Winter can bring on a more sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, and seasonal depression. Luckily, working out makes you feel good and can help battle the sadness many feel during these dark, cold winter months. If that's not enough to motivate you out of bed in the morning, however, then maybe some appropriate workout gear can make things a bit easier. Here's an all-season guide on what you'll need for that perfectly packed gym bag, including suggestions on that gym bag itself.


If you get a good pair of workout tights, you really only need one for all your activities—yoga, cycling (just throw a pair of shorts on over them), running, or whatever activity you choose to keep fit. There are plenty of versatile options that will keep you warm outside (and cool indoors for when the seasons change), starting at around $50. And you don't want to forget your hands during these colder months, which are more vulnerable to chilly weather.

Lululemon Cadence Crusher Tight, $118
Land’s End Men's Speed Running Tights, $69.50
North Face Winter Warm Tight, $50.98
Brooks Greenlight Running Gloves, $21 (Bonus: these have "tech-tipped" fingers so you can manage your playlist while on the run)

Nike Flyknits

Running shoes have become hyper-complex these days, and prices have risen accordingly, but you don’t need to spend a lot to get a solid pair that will get you out the door and onto the track or treadmill. You can never go wrong with classics like Saucony, Nike, Adidas, or whatever your favorite brand may be, but you want to make sure to get ones geared toward your chosen activity. For running, we recommend these:

Saucony Women's Omni 13 Running Shoe, $89
ASICS Men's GEL-Kayano 22 Running Shoe, $65+
• Nike Flyknit Running Shoe for Women and Men, $75+ (Note: these are light, for those who prefer less bulk)

The Fitbit Flex comes in a variety of colors.

It's worth investing in an activity tracker, and they've come a long way in design and technology since they were popularized a few years ago. These days they record everything from heart rate to running routes to sleep patterns. If you’re a serious runner you might want to splurge on the Garmin Forerunner, which has the best analytic capabilities of any activity tracker and can even give you advice on things like recovery time after your run. A good, middle-of-the road choice is the Fitbit Flex. And if you just need the basics, there are perfectly good bluetooth activity trackers out there for around $30.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT, $449.99
Fitbit Flex 2, $79.95
Waterproof Bluetooth Activity Tracker, $29.99

(Courtesy of Lug and Burton)

If the gym is more your look than outdoor running, a durable, well-made gym bag is a must. It’ll contain all those funky smells, and keep all your workout gear in one place. As a lifehack: keep your gym bag somewhere visible in your house, not stuffed in a closet, to encourage you to go to the gym.

Lug Puddle Jumper Overnight Gym Bag, $81+
Nike Victory Metallic Gym Tote, $39
J. Crew Camden Duffel Bag, $25
JT Frontier Pack, $29

Sure, there will be mats at the gym, but they’ll likely be sweaty and filled with bacteria. It’s better to bring your own, whether you’re going to the gym, or to pilates or yoga. Some of our favorites feature natural materials and bold prints:

Indigena Natural Yoga Mat, $79
Gaiam Print Premium Reversible Yoga Mats, $35

Do NOT forget your headphones! Music is proven to help keep you motivated while exercising, so a pair of headphones designed for workouts is worth it. These Beats are well-reviewed, and designed to pair with multiple iOS devices, so you can use them seamlessly between all your Apple products. And while these Liger headphones aren't quite as high-tech, they'll give you much of the same function as more expensive ones: they won't slip from your ears, they'll easily pair to your phone, and they come with a built-in microphone.

Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones , $149+
Liger Blaze Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones, $34.99

Make sure to throw a water bottle in that gym bag too, because staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep your workout going. This one from Contigo has a spout that can be popped up with one hand, so you don’t need to flail around when you’re on the treadmill trying to get it open. And if you’re looking for something space-saving, this one from Vapur folds up into practically nothing, so you can throw it into your gym or work bag and forget about it.

Contigo Autospout Water Bottle, $12.99
Vapur Shades Foldable Water Bottle, $9.99

You’ll need to recharge your body after a workout, and with snacks that won’t weigh you down. Graze, a subscription snack service, is a great way to make sure you have a healthy post or pre-workout snack at the ready. LABARs are also a good go-to—they're gluten free, and packed with wonderful ingredients.

Graze - $11.99
LABARS 16-Flavor Variety, $32
VegaOne Protein Powder (it's vegan!), $47

What's in your gym bag?