We've all got our secret weapons for sticking with a workout routine (a well-crafted iPod playlist, the promise of an iced coffee on the way home). And one more to add to your arsenal may be a properly stocked gym bag. Think of how much happier you are mid-workout when you start fishing in that duffel and are able to pull out just what you need, whether it's a hair band or a water bottle. Check out our favorite must-have items for upgrading the contents of your bag:
1. Hitting the gym after work? Remember to remove makeup before you start working up a sweat. You can do so quickly, and without needing to tote a used washcloth back and forth, with Neutrogena’s Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes.
2. Few things are more irritating than tickly wisps of hair that taunt you as you exercise. Keep those tresses at bay with the StayPut headband by Goody.
3. Nothing will stop a killer workout quicker than a painful blister. Minimize your risk with Band-Aid Blister Block Stick and prevent blisters from slowing you down.
4. The debate over whether you need antibacterial products rages on, but the gym is one place that needs to be hosed down, no question. If the thought of all those gym germs makes you cringe, you’ll love Purell’s line of clip-on hand sanitizers .
5. Keep track of progress toward your exercise goals with a fitness journal. Pre-workout read what you accomplished last time; then, when you've made it through another take a moment to log your success.
6. Get a spill proof, BPA-free bottle. For those of us who can't imagine being without our water bottle, the BPA scare's been frightening as we imagine toxic chemicals leeching into our H2O. But The Better Bottle by CamelBak is here to ease our pain. It's tight seal means you can toss it in your gym bag and go!
7. Stop exercise-induced acne (maybe we shouldn't work out...) in its tracks with portable oil blotting papers. We love the Facial Blotting Tissues from the Body Shop, which not only remove oil but also are infused with tea tree oil to help control blemishes.
8. No time for a post workout shower? No worries! There’s no need for water with Naturia Dry Shampoo. Simply spray it on your hair, leave on for 2 minutes, and brush out. Its unique formula absorbs oil and impurities and leaves hair feeling light and luminous!
9. Devote a brush to the bag. Stop switching your full-size brush from bag to home, then back. Invest in a portable hairbrush that won't fall apart at first tangle and you'll never be in the horrible situation of having to head to an appointment with an unbrushed ponytail.
10. Pack a snack. You've burned some calories, but not enough to allow you to grab just any snack. Stave off post-workout naughtiness by planning ahead and bringing along one of Clif’s Mojo Bars. One bar has 10g of protein, and they’re made with 70 percent organic ingredients.
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