Exercise Bands and Tubing
Why: You can get a full-body workout with just a few elastic resistance bands. They work by creating tension and stress on your muscles. There are loads of exercises on various Web sites including www.bodylastics.com, www.thera-bandacademy.com (free registration required) and www.acefitness.org/getfit/RubrBndWkout.pdf
Exercise bands are portable, easy to use anywhere, anytime, quiet, and, most important, they work. The Bodylastic exercise tubes, made of high-quality clamp and surgical tubing, are the best I've seen.
Bonus: Low cost, easy to use, very portable.
Cost: Bodylastics training kit, $59.95: One band with secure handles starts at $6.25 (depending on strength, style and quality). You can also purchase a flat band for as little as $3.25.
Fit & Fresh Containers
Why: Great storage containers help keep your food fresh on the road. Fit & Fresh takes innovative product design to a new level with their on-the-go products. My favorites are Lunch on the Go, which comes with a removable ice pack, several compartments and a cover that can serve as a plate, and the Salad Shaker, which comes with a dressing dispenser, utensil box (includes a knife and fork), ice pack and a salad bowl that holds up to 4 cups.
Bonus: All Fit & Fresh products (except the ice packs) are easy to clean and safe for the freezer, microwave and top rack of the dishwasher.
Where to Buy: www.fit-fresh.com
Cost: Salad Shaker is $9.99; Lunch on the Go, $9.99.
George Foreman "The Champ" Grill
Why: This tiny George Foreman grill is not new, but it is still the best thing out there for traveling. It's compact, easy to use and fits into any luggage--even a carry-on. It has a 36-square-inch grilling surface, big enough to cook for two.
In case you're not familiar with the George Foreman grill, it has a double nonstick coating, is durable and eliminates the need for oil. It drains off the fat, heats up quickly, is easy to clean, and even comes with its own spatula. Simply locate a nearby supermarket, buy chicken or fish and vegetables, plug it in and you're all set. Also, it now comes in a variety of colors to spice up your grilling experience.
Bonus: You save money and calories by cooking your own meals while you're on the road.
Where to buy: Sears, Amazon, Target and other appliance stores.
Cost: $19.99 at Sears and Target.
Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, author of the best seller Breaking the Pattern (Plume, 2005), Breaking the FAT Pattern (Plume, 2006) and Lighten Up (Penguin USA/Razorbill, 2006) and founder of Integrated Wellness Solutions. Sign up for The Diet Detective newsletter free at www.dietdetective.com.