You work out hard. And we know scheduling in gym time is no small feat, either. So why not make life easier and maximize your time by adopting the Boy Scout mentality: be prepared. All you have to do is pack your gym bag with five key items and fitting shower time in, between workouts, work and going out is no sweat. Literally.
“When you take five minutes to throw the right items into your gym bag and then leave them there, you’ll never have to think twice about your personal hygiene, again,” says Carmen Puyo, a group exercise manager and instructor. As a fitness expert, Carmen Puyo lives out of her gym bag. She knows the importance of looking, feeling and let’s face it, smelling good when she teaches spin, weight training and bootcamp-style classes, while running between the Jewish Community Centres and Equinox gyms across Toronto. “You have to stay fresh and clean after a work out, there’s just no way around it.” Here’s what you need to pack in your gym bag:
Do we really need to explain? Alright. These underarm products keep your sweat and body odour under control. Because while you may be accustomed to your manly scent, nobody else is nor do they want to be. “It’s a must,” affirms Puyo. “Everyone has between two and five million sweat glands across their body and it has to get released somehow. When you work out, you sweat more. You also sweat more when you’re stressed. Either way, having deodorant handy just makes good sense.” Try: Degree Motion Sense Active Shield 48h Anti-Bacterial Odour Protection, from $3.97.
It’s available at Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada.
An all-in-one shower gel for your body, face and hair
Sure, lots of gyms stock their shower stalls with an all-in-one wash, but can you rely on it? “It’s so random,” says Puyo. “Depending on the gym, the shampoo and body wash—if they even have a body wash—that they carry in the locker room are just a generic brand. I prefer to use my own products that I regularly use. This way, I know for sure that the products work and I’ll like how I smell afterwards.” Tip: a gentle body and face wash can be used as a shampoo for your hair, too as it won’t dry it out and will eliminate sweat from your scalp. Try: Dove Men + Care Oil Control Body Wash.
It’s available for $4.97 in 400 ml at Shoppers Drug Mart stores.
Face and body moisturizer
A hard workout followed by a hot shower leads to one thing: dehydrated skin. Chalk it up to increasing your body’s temperature through exercise and then, heating up your skin with hot water. A regular combination of the two can lead to itchy, red, tight and dry skin. “Since you’re most likely going somewhere after the gym, you have to moisturize,” says Puyo. “You can’t show up to work with flaky skin. It’s not professional looking.” And it won’t feel good, plus if left unattended for any length of time can lead to skin sensitivities, eczema and more. Try: Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face and Body lotion with SPF 45.
It’s available from $15 for 81 ml at Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada.
Yes, you read that correctly: throwing a bottle of Febreze into your gym bag is mandatory, especially if you carry a clean change of clothing in it. “I sweat a lot and my shoes get really sweaty and smelly,” affirms Puyo. “I usually throw my shoes in my gym bag, too. Spraying Febreze into my shoes after a workout prevents my bag from smelling like a dirty hockey bag.” Try: Febreze Heavy Duty Crisp Clean.
It’s available in for approximately $10 for 800 ml at Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada.
Even if your gym has a no spritzing policy, you need to have a bottle of cologne stashed in your gym bag. “Spray it on after you leave the gym or in your car if you have to,” says Puyo. After all, a hard work out deserves a fresh and clean scent. Try: Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Extreme.
It’s available for $90 for 50 ml at Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada.