Fitness While on the Road: An Update on Exercise

I promised you an update on using work out equipment on the road, and I think I’ve “experimented” with it enough at this point.

First off, do not plan on using a jump rope to work out if you never jump roped before.   Trust me.  The results can be disastrous.

I confidently grabbed my jump rope and headed to a nearby park.  It was luckily empty, aside from a meandering man singing “Don’t Stop Believing” at the top of his lungs.  I figured he’d be pretty forgiving of me and wouldn’t laugh too hard.

I tried jump roping the “way I’ve seen it on TV”.  By spinning the jump rope forward, jumping over it, and swinging it over my head.  Except my judgement was slightly off.  By slightly off, I mean I kept slamming the jump rope into the back of my head.  I wondered if that was because I couldn’t see it.  So I tried in reverse:

a skull with an eye patch
At least it’s stylish?

Needless to say, the jump rope was out.  But what was effective?

The most effective by far were the resistance bands.  I got a set with door anchors and ankle clips.

[amazon_image id=”7245456313″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set with Door Anchor, Ankle Strap, Exercise Chart, and Resistance Band Carrying Case[/amazon_image]

I didn’t take the whole set with me each time, but I took the second to highest level resistance band along with the door anchor.  I was able to work my major arm muscle groups with this, and easily while watching TV.  When I first started doing it, I felt silly and was afraid I was going to accidentally launch the straps into my face (and I couldn’t really risk another eye injury).  But they were actually really easy to use, and I use them at home sometimes now too.

I also got a travel yoga mat.  Travel yoga mats are really thin, so are mostly used to prevent slipping, not to provide cushioning.  I’d place the yoga mat on the bed (after pulling away the bedding, of course) and try out some planks and other arm/core exercises.  I could prop up and watch TV for a while.

[amazon_image id=”B0042YD6CE” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Gaiam Travel Yoga Mat, Purple[/amazon_image]

But none of these covered cardio.  I expected my jump rope to do that, but I think my jump rope is currently in a ditch off I-94 in Ann Arbor, MI.  I made plans to find gyms near my hotels if they did not have fitness equipment.  But not every travel spot is easy to walk in.  Distances that seem pretty walkable in DC can be disasters when there are no sidewalks to walk on.  Or when there is 100-degree dry heat out.

So I made it a priority to book hotels with fitness rooms.  My bands took care of weight, so all I needed was one piece of fitness equipment to workout on.  This made things easier until I found myself at a hotel with broken equipment.  I called around at local gyms to find out their daily rates.

It turned out one of the gyms in the area were taking customers of the hotel for free until the equipment was fixed.  There were no signs in the hotel saying this, and I would not have ever known if I weren’t so overly chatty with the gym’s employee on the phone.  And that gym was fantastic.

So the moral of this story is:

1. Resistance bands are awesome.

2.  Don’t take up jump roping cold-turkey

3. Don’t be afraid to ask your hotel if they have any arrangements with local gyms with the fitness center is lacking.

Happy exercise!


Disclosure: Some links will give me affiliate credit.  I will not be offended if you do not use my links :)   Having these affiliate links does not change the advice I give you as I am too strong minded to be swayed otherwise.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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