On the Move: Staying Fit While Traveling

Back view of man athlete running on treadmill. Mixed media

People find it difficult to keep up with a fitness routine while traveling. Being away from home disrupts your regular exercise schedule and prevents you from going to your favorite neighborhood gym. With the right tips and tools, however, you can stay in shape and get in a good workout while on the road. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, working out on the go has never been easier with today’s portable exercise equipment.

Keep reading to learn more about staying fit while traveling as well as the best equipment to pack for the road.

How To Stay in Shape While Traveling

If you travel a lot, nail down the art of working out wherever you are. Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you have to abandon your fitness routine. It just means you may need to modify it a bit.

Here are a few tips for staying in shape while on the road:

Complete Outdoor Workouts

If the weather is nice –or even if it’s not but you’re prepared for the elements — take advantage of it! Go for a run around town or do a yoga routine in a nearby park. This is a great way to get some fresh air while exploring the area you’re traveling in.

Exercising outside also offers benefits that you can’t get in the gym. “When you exercise outdoors, your mind is aware of the changing terrain. Whether you use the hills, the sand on a beach, or a winding path, your mind has to focus differently than it would on a flat gym floor,” says Tina Vindum, a faculty member of the American Council on Exercise.

Man rides bike along boardwalk in city

Explore Your Surroundings

One of the best ways to stay fit while traveling is to explore the city you are in by walking around. Skip the car and take a walk to get your morning coffee or just wander around during your free time. If you are on a business trip and are close to where your meetings are being held, consider walking rather than driving or taking a cab.

Use the Hotel Gym

One of the easiest ways to get in a quick workout is to utilize the hotel gym. Most hotels have a fitness center with a few pieces of equipment. Figure out the schedule of the gym and fit a few workouts into your day.

Use the hotel’s pool to get some cardio exercise. Swimming is an excellent workout that is easy on the joints and great for your heart health.

Exercise in Your Hotel Room

No hotel gym? No problem. Use your hotel room as a gym! There are hundreds of bodyweight exercises for you to consider such as:

  • Push-ups

  • Squats

  • Glute bridges

  • Planks

  • Crunches

  • Lunges

Wake up a few minutes early or head back to your hotel room during your free time to squeeze in a quick workout.

Woman works out on a beach with clear blue water

Take Advantage of the Airport and the Plane

If you are traveling by plane, use this to your advantage. Instead of just sitting at your terminal for hours, take a walk around the airport. This is an especially good workout if you are carrying heavy bags with you. Opt for the stairs instead of the escalator.

Once you get on the plane, you don’t have to stop moving. You won’t be doing any heavy lifting or fast-paced cardio, but make it a priority to get some movement in. It is important not to sit for the whole flight as it can be bad for your circulation. Get up and walk around every hour or so and, while in your seat, move your hands and feet.

Rent a Bike

If you are traveling in a big city –or even a decent-sized college town — then it’s likely you can find some sort of bike rental program. Donkey Republic, Citi Bike, and Lime are just a few of the most popular bike-share apps you can download onto your phone. These apps allow you to pay by the minute, hour, or day for your bike rental.

This is not only a great way to stay fit, but also a perfect way to explore your surroundings. Taking a bike is also faster than walking, so you can see more in a shorter amount of time.

Schedule Activities That Get You Moving

If you are traveling for fun, then make it a point to squeeze in active time. Take advantage of hiking trails, adventure parks, swimming in a local lake, or other activities that require you to be active without the specific intention of working out.

The Best Portable Exercise Equipment for Travel

Now that you know how to take advantage of your travel time for a workout, consider adding portable exercise equipment to your arsenal. Your body weight is certainly an effective tool, but there are a few pieces of equipment you could bring with you on your travels to enhance your workouts.

Here are just a few:

Gaiam Folding Travel Fitness and Exercise Mat

It can be uncomfortable to work out directly on a hard surface, so bringing along an exercise mat is never a bad idea. Although traditional yoga mats are great, they can be very bulky and take up a lot of space. The Gaiam folding travel fitness and exercise mat eliminates this issue. This mat folds up and only weighs one pound, making it easy to pack with the rest of your belongings.

This mat can easily fit in both a suitcase and a carry-on bag. Simply unfold the mat and use it to exercise in your hotel room, hotel gym, or even outside in a local park. It has a sticky texture, providing you with stable footing no matter where you decide to work out.

Travel bag with workout clothes and accessories

Te-Rich Resistance Bands

The Te-Rich Resistance Bands can elevate normal bodyweight moves such as squats, lunges, and glute bridges. These bands provide resistance that will give you a little extra burn when exercising. Many resistance bands are made out of rubber and can snap or break easily. The Te-Rich bands are made with a durable soft cotton material that won’t pinch or snap during your workout.

These bands come in three different resistance levels. This allows you to swap them out for different exercises or move your resistance level up for a harder workout. You can easily fit these bands into your hand luggage or backpack. There are a variety of resistance band workouts online to spice up your routine.

TRX All-in-One Suspension Training Fitness System

The TRX Suspension Trainer can turn any area into a gym. This fitness system comes with five pieces: a suspension training strap, a door anchor, a suspension anchor, a workout guide, and a small bag to hold your equipment.

This piece of equipment is only 1.7 pounds, making it incredibly easy to travel with. Use the anchors to suspend the straps from any surface. The straps can then be used to help you perform effective lower and upper-body workouts.

Iron Gym Pull-Up Workout Bar

If you are traveling by car, then you may consider bringing the Iron Gym Pull-Up Workout Bar with you. This is one of the bulkier items on the list and may not be great for plane travel, but it can turn any doorway into a gym. Use this workout bar to perform exercises such as pull-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups, dips, and other arm and shoulder moves.

Unlike many pull-up bars, this piece of equipment uses leverage to hold against the doorway so you don’t have to worry about screws or damage to the door.

IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper

The IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper is a useful product for building grip strength on the go. Grip strength is essential to other workouts such as weightlifting, rowing, and golfing. This tool is small and portable, making it a great option for quick workouts on a plane or in a cab.

The Crush Hand Gripper is made of aluminum and has 11 different strength levels to choose from, allowing you to track your progress and build up your strength.

A hotel gym with hardwood floors

Bala Bangles

If you want to take your bodyweight workouts to the next level, then travel with a pair of Bala Bangles. Bala Bangles are comfortable wrist and ankle weights that you can wear to enhance your workout. They come in a variety of colors in one or two-pound options. They also come with a color-matched carrying case, making them a perfect travel accessory.

If you love the Bala brand, check out their small affordable weights that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

The BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym is great for people who are very serious about getting their workout in on the go. This is a complete resistance training system that you can take with you anywhere.

This incredible portable gym includes:

  • Carrying bag

  • Instruction manual

  • Fold-Up VectorFit base

  • Collapsible workout bar

  • Two handles

  • Two wrist and ankle straps

  • Two custom cloth resistance bands

  • Door anchor with ring

The resistance bands provide you with 30 pounds of resistance, but through the platform’s 10 anchor points, you can set the resistance to nearly 80 pounds. This product is about 16 pounds, but it has built-in handles that make it easy to carry from place to place.

Man scrolls on mobile phone while working out at gym

Perfect Fitness Push-Up Handles

Trying to complete push-ups on a flat surface can be hard on your wrists and elbows. The Perfect Fitness Push-Up Handles help to distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure points and joint strain. These push-up handles are also perfect for slippery surfaces, providing you with the perfect grip every time.

They are designed to rotate slightly, which helps you engage more muscles and increase your strength. These handles only weigh four pounds, but they have a weight capacity of 400.

DMoose Ab Roller Wheel

The DMoose Ab Roller Wheel is perfect for getting in an amazing ab workout on the go. This roller wheel makes it easy to engage your core and challenge yourself. Unlike most ab rollers, this product offers elbow support so you can rest your elbows and ensure that your abs are working as hard as they can.

In addition to the ab roller, the DMoose set also comes with two knee pads. This is perfect for hard hotel room floors or concrete sidewalks.

Stack 52 Bodyweight Exercise Cards

If you aren’t sure which exercises to perform in your hotel room, pick up the Stack 52 Bodyweight Exercise Cards. These cards are great for kids or fitness beginners. They contain 52 different bodyweight exercises for you to choose from. Pick out 5 to 10 cards to create a quick and effective workout using only your body.

If you aren’t sure how an exercise works, each card comes with a code that you can scan with your phone that takes you to a video demonstration of the move. With these cards, there is no excuse not to fit a workout into your travel plans.

Tangram SmartRope

The Tangram SmartRope is perfect for those looking for a great piece of cardio equipment. This jump rope pairs up with the SmartRope mobile app and keeps track of your workout data. It tracks your jump count, calories burned, and time spent jumping. The jump rope is powered by a coin battery that lasts up to nine months.

Spending 10 to 15 minutes with the Tangram SmartRope is the perfect way to get a quick sweat in or warm up for your workout. This is a light and portable product that can fit into any suitcase or carry-on.

Hotel gym in a city

Rogue Lacrosse Ball

Don’t neglect your recovery when on the road! The Rogue Lacrosse Ball is great for breaking up muscle knots and hitting hard-to-reach trigger points. Using this lacrosse ball after working out can help you properly recover.

Traveling can also be hard on your body. Use your lacrosse ball after a long flight or day spent driving to loosen up your muscles and get you ready for the day ahead.

Pack Your Bag and Get Ready To Go

If you are traveling soon, make sure to pack some portable exercise equipment to stay fit and enhance your workouts. Staying fit on the go will help you achieve a healthier lifestyle and can be great for relieving the stress that sometimes comes with traveling.

No matter what your workout of choice is, you can almost always find a way to do it (or something like it) on the go. As long as you are creative and open to new ways of exercising, you will be able to set yourself up for success.

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