Does the thought of travelling bring upon a sense of anxiety, knowing you’re stepping away from your fitness routine and putting all of your hard work at risk? Well, it doesn’t have to. Just because you’re travelling or away for the weekend doesn’t mean your fitness goals have to suffer. There are easy ways that you can keep up with your routine, even while you’re away from your familiar equipment.
Here are a few must-have exercise pieces to pack with you to ensure you can still stay active and moving throughout your vacation.
You may think this is an obvious one, but a great way to be sure you stay moving is by bringing your running shoes. After all, you’re probably not putting too many kilometres behind you while wearing a pair of flip flops. Make sure the shoes you pack are good for running, walking or hiking. You can run at the hotel gym on a treadmill or find a great running/walking trail and get outdoors. If you can get outside in nature, you’ll also experience the benefits of a mental and physical boost. If you happen to be in a city with a lot to see, opt for walking or running between sights rather than using public transport. You’ll see more and tack on exercise minutes at the same time.
Jumping rope for even 10 minutes a day is an excellent cardio workout to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, and all you need is a rope, which is extremely portable. Skipping rope can be done anywhere on a flat surface and there are many different skipping combinations you can do to keep things interesting.
How many calories can you burn? Skipping rope for only 10 minutes will burn an average of 100-120 calories and requires all of your muscles to be engaged. This form of exercise is also a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, coordination and balance.
Try jumping rope with feet together or jumping rope side to side. Try skip jumps or even double-unders.
Resistance bands are lightweight, affordable and easy to transport. You can work every muscle group with just resistance bands, and they challenge your muscles differently than free weights. You can do five or six band exercises as a stand-alone workout or add them post run/hike/skip. You can loop them around your legs and/or arms and they have different resistance levels from extra light to extra heavy to make your workout easier or more difficult.
A few simple exercise examples: place the bands around the thighs for squat jumps, side stepping lunges, alternating leg lifts, and plank with jacks.
Ankle weights are simply weights (usually one to two pounds) that you wrap around your ankles to increase strength and improve endurance. Ankle weights are versatile and help tone and shape the legs. They can be added to your exercise routine while standing, sitting, or lying on your back or stomach. Be sure to select a combined ankle weight of between one per cent and two per cent of your body weight. It is also recommended to wear ankle weights for a limited period of time to avoid overuse injuries.
A few simple exercises: donkey kicks, side lying leg raises, fire hydrants and standing hamstring curls.
Gliders are super lightweight, easy to pack and the biggest benefit is that they really engage the core. Sliders will drastically increase your balance and core strength over time when used correctly. You can add a few low impact exercises to level up your workout and challenge your body.
A few examples: plank with gliders under feet, drive one knee in at a time; plank or on knees, with gliders under hands, bring one hand forward one at a time, alternating; with glider under right foot, side lunge, switch sides.
Don’t leave home without a yoga mat as it can provide you with a clean workout space, regardless of where you are exercising. A yoga mat has a reliable amount of cushioning, support and grip and is important for floor exercises, stretching and mindfulness. Try to start your day with a few simple dynamic stretches, yoga poses and deep breathing or meditation. The mat is also beneficial to use when performing some of the above band, gliders and core exercises.