Going travelling and want to keep fit for free?
Wondering what you’ll do in the absence of your usual well-equipped gym, studio, court or pitch? You can still keep fit – for free!
Perhaps you’ll be spending time in remote desert or countryside. Or simply on the move too often to search for exercise facilities very often. Whilst going for a run or doing body-weight exercises will go a long way towards keeping fit, there are several practical options to enhance your workouts significantly at little cost or inconvenience.
Clearly you don’t want to be carrying around a stack of dumbbells with you. Personally my luggage already feels as if it’s loaded with them as I’m not so good at travelling light! So what options are there for maintaining or building muscle mass in the absence of weights?
There are a variety of Resistance Products on the market designed with this in mind – to be used indoors or out!
“But aren’t they just for old people or those who are new to exercise?”
Nope, not these days. With the wide range of different types and levels of resistance on offer, these are no longer just for the weight-shy,new-to-exercise market that they were perhaps once designed for.
There are just a few simple choices to make in selecting the right option for you. Are you better off getting one with or without handles? What level of resistance do you require? What about the looped bands? Argh, decisions.
Well, the good news is it’s not very complicated. The best bands for you really depend on what exercises you’re likely to perform…
Types of Bands
Whilst the Looped Bands are great if you’re planning to do assisted chin ups from an overhead bar or attempt pulley-type exercises, they’re probably not going to be your first choice if you want to use them to do free-weight exercises. This is because they can be uncomfortable to grip for any length of time.
The standard Resistance Bands are similarly uncomfortable to grip for very long. However their main plus point is that they are typically even lighter in weight than tubes and looped bands, and easy to fold neatly and take up the least space in your luggage.
Resistance Tubes on the other hand, typically come with handles, making them much more comfortable to use if you’re mimicking free-weight exercises. I find they are generally the most versatile type of resistance product. They are also the most resilient – mine are still going strong after 21 months on the road!
Personally, I like Black Mountain’s resistance tubes, because for your money, you’ll receive five of them, including a neat carry case, ankle strap (handy for leg exercises) and a door anchor, which gives you the option to perform more varied exercises.
“But why would I need five?”
Well you don’t, but by getting all five, you can test them out and pick and choose the resistance that works for you, instead of trying to guess how a resistance of 5kg might feel.
Also, as the handles are detachable, this means that you can combine a couple of resistance bands together and attach two – or more if you’re feeling strong! By choosing a couple to take, you can either use each separately or combine them to give you a third option of resistance level.
For most of us, it’s pretty difficult to gauge the resistance level of each band from online product descriptions. So, if you only buy one, you might not find it suits your strength level. Or if it does for some exercises, it might not do for others – working larger muscle groups means adding more resistance.With most bands weighing under 100g /4oz, there’s no excuse for not squeezing one or two into your luggage. Even taking a couple with the accessories, you’re looking at under 454g / a pound in weight. I’ve travelled an entire 27 month lap of the world with mine, and counting!
Bingo – keep fit for free!
I still use gyms at every opportunity. But if I do find myself in the Namibian desert as I did in 2017, or trekking in the Andes as I was in 2018 year, I still have peace of mind that I can go where I like without my muscles turning to mush.
Check out my Five Top Tips For Keeping Fit Around the World.
Also see How to Look Ripped on Your Travel Adventure – For Free!