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What Do You Always Put in Your Gym Bag?

10 Things Your Gym Bag Is Probably Missing (but Totally Needs)

So you've got your gym towel and your water bottle and your headphones, but if you're a frequent gym-goer or studio fanatic, there are SO many essentials that'll make your workout smoother, your time in the gym better, and your post-workout body less . . . gross. These are some POPSUGAR editor favorites and what we always have in our gym bags at all times.

  1. Brush. We love to keep a little brush in our bags to tidy up after a messy, sweaty gym session. Our Food editor Anna (who is a yogi and Equinox regular) always keeps a mini hair brush for a quick makeover before coming back to the office from a lunchtime class. We also love the Tangle Teezer for postshower detangling.
  2. Extra, extra, EXTRA socks. We all agreed that not one, but several pairs of extra socks were necessary. For when you forget, for when your gym buddy forgets, for when you show up to a class that you thought was barefoot but socks are required, for when you take a shower and then need fresh socks to walk home from the gym in . . .
  3. Same for hair ties. Because for some reason, you always have 427 on your wrist when you don't need them, but zero extras when the one in your hair breaks. Keep a spare pack in your gym bag at all times.
  4. Arnica gel or cream. Have you tried arnica yet? This homeopathic remedy uses the arnica montana plant (it's similar to a sunflower!) for its natural healing powers. You can rub the cream or gel onto bruises or sore muscles for soothing relief, swelling reduction, and quick recovery.
  5. Wipes. Sometimes you can't take a shower, sometimes you can . . . What remains true is that face wipes, body wipes, and lady wipes (for your nether regions) can always come in handy. Freshen up, feel extra clean, and get rid of the extra sweat. You'll be MUCH more comfortable.
  6. Flip flops. Whether they're slides or sandals, you'll need a pair of shower shoes. For some reason, we always have a friend or two at the gym or studio who forgot them.
  7. Blister pads or waterproof Band-Aids. If you're breaking in new shoes in the New Year or got a blister from going all out in class, you don't have to let it sideline you. One of our favorite products is the Compeed blister pads that cover and cushion the blister area so well, you'll forget you have a blister or are wearing a cover! They're waterproof — meaning sweatproof, too — so you don't have to keep replacing a Band-Aid.
  8. Ibuprofen. Don't let cramps, a headache, or whatever else comes your way keep you from having a great workout. You never know what could happen, so keep a container of pills in your bag!
  9. Underwear. This is gross to talk about, but what's more gross is the reality of your sweat-wicking gym clothes drying out nicely but your underwear staying soggy. EW. Bring extras. You'll need them.
  10. Face wash. Many gyms have body wash and shampoo. Not so many have face wash. Plus, you're probably much pickier with the type of facial cleanser you use versus body wash, right? Bring your favorite cleanser (and maybe your toner, serum, and moisturizer if you're really into skin care) in mini or travel-size bottles to keep your face fresh.
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