The Only Good Travel Ban(d)

After speed grading my student’s final papers and submitting the first iteration of my qualifying exam bibliography, I took off for a week-long trip to Cuba to arrange things for fieldwork next year. This was a work trip (but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t avail myself of many a mojito).  When I travel for work, whether it be research or conferences, I’m often challenged with trying to find ways to stay in shape when I can’t follow my normal routine.  This is especially true because I often can’t afford to stay in hotels where they have a gym and continental breakfast.  This low-budget student life requires some creativity….

My number one essential while on the road is circular resistance bands.  They are light and therefore easy to pack.  They are really versatile which means that you can do lots of different workouts without getting bored.  Finally, they come in various resistance levels (light, medium and heavy), so you have options while you are working out.  If you already have regular resistance bands, you can just tie the ends together to make them circular.

IMG-3560I purchased a set last year at Target for about $10, and I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth.  While I don’t use them that often, I find that they really hold their shape.

Since I usually have my computer with me on these trips, I created a ‘workout’ digital file over the years that’s saved to my hard drive.  In this file, I have of all of my favorite exercise videos, many of which are from people linked on my resource page. This keeps me occupied and also reminds me of home when I’m feeling a little disoriented being in a different setting.  The videos are pretty short, so doing two or three reps usually does the trick.  I included my favorite resistance band video below.

If you already have resistance bands, how do you incorporate them into your routine?  Do you have any other tried and true tips for staying in shape while traveling?

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