Staying in shape is hard enough when you’re at home—when you’re on the road it can be downright impossible. Don’t want to bulk up a suitcase or overpack your roadster for the trip of your dreams? Good news: you don’t have to. In fact, you can carry a whole gym in a large carry-on without the equipment taking up much space.
While many hotel gyms increasingly carry some of these items, many vacationers prefer road trips, roughing it and camping spur of the moment. Just because you’re going off road or overseas, though, doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to throw your fitness regimen out the window. Just a handful of items can help you stay in shape, and have even more healthy fun on your next getaway.
5 Pieces of Exercise Equipment You Can Travel With
Here’s some portable exercise equipment you should never travel without—and most fit perfectly strapped onto the back of your camper or minivan.
These give you some of the most band—sorry, bang!—for your buck. You can use resistance bands for everything from squats to pushups to stretches across your chest. There are entire workout routines online that allow you to work every part of the body, with both a push and a pull exercise. There are a wide array of resistance bands out there, tailored for all levels of strength training. Pack two or three to give yourself some range.
A jump rope is the perfect cardio compliment to a resistance band. You might not be somewhere that’s conducive to long runs. However, you can always break out the jump rope and get 20 minutes of solid, hardcore aerobic exercise in. Add a weighted jump rope into the mix for an even more significant impact on your workout. If you can only pack one item, make it the trusty jump rope.
A suspension system, plus resistance bands and a jump rope, and you basically have a gym in your weekender bag. A suspension system lets you expand upon the basic palette of bodyweight exercises with angled pushups, pull ups, and inclined squats.
If you’re looking to get cardio without the impact of a jump rope, a speed ladder might do the trick. You can also pack a speed ladder as a way to get some agility training while you’re on the road. One of the best features of a speed ladder is that it takes up next to no space inside your bag. So throwing it in alongside a jump rope, a set of bands and a suspension system isn’t going to make much of a dent in the space you’re already using.
Every workout calls for a warm-up and a cool-down, so your handy exercise mat is a must—unless you like the idea of planting your face in someone’s yoga may sweat. Alternately, it can be an excellent tool to instantly convert a hard floor into something a bit more accommodating for Sun Salutations, forearm planks and other body weight exercises requiring you to get down on the floor. The down side? Of all the items on our list, this is the bulkiest, so it’s going to dramatically alter the amount of available space you have.
Depending on the vacation of your dreams, other fitness gear to toss into the backpack might include a frisbee or a baseball. This trip just might be a new opportunity to stay in shape, vary your workouts and embrace new exercise opportunities.