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How To Exercise While Travelling

Keeping yourself fit for travel!

Morning yoga

After years of trying different routines, different gyms and different schedules, you finally find an exercise routine that works! Something that’s enjoyable or at least bearable. However, as soon as your bags are packed for your next business trip, sun-drenched holiday or overseas adventure, your fitness regime goes straight out the window.

With a little forethought and a few workout tips, we’ll show you how to stay fit even whilst on the road.

What Are The Benefits Of Exercise While Travelling?

The benefits of incorporating exercise into your travel plans are unquestionable. It is a free, easy way to achieve a whole host of objectives, whether that’s looking good on the beach, keeping your mind clear for important business meetings, meeting new friends or generally improving your mood.

Focus on your body and mind

Travelling, whether it’s for business or pleasure, can create its own stresses. Homesickness, lack of sleep, poor posture from extended sitting, remembering important information, finding food, finding water and even finding shelter can all add to stress levels so it’s important that you find a release by doing something to clear your mind and re-energise your body. What better way than exercise?

In addition to added stress, travelling can also lead to increased calorie consumption. Dining with business clients, finding a quick snack or sipping a martini, isn’t going to help your body or your brain! If you can’t avoid such temptations, then make sure you work away those excess calories.

The Problem

The most difficult part of travelling can often be adjusting to a new schedule and trying to figure out just how you’re supposed to fit everything in. When time is short, things start to get cut and exercise is usually first on the list!

There is so much to do when travelling that exercising seems to just get missed. Now there are ways of incorporation exercise into your travel experience, which we will discuss later, but first lets look at some hotel room workouts…

Hotel Room Workouts

Even if we had the time, where are we supposed to get a workout in? The answer: anywhere!

Run down the beachfront, sprint up the hill, swim in the sea, climb a tree. The idea is you just move! As Gareth mentioned in his article: Simple Exercise Routines For Those Who “Just Don’t Have The Time 

SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!

Now, being realistic, we know that some of you wont be keen to workout in an area you don’t know, in front of people you don’t know, so let’s focus on somewhere we’re all familiar with while travelling: a hotel room.

All of the exercises below can be done in a small amount of space (think yoga mat or beach towel) and none of them require any special equipment.

Take advantage of hotel workout rooms

Even without excessive space or equipment needed, these body-weight exercises are extremely effective and adaptable for nearly all fitness levels.

Leg and Glute Workouts

For strong, toned legs and a tight posterior try these exercises!

Squats – Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, squat down (as if you were sitting.) Keep your spine straight, your gaze forward and make sure your knees do not extend past an imaginary vertical line from the edge of your toes (floor to ceiling).

Complete 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Standing Lunges – Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips, step forward with your right foot and drop your left knee so that it almost hits the ground. Make sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keep your back straight (neutral). Push back with your right leg into the starting position. (Complete 10 repetitions on each side)

Complete 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Arm, Chest and Core Workouts

If you’re looking to keep up your core fitness and blow them all away in your bathing suit, try these arm and ab exercises!

Planks – Laying on your stomach, lift yourself onto your toes and elbows (directly below your shoulders), with your palms down on the ground in front of you. Engage and pull in your core maintaining a straight line from head to toe.

Hold for 30-60 seconds, 3-5 repetitions

Pushups – Begin in a plank-similar position with your, core engaged, straight spine, hands flat on the floor (shoulder width apart) and balancing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself toward the ground until your elbow reach a 90 degree angle and push yourself back up.

Complete 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Russian Twists – Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you. Lean back slightly engaging your core and maintaining a straight spine. Hold your hands out in front of you as if you were holding a ball. Rotate your torso to the right and return to center. Rotate to the left and return to center.

Complete 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Tricep Dips – Sit on the edge of chair with your feet straight out in front of you (balanced on your heels) and your hands gripping the edge of the chair on either side of your hips. Slide slightly forward off the chair so that you are hovering over the ground with arms in locked position and core engaged. Lower yourself towards the floor until your elbows reach a 90 degree angle. Push yourself back up into hovering position.

Complete 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Cardio Workouts

To really get your blood pumping, muscles working and heart rate up, try either one of these exercises.

Jumping Jacks – Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet out (just wider than shoulder width) and at the same time bring your arms up (like a windmill) over your head. Jump back to starting position. To be performed quickly.

Complete 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Burpees – Stand with your feet together and arms at your side. Jump up reaching your arms into the air above your head. Take downward motion into a squat. At the bottom of the squat, place your hands on the floor and jump your feet back into a plank position. Jump your feet forward to your hands and return to standing position. To be performed quickly.

Complete 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Resistance Bands

These are a must for anyone looking to exercise while travelling. They are lightweight and can easily packed into a suitcase / rucksack without taking up too much room.

Generally, they come in a set with different resistance for different types of exercises.

They are also extremely cheap to buy but still offer a wide range of exercises that can be done near enough anywhere.

Our recommended bands have used personally by the MHV team and we know they are good quality. They are a bit more heavy duty than some bands but you will definitely get value for money with the ones we suggest.

Incorporating Exercise Into Your Travel Experience

If you simply can’t find the time to workout there are still ways of travelling fit!

Your holiday workout doesn’t need to include a thirty minute hotel room routine every day.

In fact, with just a few minor changes to your regular activities, you can squeeze in exercise without hardly noticing it.

Sight Seeing

It’s recommended that we get approximately 10,000 steps in per day.

Walking is one of the most effective exercises around and is suitable for people of all ages and levels of fitness.

When you’re travelling (business or pleasure) get out and explore wherever you can.

Sight Seeing

Take the scenic route, enjoy the architecture, find out what the area is famous for. Getting out and about is easy, you just have to do it!

Remember, every step counts!

If you are interested in fitness tracking devices (not just watched and wristbands), take a look at our article: Gifts For Exercise And Fitness.

Taking the Stairs

When the opportunity arises, take the stairs!

It takes only a short amount of extra time but with that time you will increase your heart rate, get in a few extra steps and stay that much healthier!

If there are too many flights to go the whole way up or down and you have the option, take stairs as far as you can, then grab the elevator the rest of the way!’

Simple!

Public Transportation

Not only does public transportation like busses and subways help the environment, it can help you stay more active!

Public transportation often requires you to walk and stand more than you would when taking a personal vehicle or taxi.

Involve Yourself In Cultural Exercise

Places all over the world generally have communities that enjoy different kinds of healthy activities.

Find out what’s popular in the town you are visiting and get involved.

Whether it’s dance, martial arts, yoga or surfing, it will certainly be possible to find an activity that suits you!

Conclusion

Trying to fit a workout into your travel schedule doesn’t have to be complicated, require any expensive equipment or take too much of your time.

As Nike put it: “Just Do It!”

Hopefully, by following these workout tips you’ll have a less stressful, more enjoyable and healthier travelling experience!

Please share your tips, experiences and feedback with the MHV community by using the comment box below. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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