The 20 minute travel workout that will help you stay fit when you can’t get to the gym
Traveling can make it hard to keep up with your exercise routine, so here’s a 20 minute travel workout that will help you stay fit when you can’t get to the gym.
Whether you’re hauling bags through terminals, sitting for hours and hours on a plane or bus, or sleeping in different (and sometimes uncomfortable) beds – the toll that traveling can take on your body is significant. It’s not uncommon for frequent travelers to experience back and neck pain, or to return home carrying a few extra pounds with which to contend.
Some hotels have gym areas, but not all do. Further, quality and availability of equipment can vary greatly. Add to that the fact that you’re usually away from a kitchen, are probably eating (delicious) calorie-packed foods, and are totally out of your normal routine, and it’s easy to see why so many travelers return from trips feeling a little sore, and maybe a lot less healthy.
So how do you stay healthy and pain-free while away from home?
The thing is, we tend to make working out an event. If you belong to a gym or studio, you pack your bag, drive there, find your locker, get dressed, go to a class or do your workout. You might shower afterwards if you have somewhere to go directly. All of this takes time. Our workouts start to feel like a 2-hour commitment, because that’s what we do when we’re at home and have that time available.
The truth? You can work out your whole body in about 20 minutes, anywhere, with zero exercise equipment.
All you really need is your own body to provide the resistance, and the bag you brought with you. Fitness expert Steve Kamb has developed a 2-step hotel room workout that you can take anywhere (even outside!), and that you can modify as you progress.
So without further ado, here’s the 20 minute travel workout that will help you stay fit when you can’t get to the gym:
Step 1: Warm up (3-4 minutes)
Get your core temperature warmed up, get blood flowing, and loosen up muscles by doing the following in rapid succession:
- 25 jumping jacks
- 15 body weight squats
- 10 push ups
- 10 lunges (each leg)
- 10 hip raises
- 25 more jumping jacks
Step 2: Work the circuit (15 minutes)
Now set a timer for 15 minutes. Go through these exercises as many times as you can in succession until the timer goes off. Try to do it without breaks — although it’s fine to build up to that over time. The most important thing is to keep proper form for each exercise, even if you can’t do all of them, or if you need to take a break:
- 20 Body Weight Squats (see this guide for the best form)
- 15 Incline Push Ups (see this guide, and have your feet on the floor and your hands on the edge of your bed or desk)
- 10 One-Arm Luggage Rows for Each Arm (see this guide, and use your suitcase, carry on, or backpack as your weight)
- 10 Reverse Crunches (here is a helpful video for doing this while protecting your lower back and strengthening your core)
And…that’s it. 20 minutes, and you’re done. Finish up with a few minutes of stretching and deep breathing, and you’ll be set. Imagine the difference that doing that even just three times a week would make on your sense of well-being during your next vacation!
What would it be like to come back from vacation stronger and in better shape than when you left?
Some travelers take on this challenge when they go on extended vacations. It’s been done — people do this routine on the beach at sunset, in beautiful parks, in the hotel gym. Once it’s just part of your travel routine, you’ll find all kinds of new (and sometimes hilarious) places to take 20 minutes to care for yourself.