We hate to break it to you, but vacations may actually be ideal times to work out. Yes, we all plan our escapes with wine, food, beaches, and mountains in mind, but those new terrains make it easy to pick up the pace with activities we can’t always fit into our daily routines. So with your fitness and health in mind (we’re givers), we’ve rounded up a list of key exercise products—they won’t take up much room in your bag (no excuses), but they’ll help you feel that much better about indulging in all types of foreign lands.
1. Nike Training Club App
Why We Like It: Tell it your fitness level and goals, and this multidimensional app pops up a list of appropriate workouts. It’s based on 130 dynamic training drills designed to work on cardio, build strength, and tone your core. Step-by-step instructions and video demos lead you into 30- and 45-minute full body workouts. Audio coaching and your own playlists keep you motivated throughout. And as you track your history and progress, you can earn rewards that unlock exclusive workouts from celebrities like Lea Michele, professional athletes like Shawn Johnson, and Rihanna’s personal trainer, Ary Nuñez.
How Much: Free
Buy It: Visit Tunes.Apple.com.
2. MotoActv GPS/Fitness Tracker/MP3 Player Watch
Why We Like It: Since we first covered this amazing little two-inch touch screen fitness/music device back in December, it’s evolved. Now it can monitor over 40 indoor and outdoor activities. The higher capacity version also allows you to track your golf game on over 20,000 courses, with GPS-tracked distances to hazards and greens. And both versions are a hundred bucks less than they were last year. (More for less? Score.) The device connects wirelessly to your phone, a hotspot, and other compatible fitness sensors. Through the online training portal, you can set up and participate in fitness challenges. And—while it’s playing your favorite tunes—it’ll display texts, weather updates, and the time.
How Much: $150-$200
Buy It: Visit MotoActv.com.
3. Fitness Tracking Wireless LINK Armband
Why We Like It: This wear-all-day comfortable armband is part of the most accurate, effective, and complete on-body fitness monitoring system we’ve seen. With four different sensors capturing thousands of data points every minute, it’s supposedly 95% accurate in assessing calories burned. Beyond measuring that figure against your caloric intake, it actually takes the quality of your diet into consideration and will suggest possible alternatives. Best of all, with it linked to your phone, you can see updates right away on stats and activities. And at the end of the day, it even measures sleep efficiency. But most important to your bottom line, it’s been shown in clinical studies to improve weight loss by more than three times as compared to without it.
How Much: $149 + $7/month
Buy It: Visit BodyMedia.com.
4. Portable Body Scale
Why We Like It: This thin, light digital device is small enough to fit in a clutch—and will come through in a clutch, as you weigh your bags before you fly. (Funny how they always seem to come home heavier.) But what’s different about this scale as opposed to the one we featured in last year’s holiday gift guide is that you can easily use it to weigh yourself as well. Just put it on a hard surface, turn it sideways, step on and—assuming you’re between 11 and 330 pounds—this AAA-powered gadget will keep you current on your weight. Hey, with all these fitness gadgets, maybe you’ve lost some and don’t feel like waiting till home to find out.
How Much: $30
Buy It: Visit ThinkGeek.com.
5. Outdoor Technology DJ Slims
Why We Like It: Without the hassle of wires, this rubberized headband—available in black, blue, or white—pumps out sweet, workout-worthy sounds. The audio is clean and well-balanced. In fact, they’d pair very well (through Bluetooth) with the MotoActv watch above. The cushy oversized foam earpads give them a comfy feel. You can control the volume and track with intuitive buttons right on the headset. And they feature a built-in mic for taking calls.
How Much: $70
Buy It: Visit OutdoorTechnology.com.
6. Lucy Stride Jacket
Why We Like It: Up for a run? Indoors or out, this moisture wicking polyester/spandex jacket will suit you well. It features a flattering, feminine fit, and thumbholes in the cuffs keep your sleeves in place as you stride. Since safety comes first, a reflective trim around the midsection helps you stand out at night. This sleek jacket is available in Aquamarine, Gloxinia (a.k.a. Purple), and Dazzling Blue.
How Much: $89
Buy It: Visit Lucy.com.
Photo credits: 1. Nike, Inc.; 2. MOTOROLA MOBILITY, INC; 3. BodyMedia, Inc.; 4. ThinkGeek, Inc.; 5. Backcountry.com; 6. lucy Activewear
Award-winning Fodors.com Travel Technology Columnist Scott Tharler is an expert in gadgets, gambling, and travel. He’s written four books, hundreds of mobile and wireless tips, and dozens of freelance articles. In addition to his Discovery News gadget blog contributions, you can find links to other gadget articles, social feeds and lists of his current favorite gadgets at about.me/gadgetfans.