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How can I pack light if I want to exercise while traveling?

Brooke Randolph
Marriage & Family Therapy
Here are four tips on how you can travel, pack light, and keep up with an exercise routine:
  • Call ahead -- If you are going to a resort or vacation home, make sure you know what is available for exercise equipment and what you don't have to pack. Is there a gym in your hotel or resort? Is there somewhere nearby to rent bikes or roller blades? Is laundry service available so you can pack only one set of workout clothes? Some gyms will have a free or cheap one-week pass, even if your regular gym does not have a branch nearby.
  • Less is more -- One pair of shorts (I prefer a running skirt), one pair of socks, running shoes, and one sports bra for the ladies is enough if you launder daily. Laundry soap can generally be purchased after you land (even when I travel to third world countries), or powdered or flake versions will not count towards your liquid carry-on limits.
  • Pack sensible shoes -- If you're not a runner, you may not want to sacrifice the room that running shoes may take in your bag. Flip flops may pack easily, but they aren't good for walking any distance, unless you want to ice your shins later. For my last major trip, I didn't have to pack shoes because I wore my TOMS shoes. Not only are they safe (closed-toes prevent certain illnesses), but they are fabulous for walking distances and over rough terrain. It may not be super fashionable, but I will even wear them with a skirt.
  • Don't forget your apps -- If you are already bringing your iPhone (leave it in airport mode internationally to avoid high fees), iPod, or iPad, apps require virtually no extra packing space. Authentic Yoga doesn't require special attire or space and is my go-to app for travel exercise. I recently downloaded Jillian Michaels' Fitness Motivation app and look forward to giving it a try.
If you’re traveling and have limited space, first, organize your workouts so you can itemize the equipment you’ll need. Next, create a list of items you’d like to take with you. Specify this list even further to narrow down what you “need” to take with you. If you still have a lot of items, you’ll want to go back and modify your workouts so they don’t require as much equipment. A sample packing list may look like this:

• Tubing – black
• Tubing - green
• Tennis ball for self myofascial release
• Swim gear
• Sweat gear
• Running shoes

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.