Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean you have to give up your exercise routine. This portable equipment makes it easy to squeeze in fitness, no matter your location.
There are many benefits to embracing a life of wanderlust: You’re constantly soaking up new scenery, discovering different cultures, becoming fully immersed in self-discovery, and leaving the small things behind. One thing that you may not want to leave behind, though, is fitness. While there are plenty of easy excuses to not work out on the road (the gym is a few time zones away, after all), making time for exercise can lead to a healthier, happier trip. Embrace travel workouts with these six portable fitness must-haves, which—bonus—all fit in your carry-on luggage.
Proper footwear is essential to fitness—whether at the gym or on the go. If you’re tight on space, put minimalist shoes like Vibram FiveFingers in your Pack-It Sport™ Shoe Locker. Not only do they take up minimal space and weigh virtually nothing (just around 4 ounces, or 113 grams), but they also limit the pressure on the body by helping you develop a low arch and stable foot—which is difficult to achieve with the bulkier heel of a traditional shoe.
Get your heart rate pumping and take cardio to the max with a simple jump rope, a piece of equipment that requires minimal space and results in maximum payoff. Jumping rope at even a moderate speed can burn 10 to 16 calories a minute and, according to ScienceDaily, 10 minutes of jump rope can be the fitness equivalent to running an eight-minute mile. Looking for a space-saving way to pack your rope? Try rolling it up and placing it in the neck of a collared shirt.
Non-Skid Yoga Socks and Gloves
Fitting even the lightest of yoga mats into your carry-on bag can be a challenge, but you can mimic the grip those mats provide—while taking up next-to-no space—with non-skid yoga socks and gloves. Though you won’t get the padding of a mat, you can still move through your warrior one poses and flows with ease. (And if you’re staying in a carpeted hotel room, the padding is built-in!) Because they’re so compact, packing yoga socks and gloves is a breeze: Just roll them up and tuck them into your luggage until you’re ready to stretch out.
Adding a bit of resistance to a bodyweight workout allows you to up the intensity without having to lug dumbbells in your bag. Wrap a band around your upper back and anchor it with your hands to make push-ups more challenging, or give your lower body a workout by standing on the band with your feet hip-width apart and grasping one end of the band with each hand while hinging forward. The different colors of resistance bands represent different elasticity, tension, and levels of difficulty; so choose the one that works best for you, or pack a few for different exercises. Curl them up and place in a zippered compartment, like the one in the Load Warrior™ Carry-On.
A small massage ball or even a lacrosse ball will help with pre- and post-workout self-massage. Rolling out your muscles can increase blood flow, reduce muscle soreness, and promote a quicker recovery. Some key areas to target include your quads, IT band, Latissimus dorsi (“lats”), calves, and feet. A massage ball is packs the benefits of a foam roller into a small package—just toss it in your bag and go.
Training solo can be tough, especially when motivation is waning. Mimic the supportive group fitness community by using a Fitbit to stay in touch with like-minded fitness buffs. Not only can you connect with others and “cheer” them on as they log steps through the device’s corresponding app, but you can also stay on top of your own stats. From heart rate and calories burned to floors climbed and active minutes, you’ll be able to monitor your workout (and keep the time) without sensors on fancy gym equipment. The best part? You don’t have to worry about leaving room in your bag. Just wear your Fitbit on your wrist and travel on.
What are your favorite on-the-go fitness strategies? Share in the comments below!
For more packing tips, check out these handy packing lists .
Related links (from Eagle Creek blog):
5 Hot Spots for Wellness Travel
Why Nature is Good for Your Mind and Body
14 Things To Pack For a Yoga Retreat