Many of my clients are hardworking professionals who travel often for their work. One comment I hear from them a lot is how tough it is to stick to their training schedule when they’re constantly on the road.
It’s true: frequent traveling does introduce a variety of obstacles to your training, from having your time monopolized by meetings, seminars or client dinners to being away from your home gym and out of your typical routine. But it doesn’t have to throw a wrench in your fitness goals. Staying fit while traveling is not only possible, it can be incredibly simple to do – even without a gym in sight!
Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, planks and sit-ups don’t require any equipment and can be done anywhere. For this reason, they should be a staple in your traveling fitness routine. Plus, bodyweight exercises are very effective at sculpting your body even though they seem deceptively easy to perform.
Finding a treadmill at your hotel may help you burn calories, but it won’t give you the muscle tone you’re trying to develop for your lean, mean 2014 beach body. Actually, performing excessive cardio to lose weight can lead to what I call the dreaded ‘skinny fat’ condition – where you look thin but you lack muscle tone and are still pretty squishy!
Instead, get your cardio in during a bodyweight circuit by giving yourself shorter rest times between exercises. This will keep your heart rate elevated, burning some serious calories. Because you can vary your intensity so easily, bodyweight exercises lead to very efficient workouts.
Sample Bodyweight Circuit
For an effective workout that you can do without leaving your hotel room, try the following circuit:
- Push-ups (standard if possible, or you can do modified knee push-ups)
- Reverse Crunches
- Mountain Climber Twists (or tuck knees to opposite elbows slowly in planked position)
Perform 3-4 rounds of 10-15 repetitions each, or perform each exercise for 30 seconds – whichever comes first. Rest as little as possible in between each exercise. Use caution and common sense, however. Your rest time between rounds will vary based on your ability.
This bodyweight circuit is simple and fast, so there should be no problem finding time to squeeze it into your day. And don’t be discouraged if your traveling workouts are shorter than your routine back home. Just a few minutes of bodyweight exercise will increase your metabolic rate, helping your body burn extra calories during the day.
The key to fitness on the go is establishing a simplified routine that you can stick to, whether that’s in the morning before work or right before bed. Aside from keeping you active while you’re away from home, bodyweight exercises offer numerous benefits to keep you motivated to stick to your routine:
- Improved core strength.
- Increased joint flexibility.
- Better balance.
- Increased activity helps you sleep better.
Make Fitness a Priority
I know – it’s hard enough to stick to an exercise plan when you’re juggling the typical life/work balance at home. Add the pressures of traveling and daily fitness can seem pretty daunting.
Having realistic, attainable exercise goals while you’re on the road is entirely possible. You just have to make your fitness a priority and dedicate a certain amount of time to exercising every day. A great rule to remember is to create bodyweight circuits using the following:
- A push exercise (standard/modified push-ups).
- A pull exercise (pull-ups).
- A leg exercise (reverse lunges).
- A core exercise (reverse crunches).
This ensures you’re hitting all your major muscle groups as well as working the front and back of your body.
Master these bodyweight exercises and you’ll return from business trips looking toned and sleek instead of tired and bloated! For more tips to keep you healthy on a tight schedule, check out my blog post on eating healthy on the go.