Why I Pack Resistance Equipment When I Travel

  • Lifestyle
  • Retirement
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    Retirement for some seniors means finally having the time to take care of their health and fitness as well as having the time and resources to travel. I find it amazing that the most well-traveled members of my senior fitness community are in their 70s and 80s. One of my eight-year-olds travels every winter to meet her children and grandchildren for a week of cross-country and downhill skiing. Oh yeah, she’s skiing with her family. She says her regular workouts keep her so conditioned, she can jump right in and ski all week.

    I admit that the seniors I work with are pretty consistent about their fitness. They adhere closely to CDC recommendations for how much physical activity older adults need. That’s 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days a week, plus 2 days a week of strength training and 3 days a week of balance training.

    However, what I often heard was after traveling for two or more weeks, unless it was a specific fitness vacation, many seniors felt they had lost some of their hard-earned strength and stamina. Others found that they missed their regular exercise schedule. That’s why I started focusing on how to work out while traveling.

    Top picks for frequent travelers

    By far my favorite exercise equipment for travel and I think the most practical are resistance bands, tubes or loops. They are extremely convenient. They add almost no extra weight to your luggage and can easily fit in your carry-on. This makes them the perfect choice if you are going to travel to multiple locations. They’re reasonably priced, so if they get lost you won’t feel like you’ve lost a sizable investment.

    Amazon has a wide variety of resistance bands in sets and they can be purchased for under $20. The best part about resistance bands, tubes or loops is that they are so versatile. They work well to accommodate any fitness level from beginner to advanced. You can train specific body parts or you can use them for a full body workout and they are incredibly easy to use and easy to use.

    My recommendations are based on personal and customer use, safety, brand quality, and price.

    Resistance bands

    1. Theraband 3 Band Set

    Buy now $11.10

    These flat resistance bands are often used for physical therapy. It’s my go-to band for frequent travelers looking to maintain strength or a regular fitness routine. They are excellent for anyone with joint problems due to pain, lack of mobility or loss of strength. I use them in many of my classes with my senior members.

    3. TRX resistance bands

    Buy now $23.16

    These are big loops but another reliable brand. They are heavier than flat belts and are purchased individually. Great for those looking for more resistance than they’ll get from flat bands.

    4. Anchor Point Training

    Buy now $20

    These are the most expensive of all resistance bands. The 1.5 ISO 41 82 inch loop belt was $20 at the time of writing. It is a top quality resistance band for the serious fitness enthusiast. Bands are sold on the website only. The advantages are that they are very durable and are easier on bare skin than other types of resistance bands.

    Resistance loops

    6. TRX Resistance Band Mini Loops

    Buy now $11.96

    These are smaller loops that are 12 inches long and come as a set of four with different strengths. Loops are most commonly used for leg workouts, but an internet search will give you creative ways to use them for upper body work. They tend to roll during use and pull hair on bare skin.

    8. GYMB non-slip belt loops

    Buy now $16.99

    The fabric construction and width of these loops prevent them from rolling around like mini rubber loops. Their construction makes them less flexible and can be harder to get on and off around the feet. I haven’t used this brand, but it is recommended by many health magazines with a set of three under $20. They come with a carrying bag, an exercise idea sheet and access to video workouts.

    Resistance tubes

    9. SPRI Resistance Tube With Handle

    Buy now $23.16

    For anyone who has trouble gripping a flat band, SPRI also makes a resistance tube with a grip. Purchased individually with the lighter bands that are still priced under $20. They’re a bit heavier than flat strips, but still light enough to not add noticeable weight to your luggage.

    Pro tip: If you have a latex sensitivity, please read the product notes about resistance bands carefully before purchasing. A pair of lifting gloves can help if gripping the flat strips is uncomfortable. Gloves are designed to protect the palms but can also provide extra wrist support. There are plenty of options under $20 on Amazon.

    Top picks for extended stay travelers

    If your travels are such that you stay in places for long periods of time, you may want equipment that offers a more intense workout. I recommend a set of interchangeable resistance bands or a suspension training set.

    Resistance tubes

    Suspension coach

    11. TRX Go Suspension Trainer

    Buy now $99.99

    The gym suspension kit weighs only 1.5 kg. Kit includes mesh carry bag, TRX GO rope for suspension training, and indoor and outdoor anchors. The TRX system is two straps anchored at the top with handles at the end to leverage your body weight against gravity.

    Pro tip: What is resistance training? TRX offers online exercises and on-demand classes. This system works best for seniors who have a good level of strength and can support their body weight with their arms. Even on Amazon, the TRX system costs over $100.

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