Habits of Fit People: Pack Your Bag

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Packing my bag. So why does something like this matter?

I always keep my gym bag packed with the essentials, which makes it easier to grab my stuff as I head out the door in the morning. That way, everything I need is with me for my evening workouts. I always keep with me: Spinning shoes (my staple exercise program), my heart rate monitor and watch, my iPod, deodorant, a water bottle, and a change of clothes. Everything remains in the bag at all times, and only the workout clothes rotate in and out. One of my co-workers packs his bag just once—bringing all of his snacks and workout clothes for an entire week, which he keeps at his desk. That might be more feasible for you, or perhaps you could also keep things like this in your car.

Why it works: First off, it saves time. No more rushing through the house to grab all of your essentials, or using the excuse that you couldn't find what you needed before heading out the door. There really is not much reason to take all of that stuff out of your bag after an exercise session (except sweaty clothes of course), so why not just keep it all packed to make things easier on yourself? Second, I see my packed gym back in my closet every single morning when I wake up. It reminds me about my goals for the day, whether I planned to take a fitness class or hit the treadmill. When you see your packed bag, it's one more cue to bring it along and stick with your plan to exercise that day.

It may seem simple or obvious, but give it a try. If you don't already keep your gym bag stocked and ready to go, you might be surprised at how well it works.

Do you keep your gym gear handy? Does packing your bag ahead of time work for you? Share your experience in the comments below.

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I swim. My bag is always packed. For my kids sports, I find it easier to have separate bags for each activity that basically stays packed and I just add their sports clothes after they're washed. Report
I workout at home...but I keep my work out clothes on the top of my dresser so it's the first thing I see when I get home - before I do anything else, I change into them so I KNOW I'll go out and get a workout in! Report
My gym bag is now my purse, sort of. Meaning my wallet is inside, so it has to go with me. I commute on the train, and so my gym bag(purse) is now a rolling Back Pack. Report
This is a strategy that I have used for years! I used to leave it by the front door to grab on the way out, but even then would sometimes walk right past it. Now I go one step further and put the gym bag in the car the night before, eliminating the "I forgot my bag" excuse at the same time. Report
I always have my bag of resistance bands and exercise vids and my mp3 player with me at work. I use them at lunch or during the day. I think I'll fine tune it a bit now. Report
I do like WEEZIE30 and STARMONI I keep all my gear next to my Orbitrek since I workout at home, that way I'm ready go. Report
I've learned to just roll out of bed when Hounds wake me- I keep all my planned exercise gear laid out & ready the night before & set-up Coffee Maker for my return & just hit the pavement- already programed Auto Tune for my Exercise Shows on TV- so when they come on I just get up & do it!
But being 'flexible' & disciplined enough to meet Life's Road Blocks (its raining,dog sick, Hubby sick, I'm sick! LOL!) Without going completely off Track is the most important- Just because I may have had to miss today? Doesn't mean I can't pick right back up & continue on my Routien or find a different activity. Consistency is the key:) Report
I keep my gym bag packed & hanging by the door. I carry a large bag as I am carrying sippy cups & diapers for my kiddos as well. But I put the small things (keys, ipod, gym membership cards, lock, drivers lisence & phone) in a ziplock bag so they are not floating around my big gym bag. Report
I enjoyed reading the article, but since I don't go to the gym, the bag concept doesn't work for me. I did read someone's comment though that has a similar situation to me and I like their idea of having your clothes out and ready on the dresser. This way I don't have to think in the morning and plus they are a reminder of my goal. Thanks! Report
I already do this but I like to add my spare change to my bag so I can get a cold bottle of water at the gym. If I am planning on going running, I try to add clothes for various weather conditions so I don't have any too hot/too cold excuses. Also, I put in some cereal or granola bars in for a quick mini-meal before my workout. Report
This blog couldn't have come at a better time. I am getting ready to start evening and weekend classes for college. With a full time job, working out in the evenings and trying to keep a household, I knew I needed to get more organized. Getting myself a gym bag just made it to my list of organizational tools to buy yesterday. I also intend to buy some holders for my car to always have healthy snacks in place, as well as a holder for my daughters play things and a car vacuum. Being on the go, makes my car a mess and I never have time to clean. So, I'll let you know if it works, but I have a feeling it will. Report
When we were regularly exercising at the Y, we kept a 'bath bag' of our stuff so we could shower afterwards. We kept T-shirts in it, our bathing suits, etc.

Most of our exercise right now is walking (non-gym) and fitness videos at home (like YOURS, Coach Nicole!), but we plan to do more swimming when the college pool hours expand. That bag will find its way into our front hallway again, so we can't leave the house without it! Report
When I went to the gym, I tried to do this. It was difficult for me and I can't figure out why. It is a good idea, and sometimes I use the same idea with my workout equipment, putting out what I need for the day's workout if I know I will working out later in the day or earlier in the morning. One less thing to make decide not to work out. Report
I don't go to the gym but I do leave all my running gear (shorts, sports bra, shirt, watch, etc.) on top of my dresser. That way I have to see it every time I go in or out of my bed room and while I'm getting dressed for the day. Report
I always pack my bag as soon as I empty it. That means, when i get home in the evning I unpack my bag, put it on a certain chair and put all the things I need nxt time ri´ght next to it. That way the bag can air a bit, & in the morning I only need to stuff the things in without thinking. I am not at my best in the morning & trying to pack the gymbag in the morning would be a disaster.....Lol
So yes packing ahead of time works for me. Report
i do this daily too! it's one of my sparkpeople.com goals. it's just as important as making my lunch to bring to work. it doesn't leave room to make excuses to veer off my path since i've prepared for the day. Report
I do this already, and on days I think my motivation might get low I leave it somewhere totally in the way so I get fed up of tripping over it and just head out to the gym! Report
I've been doing this for some time now, and it definitely works! Report
I think this is an excellent idea because you don't have any excuses not to go to the gym. A couple of times I got to the gym and found out that I didn't have my running shoes in my bag. Anything that saves time in the morning is good. I would replace the clothes when I took the dirty ones out for the laundry. At one time I had a membership at the YWCA and had a locker that I kept most of my things in. I was working out during my lunch hour so it was really nice not to have to bring a lot of stuff back and forth. Report
This is a great tip - rushing around in the morning right before leaving for work just to pack your workout bag is the worst (and sometimes hard to justify so you just say "oh i'll just go home before working out" - never happens) :-) Report
I have been packing my bag...keeping in some items that don't change. Like my headphones for the IPOD. I toss my wallet in and ready to go. I find that I need to get out of the house if I am going to get in exercise. Report
I do the same thing. I like having my bag already packed. Report
I do this as well.... I pack my bag the night before and have it in my car so no excuses not to go to the gym :) Report
I pack my gym bag every night. Sometimes it sits in my car for a few days, but it's a reminder that I need to go and should go. Report
i don't work out in the mornings or go to a gym, but i think this could help me stay on track and not waste precious minutes on the days i have to work both jobs. Report
This works for me. I go to the gym at work, so i leave my runners at my desk at work along with my lotion, soap, underwear, makeup etc, and every night i pack my clothes. It really does make it easier in the mornings to just grab the bag and go. Report
Having that bag (and breakfast, lunch, snacks) packed the night before is the only way I know that I can get to a 6:30 bootcamp class. I can sleep walk out of bed to get dressed, but don't have to think about everything else. And I'm ready to go!! Report
Great idea for those that need to take their stuff to the gym. I am fortunate, I work at the YMCA. I have a locker there with my running shoes that I wear only on the treadmill (when I am forced to run inside), cross trainers for the elliptical and when I teach my classes, towels (that I take home and wash after workouts and replace), mat (so I don't lay on other peoples sweat when stretching or doing abs), deoderant, and my heart rate monitor (that both the elliptical and treadmill will pick up on so I don't have to try to have it find my hr with the sensors that don't work correctly anyway). So, a bag is great, but a locker works wonderful too! :) Report