A hectic travelling schedule can often throw a wrench in your regimented workout routine. You’ve spent months carefully training, ensuring that you reached your weekly goal of gym time.
You know you’ve gotten stronger, you can both feel and see it. And you are feeling kind of anxious about having to go a week or more without being able to work out.
To that, I say you can leave behind your anxiety, because working out while travelling is much easier than you may think. The following is a list of the best workout equipment for travel.
There will be a decent amount of carryover between travel gear and regular gear, which is only more good news for you – you won’t have to find and purchase additional equipment, which, as any athlete knows, can often be really expensive.
Packing your favorite pair of running shoes into your suitcase is one of the best travel decisions you can make. Running shoes are, by nature, incredibly thin and light, so they pack easily, and don’t take up too much space.
Additionally, having a good pair of running shoes will enable you to, (I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this), run. And while many gym rats tend to shy away from this kind of cardio, it remains one of the healthiest athletic activities you can pursue.
The American Heart Association suggest around 150 minutes of cardio-related activity every week; travel is the perfect time to get those jogs in. Running also allows for incredible versatility.
If you are not a ‘runner’ you can easily perform certain workouts that integrate you into the sport. Interval training, for example, is a great training method for all athletes, regardless of the level they may be at. This involves time-dictated variations in speed.
For non-runners, interval training is a great way to make runs a little more exciting. And, as long as you stretch (carefully) your hamstrings, calves, and thighs, both before and after a run, the chances of injury are slim.
Plus, running while travelling allows you to see more of the place you’re visiting – whether you’re on vacation or travelling for work, running through the streets of a foreign town or city is a powerfully unique experience.
Yes, I know, I’m kind of pushing this whole cardio thing. But throwing a good pair of goggles into your suitcase is a great, incredibly space-saving way to get a workout in.
You never know where you might stumble onto a body of water that is suitable for a swimming workout. There is usually the hotel pool, but any local pools or lakes will also suffice.
And swimming is the healthiest form of cardio you can do – it burns the most calories and has the least impact. Also, due to the intensity of swim-workouts, you have a higher propensity for muscle building than with running. It’s a great option to be prepared for.
We’re getting closer to that resistance training everyone seems to love. Resistance bands are commonly used for athletes who are recovering from an injury. They allow you to perform the same exercises you would perform with free weights, but at a much lower weight.
They are incredibly easy to pack, as they are essentially giant rubber bands. Bendable, flexible, and easily storable, these are a great thing to stuff in your luggage.
And, if you really want to get close to those high levels of weight you’re used to lifting at the gym, you can use multiple bands at the same time, to add resistance. If you don’t feel comfortable with taking a set of dumbbells with you, these are the next best thing.
This is an endeavour not for the faint of heart. If you think it is feasible to bring a set of dumbbells with you while travelling, you should definitely look into adjustable dumbbells.
Whether or not you take a set of dumbbells will depend on the kind of travel you’re doing. If you’ll be flying around the country on an airplane, chances are you won’t want to lug around a pair of dumbbells.
But, if you are driving around the country, there is almost no reason to leave your dumbbells at home, especially if they are adjustable. Adjustable dumbbells have a general edge over regular dumbbells, in that they are always incredibly space-saving.
Instead of having a dozen sets of weights, you only need one. There are plenty of companies that sell dumbbells; Ironmaster, Block, etc., but they all accomplish the same thing.
And then dumbbells in general are some of the best, most useful workout equipment money can buy. With one set of dumbbells, you can hit every muscle in your body, training at the same level you train at the gym.
So, while setting yourself up to maximize your gains while travelling may seem daunting, it is entirely doable.
All you have to do is be a little open-minded, be a little creative, and prepare yourself for the reality that the workouts you’ll be doing while travelling will not be the same as they are at the gym.
That doesn’t mean they won’t be as good. Your travel workouts will just have to be different, which effectively mixes up your routine, something any athlete will always benefit from.