Staying Healthy on the Road Isn't Easy
There are countless aspects which make life on the road difficult. Missed flights, difficult customers, and being away from home are all salient worries on the mind of the frequent work traveler. However, one aspect which can be equally difficult but often overlooked is the challenge of staying healthy on the road. When travelling, meals often become inconsistent grab while you can, with choices that are less than healthy. Further, finding the time and place to continue an exercise routine is an ever-present challenge. Thankfully, with a small amount of planning and a nominal up-front investment, the challenge of staying in shape on the road can be eliminated.
One of the best methods of having your very own portable gym is by purchasing a set of exercise resistance bands. Here, I will lay out some of the key advantages of using resistance bands as a workout tool on the road, and some exercises to do with them too.
Let's Face It: Hotel Gyms are Rough
Often, one will have the best intention of maintaining an exercise routine on the road. "I'll hit the treadmill at the hotel once our final meeting is over" is a phrase I've told myself more times than I can count. However, not only do many hotels not even feature gyms, they are often extremely disappointing when they do. More likely than not, the "workout center" featured on the hotel's website will be little more than a supply closet with a broken treadmill facing a dark corner. In other instances, the hotel will have rudimentary equipment that is very limited in scope. This is hardly the motivation most people need to get in a productive workout.
Even worse than the workout rooms themselves are the social aspects of having to use them. Your time is already valuable, and needing to wait in line for a machine only eats further into your day. Oftentimes on the road you need to take clients out to dinner and resistance bands allow for a quick workout in between your appointments. For many people, having a few minutes to exercise is a means of meditation or relaxation, and being forced to be on display in a cramped hotel gym runs counter to that goal.
Perhaps more problematically, there have been numerous times when I have been on a business trip and stayed at the same hotel with not only my coworkers, but clients or conference attendees as well. During a meeting, we do our best to be presented as prepared and professional as possible. Running into a business contact later the same day, covered in sweat in a torn t-shirt, is not the impression many want to make. This is why it is such a luxury to have a mobile gym which can be used in the privacy and comfort of your hotel room. This is a luxury which is easily afforded by exercise resistance bands.
Exercising Outside is Nice - But It’s Not Always Ideal
I'll admit it's often nice to go for a jog or walk on a nice day. In fact, I normally make it part of my standard routine. However, the dynamics of jogging in your own neighborhood can be very different than the dynamics of attempting to run in an unknown city or town. On a business trip, it is common to only be in a place for a day or two. Thus, there is often not a sufficient opportunity to explore an area, find a suitable running trail, or even to know if the region is safe. Exercising outside is also an issue if you a traveling during winter or inclement weather. These are just a few more factors which makes it easier to say "I'll take today off" or "I'll just go for a longer workout when I get home of Friday." Of course, this is a promise more easily said than done. It is hard to overstate he benefits, both mental and physical, of being able to exercise wherever you are, regardless of weather, location, or time.
Exercise Resistance Bands Don't Have to be a Replacement for Your Normal Routine
Many people shy away from using resistance bands as their travel gym equipment because they are not their "normal" exercise routine. This is certainly understandable, but it also bears repeating that resistance bands do not have to be a replacement to your standard workout. Rather, they can simply serve as an ancillary aspect to keep you healthy and well while travelling. Even if you are normally a runner, a powerlifter, a calisthenics bodyweight training athlete, or a yoga fanatic: the physical and mental benefits of exercise can still be realized on the road by use of workout resistance bands. You will experience more energy, reduce the “fog” of traveling and be more present in your meetings.
While traveling, you can view resistance bands as a great opportunity to focus on other areas of your workout training. Exercise bands help extend your range of motion, engaging muscles that are often neglected by other types of exercises. If you are sore from weightlifting or have an injury, resistance bands are the perfect way to engage your muscles and help the healing process.
The Return on Investment For a Mobile Gym Can't be Beat
One of the best aspects of having a portable gym using resistance bands is that the cost of entry is so low. Acquiring a set of resistance bands is a small investment upfront, and is easily less than the cost of paying for a one-time entrance fee to a local gym wherever you might be. You can bring just a few resistance bands and create an entire, full body workout without any setup.
Furthermore, their portability is exceptional. A lot of "mobile gym" equipment is barely mobile at all, requiring a bulky packing solution, or carrying a heavy load. This is certainly not the case with resistance bands: they are light, foldable, and can easily be stashed away in a carry-on or checked bag. You likely will forget they are there until it comes time to use them.
Plus, with our handy little door strap tool, which comes standard in our mobile gym packages, you can turn any door into an anchor point and simulate nearly any gym related strength training exercise.
All in One Solution
Another downside of attempting other exercise routines, be it running, yoga, weightlifting, or anything else - while on the road is that you need so much more equipment. Many of these exercises requiring special clothing, mats, or shoes to safely perform. The last thing a work traveler needs is more things to remember, or more things to carry! With resistance bands, you can complete your workout quickly in the comfort of your room and in any clothing you already have. Unlike other travel gym equipment, resistance bands can even be done barefoot, eliminating the need for additional footwear.
Finally, one of the best aspects of resistance band training is that you won't be left in a sweaty or exhausted heap. Dealing with sweaty running clothes can be a hassle, and can even get sweat or odors onto the other clothes in your luggage. In comparison, many workouts using resistance bands result in you getting a great workout without the complication or hassle of becoming overly sweaty or fatigued.
Complete Portable Gym Workouts With Exercise Bands
The majority of business trips are one to two day trips while you are away from home. Focus on doing a full body workout instead of trying to perform spot exercises. This approach will also enable you to maximize your workout in the shortest amount of time. If you are on an extended trip, then focusing on specific body parts, like legs one day makes more sense. Your mobile gym workout routine should include a combination of some of these core exercises: resistance band arm curls, bent-over rows, chest flys, chest press, glute kick backs, glute bridge, lat pull downs, lateral lunges, kneeling crunches, lateral walk, triceps extensions and squats. Be sure to review the full list of mobile resistance band exercises on our site.
Hop on the Portable Gym Band-Wagon With Resistance Bands
As I've laid out, resistance bands are a fantastic way to maintain an exercise routine on the road. There are a wide variety of resistance band exercises with a myriad of great techniques, demonstrating that resistance band training can truly be a whole body workout. Even better, resistance bands are available in a huge variety of different resistances, so they are a training technique which can grow with you. Starting with a lighter band, you can gradually train and work your way up to higher strengths as you gain strength through the exercises.
Remember: Just because you travel for work does not mean you have to sacrifice your health, wellness, or personal routines. With a low cost investment and a small amount of time, an entire mobile gym can emerge out of a simple set of resistance bands. Stop struggling to find gyms on the road, or relying on hotels to provide exercise equipment. Bring your own bands and feel better, look better, and be better!