I know the debate ranges on between those who wear gym gloves and those “real men” only want to barely be able to hold a pen, but bare with me. Many of the gyms that I have found have equipment which is rusted or dirty and likely to shred your hands pretty quickly. I would recommend a decent leather pair of gloves to see you through the trip and to protect yourself from the risk of cuts and infections.
Try Valeo Ocelots which you can find here. Click here.
2) Resistance bands
No matter how carefully you plan your trip, some places just don’t have gyms. A decent rubber resistance band will take up the same amount of space as a mobile phone and with a little infinity and research you can manage to train almost every muscle group. A real life saver on the move.
Have a look at this set and pick the resistance level that suits you. Click here.
3) A small amount of protein powder.
If I have looked hard enough, I have managed to find protein powder in every country that I have been to. Sometimes it is expensive and sometimes it might not be in the first city that you stop in. Many South East Asian countries have very different understandings or portion sizes too. Protein here is almost as much a dietary requirement and it can be hard to get enough even when eating carefully. In the last 5 month, even with training and supplements, I have still managed to lose 10kgs. To try and counter this I have now begun mixing oats with my shakes to up my calorie intake. Taking a little with you will ensure that you aren’t stuck without until you source it locally. Check out my protein 500g bags or smaller.
Yes, at home you may wear the latest Nike Freeruns which weigh less than a gram and are made from nothing but air and spun carbon fibre. No, these aren’t the shoes you should be packing to go backpacking. The reality is that these will be your hiking, climbing, running, and sometimes, evening-wear shoe. A light weight running shoe just won’t get you where you need to go. With space at a premium, my recommendation would be a decent all round shoe with good support, like the Nike Lunarglides. Yes, Primark trainers are cheaper, but they will fall apart before your plane even lands and it can be almost impossible to source genuine running shoes in South East Asia.
5) Fit Bit – If you like that sort of thing.
If you are tracking calories, or just trying to stay active, Fit Bits are a great way of monitoring your daily step count and activity level. Even the two huge bodybuilders that I met in Luang Prabang both had one on in order to keep track of the calories they were burning with all of their sightseeing. Personally, I like the new Fit Bit Alta which:
- track steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes
- automatically tracks how long, and how well, you sleep
- allows you to get calls, texts and calendar notifications at a glance.
You can check out the FitBit Alta and read the reviews by clicking here.