Traveling? 15 Ways to Pack Your Workouts and Stay On Track

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Niels Linneberg

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Niels Linneberg

It’s travel season and you want to maintain a health-conscious lifestyle. But how, when you’re so used to your gym back home, or your schedule is out of whack?

You don’t have to be a product of the environment – just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving. Don’t throw in the towel! Instead:

Challenge yourself: “For the next three trips longer than three days, I will commit to bringing along fitness equipment that will help keep me on track.”

15 Suggestions to Get You Started

First, how are you traveling and how much space do you have? Check to see which of the three categories below fit your traveling schedule.




On a road trip with trunk space or in a vanpool? Toss these pieces into the back and bust out when you get to your destination or even at rest stops along the way:

  1. Free weights: Pack some dumbbells and you can try this dumbbell workout. If you pack a single kettlebell, it can provide an entire workout.
  2. Push-up bars: You can purchase some from or your local sporting goods store…or you can make a set yourself.
  3. Medicine ball: There are at least 25 difference exercises you can try, according to
  4. Pull-up bar: This one is easy to put up and take down.


If you have a little space available, as in a suitcase or a carry on, this list is for you because if you’re taking a plane, train, or bus, lugging around 40 extra pounds worth of dumbbells may not be feasible (for the record, we don’t recommend it), you can try:

  1. Water dumbbells: Aqua dumbbells will pack easy and expand to 32 lbs. of weight
  2. Balance discs: These ones from Natural Fitness pack virtually flat, even when inflated. Whether you take it on the road or use it at home, incorporating it into moves body weight moves, like push-ups, crunches, or one-legged squats,  will improve balance, strength, and stability.
  3. Gliding discs: These pack flat and instantly create a smooth surface on carpet or wood.
  4. Yoga mat: Manduka makes a yoga mat specifically for travel – the eKO SuperLite is light and folds up. (although, even if you don’t have a mat, you can still do some yoga)
  5. Resistance bands: Find the level of resistance you need, toss them in your suitcase, and try these exercises.
  6. Jump rope: You can try this 15-minute jump rope workout, and when you’re done, just roll it back up and fit inside your shoes so it takes up even less space.
  7. Inflatable exercise ball: You can try or any sporting goods store. Easy to expand and then collapse when you’re ready to hit the road again.
  8. Yoga socks & gloves: You can skip the mat all together and just bring these.none
    So you have minimal space. As in, barely anything. So….no space at all. We get it! Chunky sweaters take up a lot of space. You can still use your:
  9. Body weight: The body’s mass itself is a great source of resistance. Great bodyweight exercises include hand-stand push-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, one-legged squats, V-ups, and burpees. For an infographic on a full no-gym bodyweight workout, try this one.
  10. Activity tracker: If you want to stay on track, data can help you do that (and reach your health goals.) Track your steps with Moves or even quantify and map your run by downloading RunKeeper; Both mobile apps are free.
  11. Mobile apps: There are many mobile apps that can aid you in your fitness activity, no matter where you are. GAIN fitness has programs that range from basketball, yoga, crossfit and strength training – you tell it how much time you have and what resources are available, and it will suggest a full workout with a warm up, cool down, and detailed instructions. If you just need a timer to help with circuits, HIIT or Tabatas, there is the Seconds app.

Simple Steps to Wellness: Want More?

This blog is part of our Simple Steps to Wellness series.

We believe that incorporating small, feasible changes over shorter periods of change can help you experience the motivation and confidence that comes from seeing your personal goals fulfilled. Remember, you don’t need to wait until January 1, 20XX to get started – you can start today. You can incorporate healthy habits into your life with more ease than you may think.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.