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Staying fit during the holidays means exercising regularly no matter where your travels take you. (Photo: petrelos/iStock)

What Fitness Gear Can I Pack in My Carry-On?

Get ahead of the holiday health slump.

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The average American will gain between one to two pounds during the holiday season. But the average American doesn’t have these six weight-busting, calorie-burning fitness essentials in his carry-on. So turn that stuffing into strength this winter and return home fitter than when you left.

Monkii Bars ($122)

(Monkii Bars)

The rope of the Monkii Bars suspension training system is thinner than p-chord, but can support up to 600 pounds. That cord stows away in the hollow handles, making for an ultra-packable training system that weighs less than a pound. Find a tree branch to attach the rope, and you have a mobile gym where you can do multiple strength exercises.

Human X Competition X4 Speed Rope ($25) 

(Human X Gear)

Jumping rope is an excellent way to get sweaty in less than five minutes. We love the Human X Competition X4 Speed Rope because it’s tough, durable, and affordable. The rubberized grips don’t slip in sweaty hands and the aluminum ball bearings give the tool a good swing weight.

Lifeline Resistance Training Kit ($18)

(Lifeline USA)

Resistance bands like the Lifeline Resistance Training Kit add another layer of burn to normal body weight exercises. The Lifeline Resistance system—which packs down to about the size of a small dopp kit—has a 20-pound resistance cable and door mount that lets you do a variety of exercises including curls, lateral raises, triceps extensions, and rows.

Khataland’s YoFoMAt Yoga Mat ($39)


Khataland’s YoFoMAt Yoga Mat folds down to the size of a children’s book and weighs 2.7 pounds. At a sixth of an inch thick, the mat provides enough padding for an impromptu yoga session or core workout.

enso Travel Roller ($49)


The 8-inch-long enso Travel Roller weighs less than a Chipotle burrito and has six independent roller-like wheels designed to work out sore muscles. Pre-Thanksgiving-dinner massage, anyone?

Strava (Free)


Download the Strava app to your smartphone to stay competitive while on vacation. The fitness app allows you to look at other runner’s routes in your area—a great way to find new trails no matter where you celebrate the holidays. 

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