7 Gym Bag Essentials ...

Gym bag essentials are, well, essential, for a number of reasons. After all, working out is tough. Not only do you need to gather the energy to get yourself TO the gym, you also need to dig deep enough to motivate yourself to jump on that treadmill, stationary bike or stair master and get to work. Finding your fitness groove isn’t easy (or the most exciting way to spend your Saturday morning), but we’ve put together a list of what essentials to keep in your gym bag to make your fitness experience a little easier, and help you get the results you want—and deserve! Check out these fabulous gym essentials to get the motivation you need!

1. Your ITunes Library

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Music is scientifically proven to increase workout performance, so be sure to pack your iPod in your gym bag at all times! Make a play list full of upbeat songs that will help you get pumped, and stay that way for the entirety of your workout. Be sure to update your iTunes library weekly, so you don’t get bored of a continuous cycle of tunes.

2. Hair Tamers

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Keep annoying wisps of hair away from your face with a sturdy hair band and/or durable hair ties. It’s important to keep multiples of these must-haves in your gym bag, as they are known to snap or break easily (and without warning). Plus, hair ties are sort of like socks, and they end up disappearing into oblivion just when you need them most!

3. Reading Material

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Pack a magazine, or three, because they're definitely gym bag essentials! Reading on the elliptical or stationary bike may slow your speed slightly (it’s a bit difficult to read while keeping your intensity to the max), but having something to distract your mind will definitely help you pedal or push yourself longer. Bring a health or fitness magazine, like Women’s Health or Shape—you’ll find workout regimes and fitness routines to execute once you’re ready to retire from the machine and hit the mats!

4. Hydration Supplies

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Don’t forget to hydrate! Staying hydrated is one of the most vital gym essentials. Always keep a filled bottle of water or sports drink in your gym bag that will help replenish your body after a hard workout. If you forget to bring an already-filled bottle, at least have a refillable bottle in your bag as a backup (most gyms have water fountains you can use).

5. Sweat Stoppers

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Nobody appreciates leftover sweat on his or her treadmill—and even if you’re courteous enough to wipe a machine down after you’ve maxed out, it’s better to prevent the issue all together. Pack a small towel in your gym bag that you can use to wipe away excess sweat. You can also use it as a yoga mat substitute if you plan on doing crunches, pushups or anything else that requires you to lay down on a dirty gym floor.

6. Foot Protectors

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Never, ever, EVER let your bare feet touch a dirty locker room floor. You risk getting plantar warts and encountering bacteria you didn’t even know existed! Whether you want to shower after your workout or just change out of your sneakers, keep flip flops in your bag to help your toes stay safe.

7. A Change of Clothes

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Running errands after the gym? Not with those embarrassing pit stains! Always keep an extra t-shirt in your bag, just in case you completely sweat through the one you’re already wearing (not like THAT’S happened before). That way, you won't have to feel self-conscious when you leave the gym.

There are lots of things you can do to make a workout more enjoyable. Whether it's providing motivation or keeping yourself safe, gym essentials help make the whole endeavor better. What are your "must have" gym bag essentials? Comment and share them with stalkers everywhere!

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