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(Photo by Gear Patrol)

Arriving at the gym and realizing we forgot to pack something is the pits, especially if what we forgot is our deodorant! We’re assuming you always have your phone and earbuds on hand, regardless of whether or not you are going to the gym so that didn’t make our cut. Here’s a list we created of 10 necessities we can’t go to the gym without because missing a workout because we forgot something essential is the worst.

  1. Water Bottle: We all intend to bring one with us, but sometimes we manage to leave it behind on the kitchen counter. We’ve made that mistake one too many times so now we keep an empty, reusable bottle in our bags. Having an empty bottle keeps the weight of the gym bag to a minimum and it’s easy enough to refill at the gym.

  2. Pre-Workout Snacks: It’s extremely important to keep our bodies well nourished before an intense workout at the gym. We like to stash away a few energy/protein bars in our bag to make on the go snacking a little easier.

  3. Sneakers: Our bag always has a pair of basic trainers in it. If we’re planning on practicing our Olympic lifting or sprints on the track we’ll plan ahead and put the proper choice in our bag, but we are never without a pair of sneakers.

  4. Socks: Working out without socks is never pleasant. We always pack a pair of sweat wicking socks to keep our feet happy during our workout.

  5. Watch: Having a watch is a good way to set goals (time limits) and keep track of our pace. It’s so rewarding as times goes on to be able to finish a set 8 seconds faster than the previous week or to squeeze in a few more reps before the time is up.

  6. Wicking Towel: Micro fiber towels are thin, lightweight, and quick drying which is why we love them. We use them to absorb sweat off our foreheads and the equipment we were using.

  7. Jump Rope: It’s not something that we’re always going to need, but it’s nice to have. Sometimes we hit the gym at the busiest time (unfortunately) and all cardio machines are being used, that’s when we whip out our jump rope to get our heart pumping and warm up on our own. There are many different styles, lengths, and weights of jump ropes to choose from and often times the selection is limited at the gym, so having your own customized rope is best.

  8. Hat: Since we’re constantly on the go it makes sense to keep a hat of any kind in our bag in case we don't have the time to shower after our workouts we can just throw one on and pretend no one knows that we just finished a sweat session at the gym. We prefer baseball hats because the visor protects our face from the UV rays from the sun and it’s easy to style with long hair.

  9. Yoga Mat: We love having our own mat to stretch and do mobility movements on after a tough workout.

  10. Recovery Drink: There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold post-workout recovery drink. We prefer the type that is naturally sweetened and full of antioxidants, electrolytes, and micronutrients.

Let’s face it, we’d be pretty lost without a smartphone these days and there’s no denying that many of us have ours in hand a majority of the time. With so much technology at the tips of our fingers we’ve found ten apps to help get the most out of our next adventure. We don’t recommend missing a precious travel moment behind the screens of our devices, these apps are solely here to enhance our experience and make planning less of a hassle.

Once we decide on a destination and timeline for our next trip we use SkyScanner to help us find the best deal on flights both domestic and international. The app also works well for the thrifty traveler who like to bundle their expenses all together allowing us to find a hotel and car all at the same time.

After our flight is booked we log into TripCase and forward our confirmation email to their secure address. TripCase will then organize the details and start planning our itinerary. Other confirmation emails from hotels, car rentals, even dinner reservations can be forwarded and added to the itinerary to help keep all of our important information easy to find and in one place. The app also offers other cool features such as sharing your itinerary with a friend, saving favorite destinations (parks, restaurants, shops, etc.) and also viewing alternate flights back home.

Once our flight and confirmations are taken care of, it’s time to start packing! PackPoint is such a useful app to have on hand because once we plug in our destination and length of stay it generates a list of items to pack. The app can be customized by adding activities that will take place during the trip and it even considers the time of year of travel and past weather conditions to make sure that we stay prepared no matter what. PackPoint is a great idea when traveling to a new destination because it recommends things that we might not have considered.

If our favorite hotel is booked or we are trying to stay on budget, Airbnb is our favorite spot to rent a place to stay. The website and app are very straight forward, simply search your destination and the length of your stay and then Airbnb will then generate a list of all the hosts within that area. Narrow down the search by selecting a price range and the type of accommodation desired, entire house/apt, private room or shared room. Booking is simple and there’s no need to become a host or rent your place when signing up, unless you wanted to make some extra money while you are away on your next trip.

Traveling abroad can sometimes be overwhelming, not speaking the native tongue can hinder experiences but Bravolo is an app packed full of phrases and dictionaries in different languages. Currency is another helpful app that provides accurate exchange rates for over 150 different currencies. Taking advantage of all the apps available makes sweating the small stuff like this seem silly.

Waking up one morning to find the skies gloomy with rain clouds overhead can be a major bummer especially if outdoor activities were planned for that day. DarkSky is our favorite app to track down what Mother Nature has in store. DarkSky has the most accurate forecasting down to the minute with advanced radar technology and also sends alerts about upcoming storms. It’s easy to check the forecast and see if the storm is passing through or lingering above. Unfortunately this app is only compatible with iOS users and for a small initial price.

Navigating a new city can be tricky. Google Maps is the easiest way to get around, by foot, bike, public transportation or car, anywhere in the world. We love that the app can direct us turn by turn and sets it’s routes to avoid traffic. Google Maps also has features like street view, live incident reports, voice guided GPS, and recommended places to visit.

Since our phones are always near by, capturing a beautiful image of our trip is made easier with VSCO. The app is dialed in to help control the focus of the photo and is filled with professional grade tools to make editing simple. There are also many filters and textures that can be applied to help create a work of art. There are many different social networking sites to share our photo on, but our favorite is still Instagram. It’s a fun way to view our collection of photographs and tag all the places we’ve been.

With all of these features waiting to be used, it’s time to start downloading and planning the next get away!

(Photo by Daily Burn)

Looking for more motivation and gains the next time you're at the gym? Working out with a friend is a great way to improve your effort and desire to crush your next routine; it’s physically and emotionally rewarding. Here are a few more reasons why we recommend working out with a partner:

  • Keeps us on track: Sometimes it can be hard to find or make time for a workout but if we have someone relying on us we’re a lot more likely to show up. It may not seem like much but this motivation can make all the difference in establishing a consistent weekly routine.

  • Makes the workout more fun: The main reason we have workout buddies is to make our joint sweat sessions more enjoyable. Our friends are there to lend a laugh and encourage us when we feel fatigued. The more fun we’re having the more committed we will be to our health and fitness goals.

  • Friendly Competition: Moderation is key, we don’t want to injure our friends but a little competition is healthy. Seeing our friend set a new PR or physically appear stronger/leaner will drive us to workout harder. After all, the stronger we perform the more gains we will have.

  • Form improves: Our buddy is there to point out when we didn’t quite reach “below parallel” on the last rep of our squats.

  • Safety: We can finally do bench presses to failure because our partner is spotting for us. Safety is a big concern and may have held us back in the past because we did not have a friend looking out for us.

  • Added variety: More options for how we decide to stay active. We have different knowledge and skills than our partners whether we introduce them to jumping lunges and they teach us how to do a kettle bell clean, adding variety can be fun and keeps us focused.

Choosing the right friend to workout with is key. We recommend picking someone who has a few similar workout behaviors and traits as you: a similar fitness goal, similar strength and ability, their preferred workout time matches yours (morning v. after work v. late evening), and the same taste in music (listening to songs you both love will make for a more enjoyable experience). Working out shouldn’t feel like a chore! We can still get a good workout in and have fun with our friend.

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