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Time is of the essence, as they say. It’s hard enough to fit all the things you need to do into a work day and even tougher to find the time to pack your gym bag. Outside of a clean set of clothes and basic hygiene products, there are a few items that help make working out a piece of cake and will set you up for a successful day.

1) A Tennis Ball

Yes, you read right. A tennis ball. Instead of hauling around a large foam roller, a simple tennis ball makes a great replacement when rolling out sore muscles. If you’re looking for deeper muscle relief for your calves and glutes, a softball does the trick. Simply use these alternatives as you would a foam roller: with the ball on the floor and your leg perched on top of it.

2) MYZONE Heart Rate Monitor

I live and breathe my MYZONE heart rate monitor. Wearing one of these during my workouts has helped me to train harder and monitor my progress, not to mention compete with my co-workers to see who can master the most heart rate points, or MEPs (MYZONE Effort Points)! Disclaimer: you may become so accustomed to tracking your performance that when you accidentally forget your tracker at home, you wonder: “Is it even worth it to work out if I can’t capture my MEPs?!” MYZONE heart rate monitors are available for purchase at our Healthworks Back Bay club and are coming very soon to other locations!

3) Muscle Soothing Balm

Freshly showered after a tough workout, I use Badger’s Organic Sore Muscle Rub. Infused with cayenne and ginger, the balm soothes sore or stiff muscles and smells a lot nicer than other sports rubs. Ginger and the antioxidants found in this rub are anti-inflammatory, helping to relieve sore muscles post-workout. The best part? Badgers is organic and free of artificial ingredients.

4) A Buff

A what? Buffs are the most wonderful invention. A neck warmer, a head band, a hood, a bandana, a face mask and even a hair tie. What’s not to love? My buff accompanies me everywhere, but especially on colder Boston days as a neck warmer and transitions nicely into a headband once I get to the club. They come in different fabrics and patterns. They wash well with other synthetics and are easy to stow away in a gym bag compartment.

What is your go-to gym bag item(s)?

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