It’s in the Bag


Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Fitness Center Weights EquipmentIf you look around the gym, you’ll see instructors are never without their gym bags—some are colorful, some just black, some large, some small, but rest assured all contain precious workout necessities. One time a student picked up mine and said, “I didn’t know you had bricks in there!”

So what’s in our bags, anyway? I took a moment to ask a few instructors what item in their bag is indispensible for their daily fitness grind.


Debbie Haire

Active Strength, Silver Sneakers® and Step Instructor

“I cannot live without my Tervis® Tumbler that I bought in Sarasota, Florida. I put my lemon water in it and it stays cold, NEVER leaks, even if it is upside down, and it can be replaced free of charge if anything goes wrong with it…Love it.”

You can buy Tervis Tumblers, which are made in America, on their website at or at many retail stores nationwide.


Kristen Nelson

Boot Camp, Strictly Strength and Turbokick Instructor

“Kind Bars (the ones with lower sugar) and a dry shirt! I buy the box [of bars] at Costco. So often I have to run errands right after teaching, so I change and have a snack to refuel so I don’t end up buying something to eat.”


Jenny Owens-Cripe

Aqua Boot Camp, Aqua Cardio and Stretch n’ Flex Instructor

Other than the obvious—my swimsuit and a hair tie!—I always have rubbing alcohol in a dropper with me. I drop it in my ears when I’m done swimming to help get all of the chlorinated water out. It definitely helps prevent ear infections!”

Jenny shared how this works for her, “I just drop about five to six drops in then keep my head tilted so it has a chance to mix with any water in my ears. Then I tilt my head the other way so it runs out—water and alcohol! I just have a towel against my ear to catch it.” More on preventing swimmer’s ear.


Andrea Selstad

Cycle Instructor

“An Allen wrench. It’s come to the rescue many times during spin class when someone’s clip has come loose on a bike shoe. Less interesting is the indispensable plastic bag! On days when I have two or three classes, I carry several pairs of clothes to change into so I like to keep the sweaty stuff separate.”

You can buy an Allen wrench at hardware stores.


Rachel Russell

Zumba® Instructor

I just couldn’t resist giving my two cents. Long ago, I discovered plastic, golf ball-sized air fresheners you can place in your shoes. You can adjust the amount of scent they emit. I keep at least two in my gym bag at all times.

You can buy these air fresheners, oftentimes called “sneaker balls,” on, at shoe stores and I’ve even scored them at TJMaxx.


Karla Walsworth

Yoga Instructor

“Sometimes when a yoga class follows a challenging cardio class, the room stinks (no offense!). I love to have some type of essential oil room spray or lotion. And I don’t like “fake” scents and fragrances, so I’ve really gotten into finding or making my own with essential oils, such as lavender, lemon or peppermint. It’s amazing how a little peppermint in the afternoon can act as a pick-me-up.”

To make your own room spray, Karla recommends ¾ cup distilled water and two tablespoons of vodka, which acts as a preservative, or you can use rubbing alcohol, and then add your favorite essential oil(s). Pinterest has many homemade recipes as well.

You can buy essential oils at health food stores and online.

Moon Community Center Fitness Center Gym Exercise Equipment