Around this time of year I love to see small children playing with gifts they got for the holidays. It doesn’t matter whether it was a $5 dollar gadget, something homemade or a huge electronic gaming system. Watching people play is something that truly brings me joy.
Fitness can and should be the same way.
It should always be fun.
Sure you can make it challenging and undoubtedly you should be fatigued after a quality session. But you should have fun along the way.
To make that happen, I have developed a list of duffel bag goodies that will guarantee you can get in a workout, anywhere, anytime, and make it fun. If you make sure to have these few easy to find items, you will be able to make every workout enjoyable. And most likely, you can get someone to join you to add to the fun factor.
The most important thing is to have a duffel bag. It doesn’t need to be big or flashy. It just needs to be something that you have at all times. It can be in your car, your luggage, your office, or by the front door, as long as you never leave home without it.
The second most important thing to have in the duffel bag is sneakers. It sounds stupid, but I cannot tell you the number of times I have had a client tell me they didn’t workout because they forgot their sneakers that day. While I normally think that is a bunch of hooey, I certainly understand it is tough to go for a 15 minute walk in that $400 pair of 5 inch heel Manolo Blahniks. Make it a high priority to get yourself a decent pair of exercise sneaker reps. Try on a few pairs and see what you like. They should fit well, support your feet and arches, as well as be cushioned for any stress and impact from walking, jogging, biking or training.
Next, you should have a change of clothes. For some this may not seem necessary. It is obvious that you can strap on your shoes, head out the front door of your home or office and go for a walk. However, sometimes it is good to change clothes to mentally prepare yourself to break a sweat and really push yourself.
Another item I think is crucial is at least one exercise tube. The sheer number of exercises for upper and lower body that you can utilize is astounding. By simply tying the exercise tube around your waist and making sure that you stop every 2 minutes and perform a set of bicep curls, or band squats, you can dramatically increase your body’s ability to burn fat. And isn’t that the ultimate goal?
This brings me to another under-appreciated tool: a watch. Again, not entirely necessary, but if you get wrapped up in a conversation while doing cardio training, you may forget to add the intervals necessary to build muscle mass. It is easy to set the watch to go off every 2 or 3 minutes and remind you to crank out a set of lunges or crunches.
A towel is a nice addition, especially if you are training when it is hot outside.
That means you should also have a water bottle handy. Remember to drink 8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of exercise you perform. Drink more water if it is really hot.
Now the next few items are not mandatory. But they can add to the fun factor of your duffel bag.
I am a big fan of music, so an MP3 player, ipod, disc man or even a radio tuner is a great addition. Make sure to add high energy tunes to keep you motivated.
A deck of cards always brings a challenge and keeps things interesting. There are many ways to use the deck. A simple formula is to make each suit an exercise and then perform the number of repetitions you see on the card for each exercise. It is fast and easy to do.
Same thing goes for a set of dice. Choose odds and evens and make one upper body and the other lower body. Perform the same number of reps, sprints, or intervals as the number you rolled.
As you can see, creating a workout duffel bag is an easy way to keep you motivated, remind you to get in a few minutes of exercise everyday and make the fun factor much larger. Add items that work for you and shoot me an email with any additions that work for you.