I prepared this post for those of you who have recently started working out at the gym or at home, or are thinking to. I wrote about the beauty items that I have in my gym bag, and also about what to wear to the gym. As a bonus I decided to include a bit about my favourite fitness resources: books, websites and blogs.
Gym bag beauty essentials
- Cosmetic bag: this one is from HM, and it´s practical because I can see at a glance whether I have everything that I need.
- Deodorant: I like a small piece of solid deodorants like the ones from Lush because they take up less space. Or I break off a bit of Speick deo sticks and stick them into a small plastic jar (from the travel makeup container sets from a drugstore). I´m not a fan of antiperspirants because they contain lots of aluminium, and interfere with the elimination of the toxins from the lymphatic system, not to mention their link with breast cancer. Also, the gym should be the once place where sweating should be acceptable.)
- Dry shampoo: If I have to go somewhere straight from the gym, I use dry shampoo to make my hair look presentable. It is q bit drying, so don´t use it every day though. A cap, scarf or turban would also work. Or just do a messy top bun and call it a day.
- Rose water: To spritz and refresh my face and hair. It moisturises lightly and smells nice. It also restores the pH level of the skin and lightly cleanses it.
- Hair elastics: I used to braid my hair for the gym, but after I got my hair cut in layers it just gets undone. So I do it like princess Jasmine. These tie-elastics are from HM.
- Hair clips: I like to use small hair claw clips because they tame my bangs without flattening them too much. A hair band also works (look for a rubbery one if it slides off), or clips (the three-pronged ones from Claire's hold really well).
- Razor: if you are as forgetful about hair removal as me.
- Comb: I mostly finger-comb. and this is just for my bangs. However you might choose to have a proper comb or a bush with you.
- Wipes: to remove makeup before the gym. Choose very gentle ones!
- Face cleanser: if your problem skin needs a cleanse after working out, bring your favourite product with you. Micellar cleansers are a good choice because they don´t have to be washed off.
- Massage oil: really nice to have of you tend to get sore muscles. The Arnica one from Weleda is really nice, but Alverde has a more affordable version as well.
- Shampoo and conditioner: if you shower at the gym, as well as soap or body wash, body moisturiser.
- Foot deo: if your feet sweat a lot. I made my own by dissolving a piece of crystal deo stick in water, and adding a few drops of essential oil.
A word about makeup to the gym:
I don't wear makeup to the gym. I'm not there to look cute, I'm there to sweat. If I do happen to be wearing makeup because I'm coming straight from somewhere, it is always mineral makeup which doesn't get affected by sweating. Makeup wipes in your bag can be practical if you want to remove anything that might run.
A bit about gym wearYou don't theoretically need special sports clothes to go to the gym. Except a sports bra, always wear a good one. I wear regular wife-beaters to work out, and canvas sneakers instead of sports shoes. I did however opt for sports trousers because I needed something that wicks sweat. The pants from HM are cute, affordable and do a decent job of wicking sweat. And they have elastics around the ankles, so they are great for matwork (Yoga, Pilates, etc). The other black pants from HM were rather transparent, so watch out!
When choosing clothes for the gym, do think about how much coverage you prefer. Do you prefer a T-shirt or something sleeveless? Watch the neckline, what may be fine for everyday might be too deep for exercising. Same goes for trouser leg openings. Also watch out for camel-toe. Remember also that the less you wear, the more skin contact you will have with seats, mats and benches, so always put a towel on everything.
Another tip for those of you with Lidl stores in your area: they make surprisingly good sportswear. Several fitness bloggers from Poland who often use stuff from established brands like Nike, have good things to say for Crivit sportswear from Lidl. The stuff is usually available on special offer a couple of times per year (usually beginning of Jan, first weeks of spring, then sporadically throughout the summer), and some items are available all year around on their site. If you don't have Lidl but have Aldi, you could also try there, they belong to the same enterprise so I'm guessing the quality is similar
Another tip that I got from the German army: to keep your shoes from getting stinky, wear double socks! The sweat stays in the inner sock and the outer socks isolates the shoe from the sweaty sock.
Fitness books and resources:If you want to start working out or if you want to know how to lose weight, I highly recommend New Rules of Lifting for Women. It dispelled a lot of myths which I had about women and fitness (in spite of reading quite a bit about in on blogs and forums), and even has a nice fitness and diet plan if you don´t know where to begin. XXfitness also recommends Starting Strength and Strong Lifts.
If you want to know which kind of fitness to try out, I highly recommend The Great Fitness Experiment: the book and the blog. Both are really funny and honest, and you get a lot of reviews of all the different workouts out there. If you want to find out which martial art suits you best, Fudekabudo has a surprisingly accurate test (I got Aikido, which I love). If you prefer to exercise at home, ZuzkaLight has tons of (free) short, intensive workouts that you can do in your room with no equipment.
Do you work out at the gym or do you prefer another form of exercise? Or maybe you are planning to start exercising in the new year? Let me know.