By AnnMarie Marano
Let’s face it – for frequent business travelers, sometimes all the motivation (or guilt) in the world can’t get you up out of that heavenly hotel bed, surrounded by millions of big white fluffy pillows and butlers who bring omelets for you in bed. To schlep downstairs to the “fitness center,” at this juncture is easy as convincing a five year old that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
So here are five products that guarantee you don’t have to punch in and punch out of the gym. Ok, yes, you will have to get up and off the bed, but at least you won’t have to leave your hotel room. Next to each product, you’ll find my own personal rating scale on how much room the product will take up in your suitcase (I know ladies, every inch is precious when you are trying to fit in that fifth pair of power heels). One represents the least amount of stolen suitcase space and 10 represents the most amount.
1.) FitDeck™ (Space rating: 1)
Forget the suitcase. Toss this one right into your purse. The FitDeck is a stack of playing cards that acts as your own personal drill sergeant. Just shuffle and leave the creativity up to it! The stack contains 56 cards. Each includes illustrations and instructions for a different type of exercise for either the upper, middle, lower or full body. The exercises require absolutely no equipment and are basic and easy to do. Dedicate 20 minutes a day to the deck and you’ll keep yourself energetic and ready to face your days away from home. www.fitdeck.com
2.) Resistance bands (Space rating: 3, depending on type)
This one is a no-brainer. Resistance bands have proven themselves as tried and true to fit-conscious travelers of all types for years now. Some can even be attached to a doorknob for even more of a workout variety. And the key to any good workout is to not get bored! Check out www.simplefitnesssolutions.com for a great selection, or www.bodylastics.com. You can also easily find these at many sports and fitness retail stores.
3.) AquaJogger™ (Space rating: 7)
We had to include one for you water babies. And yes, this is the one product that will require you to leave your hotel room. Now if only they made something like this for the bathtub…
Hotel pools are usually tiny and quite-frankly, lackluster. So here’s something that will guarantee a low-impact yet affective workout. Our friends at AquaJogger offer the AquaJogger Traveler. It’s a buoyancy belt that folds into a 12″ x 12″ x 3″ package but still might take up a bit of space in your baggage. It holds you up to “run” in the water, while offering just the right amount of resistance. See www.aquajogger.com for underwater running tips, more products and a store locator.
4.) Aquabells (Space rating: 2)
This is pure genius of an invention. These sets of portable and collapsible dumbbells and ankle weights are filled with water to provide up to 16 lbs. of resistance per dumbbell and up to 8 lbs of resistance per set of ankle weights. Just fill them up to your liking! When unfilled, the dumbbells weigh less than 26 ounces and the ankle weights weigh less than eight. No excuses for leaving these at home! www.aquabells.com
5.) Strength Loop (Space rating: 5)
The “strength loop” is the cheapest product on our panel here and can be found at a number of sites, including www.fitbuy.com and www.amazon.com. Use it for the legs and any lower body trouble spots you might have.