If “get in shape” makes it onto your list of New Year’s resolutions year after year, but you don’t start working out until after well after the holiday because you’re just too busy traveling to see family and friends, realize that travel exercise can help you get started early. With so many of us traveling on a regular basis, more and more companies are designing gadgets and technology for us to take in travel exercise on the road. Here are a few TravelingMoms like.
Traveling at this time of year can become somewhat stressful and cumbersome. Combine that with all kinds of special holiday treats and home-cooked meals with family and it can be a recipe for a little extra weight gain and a softer frame. (Eek! How did those five pounds suddenly appear on the scale?) Exercising on the road can hold its own set of challenges, but there are plenty of things now on the market from gadgets and technology to apps to wearables that can help us work to keep motivated and fit. And you don’t have to worry about breaking your wallet while breaking a sweat.
A New Travel Exercise Routine
FXP Hula Hoop
Maybe you’re sick of the same old treadmills or stair machines populating your hotel gym. You want a different exercise for the road. How about a… hula hoop? With the FXP Starter Kit, you can carry your hoop in a soft carrying case as it’s been broken down into pieces that reassemble with simple clicks.
The slightly weighted hoop comes in a larger diameter made for adult bodies–sorry kids this one’s for us! Accompanying the hoop in the starter kit is a low-impact exercise video led by fitness trainer Niece Pecenka. The video has three varied workouts that incorporate the hoop to help tone your entire body-not just your mid-section. Hula hooping is now a travel exercise you can do just about anywhere (as long as you have enough room to move the hoop around your body), and it’s a great choice for those who are just getting back to exercise. (You may feel a bit like you’re in Hawaii if done often enough, and with the heat on.) The hoop comes with a small non-slip mat and in color choices of teal, pink or purple. Know that if you use this at home, the kids will also want to get in on the hooping action.
Apps for Your Workout on the Road
7 Minute Workout
There are ample fitness apps to choose from, but not all of them are worth choosing. But the Johnson and Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout app lets you workout at your own preferred intensity and ability. If done right, you can break a sweat in that time. You don’t need any fancy equipment, and it’s great for travelers who only have time for short workouts in their hotel rooms. You really only need a small space, and a sturdy chair to get it done, and even the busiest person can fit seven minutes into their workout schedule. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?
Pear Personal Coach
Another popular app, the Pear Personal Coach, will work you out with a “coach” talking you through various routines including runs, yoga and at-home workouts. It’s nice to hear the actual voices of humans as they talk to you. While the app is free, take note that in-app purchases will cost you.
Music and Talk While Working Out (or Working)
Bluefingers Smart Cap and Smart Beanie
I don’t know about you, but at this time of year when the weather starts to turn colder, I find it harder to get motivated to workout outside. But, it’s important to do so, not only for the benefits of exercise but to help fight off those winter blahs. Whether traveling for work or for pleasure, the Bluefingers Smart Cap and Smart Beanie combine sporty hats (a baseball cap or ski style beanie) with BlueWave HD audio earphones in simple, easy wearable tech. Listen to music while running, skiing, boarding or more. Talk on the phone and catch up with friends or even take business calls while you’re exercising. It helps make the time pass more quickly.
Through simple controls and hands-free Bluetooth technology you can keep your head covered and warm while still being able to answer and take calls, raise and lower volume and scroll through your play list. Controls are conveniently (but discretely) located on the side of the hat, a built-in microphone allows you to talk, a USB cable allows for charging and an LED light alerts you when it’s fully charged. Charging takes approximately 2 hours. Once charged, you will have up to 6 hours of playtime. There’s a 10 meter/33 foot range and the hats themselves separate easily from the electronics for machine washing. While Bluefingers is based in the UK It’s being distributed by SmartGear in the U.S. The styles are clean, simple designs easy for both men and women to wear. Don’t let a little snow or too much sun keep you from taking to the trails!
Armpocket Mega I-40
Whether you’re out for a run, a walk, a bike ride or something even a bit more extreme, the Armpocket Mega I-40 lets you keep plenty conveniently close–including phone, cash, ID, credit cards and keys. “Get Going,” is the motto for this weatherproof, sweatproof pouch that wraps around your arm or wrist. It’s made with a combination of no-slip memory foam, moisture-wicking breathable material for its strap and a touch-through window area so you can see your phone. It’s got interior storage for additional cards, keys and more and a reflective trim for safety.
If you’re using your phone to listen to music or talking with a friend while exercising there’s a dual earbud access and a cord management system that allow you to attach headphones or earbuds. Armpocket made its name as an athletic and running armband, but you can just as easily use this for general travel as well. This lightweight model (approximately five ounces empty) can fit both your phone and case (including some of the larger on the market such as the iPhone 6 and GalaxyS6) and still have room for a passport, between five and 10 cards and keys. You can find your preferred color on armpocket.com or at InMotion stores at airports nationwide.
JLabs Core Custom Fit Earbuds
Music can be such a motivator when exercising. So having a set of earbuds at the ready to keep those tunes playing when you’re on the move is key. While there are quite a few good models on the market to choose from, it’s also nice not to have to spend too much on them-just in case they get lost in transit. Core Custom Fit Earbuds from JLabs fit that bill. They’ve been designed to give you decent sound, including some good bass while being comfortable and staying put in your ears.
They’ve got a proprietary “Cush Fin” technology which allows you to combine and customize four gel tip sizes/styles to fit into your ears while still being comfortable. The technology helps immerse you in surround sound with 11mm drivers. They’ve got a round cable with an inline microphone and track control. They’re built to be durable, but if something should happen they come with a one-year warranty. And in the event you lose them, they don’t cost a bundle to replace. (We found them for less than $15 on Amazon.)
ZeroWater (5-Stage Portable Filtration)
It’s easy to forget to stay hydrated at this time of year. Bringing along a bottle of water bottle is always a good thing to remember, but the cost can add up for those bottles. If you want to be able to maximize use of municipal tap water wherever you find yourself, the ZeroWater 5-Stage Portable Filtration cup offers a built-in filtration system that removes 99.63% of all total dissolved solids (based on EPA certified testing). And, because it comes in a large, sturdy cup with a straw (but it will still fit in your drink holder in the car) it’s easy to make sure you have it with you during your travel exercise. Drink up!
When You Need to Rest
Homedics 3D Shiatsu & Vibration Massage Pillow
After a good exercise workout there’s nothing like a hot shower and a massage. With the Homedics 3D Shiatsu and Vibration Massage Pillow you can guarantee yourself that massage wherever you stay. The pillow comes in a handled box which makes it easy to transport, and is beneficial if you carry tension in your neck, shoulders or back. (Some users say they like using it on their feet and calves as well.)
It uses a circular kneading along with inward and outward motions. An infared heating option can also help soothe muscles. You can activate vibration for additional loosening of muscles. Any of the options can be combined or left out depending on your preferences. For less than the price of one professional massage, you have the option of bringing this with you when you travel.