I’ve been working out routinely for years, it’s a big part of my life, as well as Kimberly’s. I crave the positive feeling in my body from the release of natural endorphins. It’s a good addiction to have, if you were to have one, and very beneficial to the body as well as the mind. Sometimes, we will increase our workout intensity, and frequency, prior to traveling, so that we don’t feel as bad about missing a couple workouts. Other times, we will use the hotel gyms, some are well equipped, others, not so much. But, most of the time, we will add physical activities or include a no gym workout into our travel itineraries to ensure that we don’t miss a workout while we travel.
If you travel like Kimberly and I, you usually have a full itinerary of things to see, and activities to do. It’s common among travelers to justify missing a workout because, “There just isn’t enough time!” Or by making excuses such as, “I guess, I can’t workout because there isn’t a hotel gym, or we’re camping, etc.” Excuses may provide temporary relief from a poor decision, but it will eventually creep up on you, and make you feel horrible about missing your workout because that natural high that your body craves will diminish.
Those that feel they have to workout in a gym, might have a more difficult time being creative when it comes to their workouts, especially while traveling. But don’t fret, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
By including workouts in your itinerary, you are far more likely to complete your workout. Even a 15 minute workout is better than nothing, especially if done properly. I feel that we all should be able to schedule at least a 15 minute workout session per day while traveling.
Being healthy means many more years of traveling. Start by adding workouts to your travel itinerary. You owe it to yourself.
Below, you will find a compilation of exercises that don’t require any equipment, you already packed your workout clothes, right? So make good use of them. Mix and match, or only choose one of the exercises listed below, and then adjust the duration of each to comply with the time you have allotted. Most importantly, have fun!
You can always head outside for a jog or a run at any time. Just make sure you know where you have run to and how to return to your destination. Plus, if you choose to run in the dark, please have proper reflective gear so that you are visible to drivers. If you keep your core and arms tight, you will work every major muscle in your body. It is a great full body workout, but it is a high impact exercise, which means that there is a lot of quick, firm downward pressure put on your joints.
Swim in the Hotel Pool
It is best to get into the pool as soon as it opens so that you can swim laps. It definitely is difficult to swim laps when other people are in the pool with you, especially if children are in the water. This exercise is also a full body workout, and is a low impact exercise, which means that it is easy on the joints.
Just about every hotel has them and chances are, nobody is using them. Running the stairs in a hotel would most likely be frowned upon. Instead, walk up the stairs, taking two steps at a time. This will work the major muscles in your lower body, like glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Please be mindful of the noise level that you could be creating.
With your chest held up, place your feet shoulder width apart. Then lower down into a seated position, shooting your derriere backwards, try to get your thighs parallel with the floor (going lower than this can cause a knee injury, depending on your age and fitness level). Now pushing through your heels, bring yourself back up to the starting position. This exercise focuses on the leg muscles, including the thighs, hips, buttocks, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
Begin on the floor on your hands and knees. Lower your forearms to the floor and position your elbows underneath your shoulders, so that your elbows are bent at a 90° angle. Place your palms flat on the floor with your forearms parallel to one another. Step your feet back, one at a time, putting weight on the balls of your feet. Maintain a straight line from your heels through the top of your head, looking down at the floor, with your gaze slightly in front of you. Hold this position by tightening your abdominal muscles for as long as you can without compromising your form. Compromising your form could lead to injury. Once your form breaks, either restart or move onto another exercise. Planks are a great full body workout that focuses on your core muscles and improves your posture.
Lie on the floor, on your back, knees bent. Use your fingers to support your head and neck, do not use your hands to pull yourself up. Inhale, and slowly lift your shoulders until about 30° off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, exhale, and return to start position. This exercise targets your abdominal muscles.
Starting on the floor on your hands and knees. Position your hands a little wider than your shoulders. Step your feet back, one at a time, putting weight on the balls of your feet. Balance yourself on your hands and the balls of your feet. Inhale as you lower yourself to the floor, then exhale as you push yourself back up. This exercise will work your chest, shoulders, and triceps (back of your arms). You can also work your core (abdominal muscles) by contracting them throughout the movement.
Load (or unload) a piece of luggage so it weighs enough that you can do 10 curls. Hold the luggage handle with your palm facing up, keeping your elbows close to your torso, and your upper arms stationary, bring your fists towards your shoulders. You can also use full water bottles, or hold a tight fist the entire time to add resistance to this exercise. This exercise works your biceps, and the forearm muscles.
Sit on the edge of a seat (or equivalent hotel furniture), put your palms on each side of your hips. Place your heels out in front of you. Lift yourself from the seat, moving your butt towards your heels, just enough so that your behind does not hit the seat. Bend your elbows and lower yourself towards the floor, creating a 90° angle with your arms. Then lift yourself back up by straightening your arms. This is a great exercise for strengthening your triceps.