Keeping Fit While Traveling

keep fit while traveling Most people just throw up their hands and give up when it comes to staying healthy and fit while on business trips or vacations. Its tough enough for people to exercise and keep fit at home, how can you do it while away from home or traveling? Getting proper nutrition is tough and working out seems impossible so most people just give up – don’t!

I’m going to show you how to keep in shape while away from home, its actually much easier than you think! It doesn’t matter if you are someone who has never worked out and wants to start getting in shape on vacation or you a experienced bodybuilder.

In Part 1 of this series I showed you how to prepare the two weeks before your trip in terms of exercise, nutrition and packing. You can watch my travel prep video or read the travel prep info on my website. In Part 3 of this series I will cover the difficult subject of traveling nutrition, the thing that kills most people. Here I’m just going to cover the travel workouts themselves.

Working Out While Traveling – Cardio

The main source of cardio when traveling is going to be walking. Try to walk everywhere you can, no cars. You will enjoy your trip far more if you stay out of the car. Another great source of cardio is jogging, you can do it virtually anywhere and all it takes is a pair of tennis shoes that you are probably packing anyway. If its cold and icy outside and you cant walk or run, then you can jump rope! The rope in your travel kit can be thread thru the sticks and used as a jump rope in your hotel room or garage. The resistance training workouts do not have any lower body exercises, the cardio will serve as the leg workout. Running is the best to insure that you will not lose any lower body strength while traveling.

Working Out While Traveling – Resistance Training

If you recall, we only brought three things with us to workout: a 10′ rope, two sticks, and straps. These fit nicely into a small ziplock bag and hardly take up any room at all.

You can do pushups anywhere but pullups are tougher which is why its time to pull out your kit. From the two sticks and the 10′ rope, make a harness that you can hang over anything to do pullups. Here I have slung them over a beam in my grass hut. You can hang it over beams, pipes, or even tree limbs – you have NO excuses to skip the pullups! The straps are to provide you with extra grip strength so your wrists do not give out before your lats. If you are a beginner, choose something low to sling your pullup setup over so that you can use your legs to assist your pullups.

This is a really efficient workout and you wont be resting at all, just going from one exercise to the next. Although this workout only uses three exercises, its a full upper body workout and hits every single muscle. The pushups work chest and triceps. The pullups work lats and biceps, and the crunches get your core.

Travel workout for the beginner (20min twice a week)

  • pushups: do as many as you can with good form. Then without any rest …
  • crunches: do as many as you can with good form. Then without any rest go back to pushups
  • pullups: do as many as you can with good form. Then without any rest …

Repeat the above until your 20 minutes are up. This workout is not only a great resistance training workout but its a great cardio workout as well and by the end of the 20 minutes you will be really huffing and puffing. Remember, just do as many repetitions as you can with good form. If you cant do traditional pushups with good form, then do them from your knees rather than your feet (see pushups for beginners). If you cant do good, slow pullups without swinging or jerking then do an assisted pullup – use your legs pushing off a chair to get yourself into the “up” position then lower yourself under your own power. Try to do at least 6 reps even if you have to use your legs to assist yourself up each time.

Travel workout for the intermediate and advanced bodybuilder

The travel workout for intermediate and advanced bodybuilders requires 30 minutes every day and its a repeating 4 day cycle with no rest days. You don’t need a gym or any special gear other than the 8 oz travel workout kit above and you can do this workout in a hotel room or a park. Here is the workout:

Day 1: chest and triceps. (30 min total, 30s between sets)

  • Backpack pushup
  • Basic pushup
  • Squeezing pushup
  • Extra-wide pushup
  • Hip pushup
  • … repeat …

Day 2: 30 min running or jumping rope

Day 3: lats and biceps. (30 min total, 30s between sets)

  • Pullups holding suitcase between legs
  • Underhand pullups with suitcase with suitcase held between legs
  • Narrow grip pullups
  • Alternating grip pullups
  • Ledge pullups on door
  • … repeat …

Day 4: 30 min running or jumping rope

Since we did high weight with low reps before the trip we are going to switch it up during the trip and do high rep low weight. Doing 30 minutes of exercise per day is a good tradeoff, it gives you an incredible workout in a minimum amount of time. If you really want to up the intensity, between the sets do crunches or bicycles instead of resting 30 seconds!!! Its important to note that in this int/adv travel workout you need to adapt it to what you have available. If you don’t have a backpack then skip the backpack pushups and substitute one of your favorites, try clapping pushups. The most variation will come in your lat/biceps workout depending on what kind of bar you have available. For example, if you only have a sturdy bathroom door available then you will only be able to do three kinds of pullups: ultra wide grip and normal width pullups with your nose to the door and narrow grip pullups with your nose on the edge of the door. If you only have a tree limb and your portable pullup bar setup available then you will only be able to do narrow grip pullups. Adapt the workouts as you need to but include as many variants of the exercise as you can think of.

See my complete section on keeping fit while traveling on my website!