By Janene Mascarella
Working out when you're on the road can be challenging. While there are some wonderful hotel gyms to hit after check-in, sometimes they just can't meet the needs of the time-pressed traveler. (Not to mention, they're usually not topping anyone's holiday itinerary.) Knowing full well that your packing space is precious, here's eight fabulous fitness finds worthy of a spot in your suitcase and on your itinerary.
Why it's a Good Fit: This is what's called "Total Fitness in a Kit" and it fits the bill for anyone looking for a portable, packable fitness solution. The kit comes with all the tools for a total body workout to stay fit and healthy on the go. Another cool feature: it offers travel nutrition tips while on the road, at the airport and hotel. It weighs less than 2 lbs. and is TSA friendly. Because they believe in safety while traveling and exercising, the FitKit folks added an emergency ID tag to wear while exercising, a pedometer with an emergency alarm and a reflective armband.
What it Costs: $34.99
Where to Find it: FitKit.com
Why it's a Good Fit: Here's an interesting way to enjoy the aerobic and strength training of jump roping without the hindrance of the rope itself. It's an exercise accessory that's ideal for the fitness enthusiast on the go. You get the rotational resistance of jumping rope sans the rope itself. It's brilliant because you can work out in spaces smaller than your usual gym, including your hotel room.
What it Costs: $34.95
Where to Find it: Power-Systems.com
Why it's a Good Fit: A yoga mat you wear? Yes! No need to lug a 10lbs yoga mat with you on the road. YogaPaws weight 5 oz., take up as much room as a pair of socks, and allow you to do yoga Anytime, Anywhere. Show of hands: Is this not the cleverest product you learned about all week?
What it Costs: $39.95
Where to Find it: YogaPaws.com
Spark 80 RollerBlades
Why it's a Good Fit: Viva la Rollerblades! Does anyone know why these went out of style? Time for a re-birth because blading is a blast and a great way to explore a new city. Exercise? Commuting? Exploring? Skating is a much under-utilized commuting/transportation option, especially while traveling (you can pack a pair of skates in your suitcase, but not your bike!). The 2012 Women's Spark 80 is a great choice for beginning inline skaters (or those who are a bit rusty!) as the moderate wheel size and shorter frame help keep speed and maneuverability under control. It's just like riding a bike, no?
What it Costs: $129
Where to Find it: Rollerblade.com
Brooks L.S.D. Lite Jacket II
Why it's a Good Fit: While their forte is running, Brooks' apparel is fantastic for any kind of sweat-burning activity—including those that occur on the fly when you can't pack an entire gym. This pack-in-a-pocket lightweight workout jacket is an active traveler's dream. It's super-stashable: weighs less than a blueberry scone and packs down as small.
What it Costs: $75
Where to Find it: BrooksRunning.com
Turbo Tone by Empower
Why it's a Good Fit: Tone up anytime with this body sculpting system and versatile circuit training workout to help you sculpt, tone and burn off some of what you consumed at the last Starbucks stop. Turbo Tone's dumbbell handles and power cords work together to provide constant resistance to muscles, giving you an effective workout. The resistance cords with dumbbell handles adding 20 lbs. of resistance—but you won't break a sweat carrying it with you.
What it Costs: $24.99
Where to Find it: EmpowerFitness.com
Punk Rope's "Code Red" Fitness rope
Why it's a Good Fit: This fitness rope is perfect for travel because it's super portable. Not sure all the ways you can use it? They have a new instructional DVD available as a digital download so folks can load it up on their iPod, iPad, or iPhone. Jumping rope improves overall fitness and conditioning and the hefty 6mm cord increases workout intensity. If you're heading on a road trip, it's an ideal way to squeeze in a workout anytime you want.
What it Costs: $13.99
Where to Find it: PunkRope.com
The HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle
Why it's a Good Fit: The HydraCoach is the world's first interactive water bottle. It calculates your personal hydration needs, tracks your real-time fluid consumption, paces you throughout the day and motivates you to achieve and maintain optimal hydration. (Unfortunately, it cannot print your boarding pass.) But since staying hydrated is key to any fitness goals, this clever gadget is an evolutionary leap in personal hydration monitoring.
What it Costs $29.99
Where to Find it: Hydracoach.com