Top 5 must have items for the gym

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top 5 must have items for the gym

If you follow OTI on social media, then you have probably seen a few glimpses into my everyday lifestyle. You see my kids, you see my husband, you see my hairstyle and a few other things I love to share. Something that you haven’t seen in a long time…a full picture of me. I used to share a bunch of outfit posts both on the blog and on my social media (mainly Instagram). But with our big move last year, I fell off the healthy lifestyle wagon. We started eating out a TON more than we used. Not only is it affecting our bank account (a $5 meal for my family-eating in vs a $25 meal for my family – eating out) but it has also affected my weight and my body. I couldn’t believe how quickly the pounds started to accumulate. I started to see extra around my waist line, and an occasional double chin in pictures. Suddenly I realized that I couldn’t run and play with the kids like I used to, I couldn’t fit into last Summer’s clothes, and I just didn’t feel as good about myself as I was used to. So last month my family got a membership to the local community center. Not only do the kids now have an extra swimming pool to go to on a regular basis, but we now have a gym that we can go to whenever. The feeling after a workout is amazing. I always feel more alert, upbeat and energetic at the end of a workout than when I started. It’s crazy how that works. But when I get the chance to go to the gym, I am usually in a total rush. Seriously, how can I find time to workout along with everything else that I don’t have time to do anyway!

To help with my busy lifestyle while running out the door to get in a workout, I have put together a bag of almost everything that I find as a MUST HAVE for the gym. These are always in the bag (or close by) and available to grab and run.

So here’s my top 5 MUST HAVE items for the gym

top 5 must have items for the gym, skullcandy ear buds

Phone/Ear buds – I have found that the main thing that makes my workouts/runs the easiest and fastest is to have music or a show to watch if I’m on the treadmill. The easiest thing to do this with is my phone. That thing is always on my person anyway, so I just make sure that I have my ear buds in the bag at all times. Nobody wants to listen to another person’s music/show at the gym. So make sure you have those buds available at all times. 

top 5 must have items for the gym, nutrition bar, Life Choice Bars

Nutrition bar – for before or after the workout. There are some days that I’m so busy that I don’t get a fully balanced meal before heading into the gym. Weather it’s too early and I haven’t had breakfast, or I’ve just been out running errands and didn’t get lunch. So having these Life Choice bars available and in my bag makes it so that I an always get that nutrition before the workout.

But even if I have had food before the workout, I always need to replenish after the workout. That’s the best thing about these bars, they have a bunch of varieties; protein, meal bar, wellness and energy. So when I need a good protein replenish after a workout, I can grab a bar and have it right on hand.

top 5 must have items for the gym, long sleeve workout shirt

Long Sleeve Shirt – I never know if I’m gonna be cold or not at the gym. So although i get dressed usually in my leggings and a tank top, I always have a long sleeve workout shirt in my bag. That way I can pull it out and wear it whenever I get a chill (let’s be honest, it doesn’t last long!)

top 5 must have items for the gym, filtered waterbottle

Filtered Water Bottle – I usually take an ice cold water bottle with me to the gym, but go thru it all before the workout is over. And although the water there is accessible, it’s not always the greatest tasting. So to have an in bottle filter makes all the water taste great, no matter where you fill up. 

 top 5 must have items for the gym, Life Choice Bars

Now, you wanna know where to get yourself some of these things? Well I linked to some of them above, but the Life Choice energy bars can be purchased at Walmart. Find them in the breakfast aisle (yah I had a hard time finding them at first too!). Like I said above, they come in 4 different bars 

    • Meal bar- white chocolate pretzel
    • Energy bar- chocolate fudge brownie
    • Wellness bar- fudge graham
    • Protein bar- double chocolate.


I asked some friends and readers what their favorite MUST-HAVE gym items were, and here’s a few that they said:

  • foam roller or the stick to roll out muscles
  • Athletic Tape
  • Workout Journal
  • Resistence Bands
  • Sweat Towel
  • Lock for the gym lockers
  • Few extra $$$
  • Plastic bag (for your dirty clothes) if you change your clothes


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  1. This is a great list. Thanks! I’ve been looking for some new energy bars. I’m excited to try these.

  2. I totally agree with your list. IT’s so true about the long sleeve shirt. I need to check out those bars. I try to have a snack but I haven’t found an easy one I love yet. Those look tasty.

  3. I don’t eat at the gym, but I definitley eat a granola bar when I get back home!

  4. Mmmm, I LOVE these bars!!! Good tips on the other stuff, I love that water bottle!

  5. Whenever I hit the gym although it’s very rare, I always take my ipod and water. My two main things. You have a great list there and maybe I need to start taking nutrition bars as well.

  6. These look awesome! Def going to have to pick a box up to try them out!

  7. Good list….I love granola bars – perfect snack.

  8. Fudge graham sounds delicious!! I like having energy bars around all the time – I like light meals and snack in-between and this one sounds great!

  9. Good grab and go items. Those bars look good for any snack time.

  10. These would be my top 5 choices too, except for the bars because I’ve never heard of this brand, but I am always looking for bars that actually taste good. So I will give this a try for sure!

  11. I definitely have to take my phone and earbuds when I work out. I can’t seem to exercise without music.

  12. Lisa J. Jones says

    I Agree With You I Need My Water & DEFINATLY My Music To Motivate Me Thank You For The Great Info!1

  13. IF I work out, I do so at home, but these are great to have.

  14. I think those meal bars look great! I don’t belong to any gym but I do workout at home via power walking nightly.

  15. I’ve never tried those bars but they sound delicious, and I’ll have to look for them. My must-have gym item is my iPod, for sure. I can’t exercise without music!

  16. I have to have my water bottle and my ear buds. I can’t workout without them!

  17. I also like to drag my BFF along! Not only can we keep each other accountable for showing up but it’s more fun with her!

  18. I haven’t been to the gym in ages but my must-haves were knee/ankle braces (because even in my teenage years I had issues), water/gatorade, power bars, sneakers, and a hair tie.

  19. Music, energy bars, and water… absolutely! These are all essentials for me on a workout. I would add to that, body oil and face mist. I love applying essential oils after a good sweat 😉

  20. I sure need to toss a few of these into my purse and backpack. They would help me when traveling!

  21. You and your friends had some nice things on your must have list. For me an MP3 player is a must hae to listne to audio books, music or the radio.

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