- This is a guest post by Erica Chapman -
Just as I was about to get started on the project of downloading and checking out celebrity trainer Key Son’s new fitness app, Hot Factor, I got pulled out of town for a work assignment. And then another. And then I took a long weekend away. By the time I actually had a moment to open it up, I really wished I had done it sooner! It’s absolutely the perfect thing to have on hand while you’re on the road and missing your regular fitness program. And thus, the sudden inspiration for this TOP 5 post.
When you find yourself stuck in a convention center hotel for the night with no gym in sight, no safe place to jog outside and no time to track down the closest yoga studio, you'll be happy you packed these...
TOP 5 FITNESS TRAVEL ACCESSORIES (for busy women on the go):
1. Hot Factor iPhone/iPad Fitness Training App for Women ($2.99)
Created by celebrity fitness trainer, Key Son.
Key Son knows how to get you looking your best in no time! He's spent 10+ years working with actresses, models, and celebs to get them in top shape for movies, photo shoots and appearances. He collaborated on Marisa Tomei’s Core & Curves DVD and recently got her in shape for The Ides of March. Key's other star clients include Gretchen Mol, supermodel Daria and even MizzFIT who says, "he's much more than a trainer". That's because he's a student of the human body, with an Ivy League education in sports medicine and rehabilitation. Key's exercises are designed to tone and shape the entire body in balance.
The app is simple—lists of moves (with pictures) you can do with or without equipment (weights/ball/tubing), for a single region of the body or all-over toning. Do them as a circuit with minimal rest in between for maximum results, or do as I did and pick and choose a couple every day to mix things up. Key developed this app for his clients on the go who needed a way to stay fit on location or in hotels, and says “the exercises are some of my favorite and are designed to give a longer, leaner look, without the bulk from traditional machines and heavy weight lifting.” Say no more! Combine this app with some of the travel equipment below (or none at all) to turn your on-the-road workout into a no-brainer.
Ok, so you’ve probably seen them in SkyMall and flipped right past them (motorized revolving tie rack, anyone?). But hang on--these are actually a gem! If you’re doing weight training and don’t want a trip to interfere with your routine, toss these in your suitcase. Deflated, the whole set weighs practically nothing. Get to your hotel, and fill the dumbbells with water for up to 16lbs of resistance. They’re versatile, since you can fill them to any level, and they stow away nicely--plus, they come in ankle weights too. Granted, you can fashion these out of Ziploc bags and a stick, but these will last you for years and involve zero DIY effort. Totally weightless and worth throwing in your suitcase.
3. Elastic Bands / GoFit Power Loops
From the don’t-knock-it-'til-you’ve-tried-it files: elastic bands. It always seemed to me like a worthless piece of rubber—how could it possibly transform my body? But let me tell you, I am now a believer. This is one of the cheapest, smallest, most effective ways to strength train. Elastic bands travel exceptionally well (they weigh next to nothing) and can really help you break a sweat and see a difference in your arms and legs. For example, step into a GoFit Power Loop positioned around your ankles for a range of front/side step moves and shuffle/jump exercises that will truly leave you feeling sore the next day. Experiment with different moves and levels of intensity by using bands that vary in thickness and length (8 to 15 inch bands recommended). Trainer Key Son always uses 9 inch Perform Better mini bands with his clients and Marisa Tomei is not an exception. Walking across the room on your tiptoes with a mini band around your ankles is not easy, but hey, you worked your calves and burned calories without having to leave your hotel room!
If you’re willing to make a bit more of an investment (say you travel a lot, or really want to make sure you get a quality workout on the road), consider the VersaStick for $79.95. It’s essentially resistance tubing, but it also has a central grip bar (instead of handles), a door attachment and a carabiner for clamping it to odd impromptu-workout places (make sure it's stable & secure first). For the price, you also get a DVD with exercise demos, which you can easily toss in your suitcase as well. The amount of exercises you can do with this thing is really mind-boggling. It can also be a home gym—you don’t only have to use it on the road—increasing the bang for your buck. If versatility, compactness and ease of use are your top priorities, this is a great one-stop purchase! Use it to tone your abs with a twist. See how it works below.
At some point, a few of your on-the-road exercises are going to require you to come face to face with a hotel room'scarpet. Instead of having a germaphobe panic attack, why not travel with this stretching mat that doubles as a neato stretching encyclopedia and triples as a handy bag? You can zip it up and carry it (not to mention stuff things in its pockets) so it will not only NOT take up space, it will create it! When you're ready to break a sweat, unzip and unfold it to find a bunch of helpful illustrated stretches right on the mat (because even though I've stretched every muscle on my body a million times, why can I never remember all the stretches when it's time to do them??).
And the bottom line is?
A business trip is no longer an excuse to slack on your fitness goals! While you may not be able to do your regular routine, think of traveling as a way to mix things up and keep your body guessing. If you’re like me and you save these goodies for the road, you may actually find yourself getting excited to use your travel equipment. But then again, maybe you shouldn’t share that with anyone.