But because I move a lot, it becomes too much work to always look for a new gym every time. Beyond the hassles of having to check out numerous gyms before choosing one each time, it was also a pain to tailor my membership to my typically short stay — I always end up paying more than the long-term members.
After my last gym membership expired, I decided to start working out at home.
As I mentioned last week (in this blog post: 15 Easy Five-Minute Fixes to Save Thousands of Dollars This Year), forgoing a gym membership could save you as much as $800 a year.
The typical gym membership costs $40 to $50 a month, which works out to be $480 to $600 a year. But after adding various fees, you could easily spend $800 a year, according to CNBC.
Of course this also makes exercising during travel much easier.
I’ve figured out that I only need three things to work out. And I can take all these three things in my carry-on whenever I travel.
#1. A pair of sneakers
I don’t run much, but I carry a pair of sneakers with me anyway. I wear it to hiking trails and national parks. I’ve even come across a treadmill at a house-sit, at which point a pair of sneakers came in handy.
#2. A foldable yoga mat
I love my yoga mat. It’s a travel mat that not only rolls, but also folds.
I get a kick out of folding my mat into a small square the size of a folded pair of jeans. It easily fits into my carry-on bag and I could even squeeze it into my handbag if that’s ever necessary.
It’s called the Manduka Eko SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat. It’s light and has great grip. It’s made of natural, eco-friendly rubber, so it smells a little rubbery, but I don’t mind it too much. It’s really thin, which makes it a little uncomfortable to use on its own for Pilates, but it’s alright if I use it on carpet or lay a towel on top of it.
(I use my mat for both yoga and Pilates. The difference between a yoga mat and a Pilates mat is in the grip and the thickness. For a yoga mat, traction is important because you don’t want to slip all over the place when you’re struggling to stay in downward dog pose. With a Pilates mat, cushion is more essential because you need padding for the rolling exercises.)
Here are some other foldable travel yoga mats:
- Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip Yoga Mat
- Jade Travel Yoga Mat
- Khataland YoFoMat Travel Yoga Mat — The design of this mat is a little different. It has lines along which you fold it, so it stacks up neatly. It’s also thicker than the others, which might make it more comfortable but less portable.
#3. A laptop
Yes, I need a laptop to work out because I’m not very good and I need people to tell me exactly what to do.
Here are my favorite (FREE!) workout videos:
- Blogilates by Cassey Ho on Youtube — an abnormally cheerful Pilates instructor who chats her way through the most intense cardio and Pilates workouts without breaking a sweat. She has a huge online following and it’s easy to see why. I sometimes find myself chuckling even as my muscles scream from the torture she puts me through. Cassey also has a DVD if you prefer your workout videos in disc form. (She’s also a great entrepreneur who started out online, so it might be worth checking her out for pure motivational value.)
- eFit30 on Youtube — a fitness company with a wide variety of different workouts, including total body cardio, yoga and Pilates.
- DoYogaWithMe.com — lots of full-length yoga videos that you can filter by difficulty, length and style.
And here are a few others I don’t really use, but I’ve heard they’re pretty good (and ALSO FREE!):
- Yoga Yak — the navigation of this website isn’t very user friendly, but it has hundreds of free yoga videos.
- Fitness Blender — videos that you can filter by workout type, length, part of body to focus on, difficulty and number of calories to burn.
- Bodybuilding.com — the super-muscly people featured on the website creep me out a little bit, but this website has good, free workout videos, as well as meal plans (this website may work very well for those who want something more intense).
That’s it! I hope I’ve given you some workout ideas for your next trip. :)