresher, rather than walking around with a slightly damp top, plus, if you want to rock that ‘athleisure’ look for your post-workout girly brunch, then maybe a fresh top would be nice eh!
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Face wipes/ Deodorant/ Dry Shampoo/ Freda Tampons/ Hair ties/ Magnesium Oil*/ Snack/ Wipes/ THE BEST WATER BOTTLE EVER SEEN/ Spare Top and Socks.
*Just to add, the magnesium oil in the photo is a BetterYou product. I used this to replenish my magnesium levels post workout, and to speed up my muscle recovery/relieve stiffness and cramping.

Get your gym bag packed, get booked into some classes and get ready to GET SWEATY! Head to www.louisadrake.com to check out the studio in the photos above. This is where my work is based, aka my second home! I’d love to introduce some new faces to the studio and for more people to enjoy and benefit from our amazing workouts.
Have a great week,
Sopha x

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