What’s in the bag: Inside the backpack of a fitness Nazi

Tags: fitness,Study Abroad

Guest Blogger Evie Harrison

There is something mysteriously pleasurable (and certainly voyeuristic) about looking at the contents of another person’s bag. So much so that there are thousands of 'what's in my bag' videos and photos  on Instagram showing an overabundance of makeup, gym gear, food, and accessories, to show what people are usually obsessed with.

Besides being amusing and exciting, taking a small peek into a personal backpack really does inspire us to make our own bags (and lives) more organized, neat and even healthy.

Fitness-fanatic lifesavers

Gym owners, personal trainers and other fitness Nazis have probably logged hundreds of hours at the gym – hitting about every work-out related snag imaginable. From a mp3 player that runs out of juice, as they’re hitting the most intense part of their workout, to a fainting feeling caused by a hunger-induced blood sugar crash, they have a solution for every problem. And that means their backpacks are stocked with stuff you would never think of packing, especially if you are a working-student, until it is too late.

Learn from their mistakes, and start keeping these 6 life savers of a fitness-fanatic on hand – just in case.

Water Bottle

As a college student, you would very well know that staying hydrated is absolutely necessary for general health, but what many aren’t aware of is that it is also crucial for staying alert and productive. This is why, fitness experts always make sure to carry a water bottle and maybe some lime or lemon wedges too.  We particularly love the insulated water bottles that not only look pretty but can keep water cool for up to 24 hours. 

Check out this option on Amazon which allows you to customize the color and shape of the insulated stainless steel water bottle

DIY Dry Shampoo

Many fitness trainers like to keep dry shampoo in their bag. However, baby powder can work just as well as other branded products out there and its much less expensive.  Just make sure to brush it out well, especially if you have darker roots or consider combining coaco powder and cornstarch for a dark hair dry shampoo.   The best thing about these options are that you can find the ingredients pretty much anywhere and it travels super well.

Healthy Snacks

Eating on the go as a student often means consuming high-powered snacks every few hours to keep your metabolism revved up. That is why, it is important to keep energy bars, small packets of nuts or dried fruit, or other portable nutritious snacks handy.

Jennifer Cohen, CPT, fitness expert and trainer on the former CW reality series, Shedding for the Wedding, suggests carrying Muscle Milk Light – especially chocolate flavour – because it tastes like real milkshake and provides enough protein to gratify your cravings.

Vitamin C powder and herbs

Getting sick is usually not an option for a student, but spending long hours studying, working out and not paying attention to their meals or rest times  makes them especially susceptible to diseases. Chicago-based fitness and wellness expert Lisa Payne and owner of Lisa Payne Fitness says she likes to keep Emergen-C or herbal drink sachets in her bag to fight off a cold or the flu.  These packets are portable and taking a hit of vitamin C when a cold starts can really help you recover more quickly. 

Finding these options while traveling can be tricky but iHerb is famous for supplying its customers with a large variety of natural supplements, offering free shipping worldwide.

Coconut Oil

We are all well aware of the goodness of coconut oil, but we never thought about keeping it in our workout bags. However, Elissa Kurland, a certified personal trainer, swears by it, saying, “It helps dry skin, fly-away hair, and you can even add a tablespoon to herbal green tea or coffee to give the body a metabolic boost.”

Pen and Notebook

Fitness and lifestyle consultant Amie Hoff, President of Hoff Fitness, says, “You never know when you’ll need to write something down, especially a new move you learn at the gym.” According to Hoff, people often are at their most creative when exercising, so having a pad and pen, close at hand, allows them to get down all of their ideas.

You can pick up a few post-it pads at the local college store or order them online, at a reduced price, from paperchase.  If pen and paper aren't your thing consider a notes app on your phone that allows you capture those excercise induced bursts of inspiration with typed or voice memos. 

It’s important…

It is very important for those keen on staying fit while they travel to have the right items with them at the gym. Whether they are aiming to lose a few pounds or get toned, it keeps them on track when it comes to reaching their goal.

Furthermore, certain health bag-tools can actually improve performance and recovery for gym-freaks. So, be it snacks that keep your body fuelled or beauty goodies that will help you look presentable post training, ensure your fitness bag has it all!


Dan McGlinn, University of Notre Dame

Happy Backpackers

Great mix between learning and leisure. Our tour guide, Lauren, was extremely knowledgable and also very well connected. The weekend was a blast!

Dan McGlinn, University of Notre Dame ~ Notre Dame Global Gateway, Rome, Summer Break 2016

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