It is no surprise that trying to make it to the gym while traveling is much harder than scheduling time to work out when you are home. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure it just never feels like you have time.
When I first started flying I set a goal to workout on every layover. However I quickly realized that there was no way I could make that happen. Most of the time I would settle into my hotel room and stay there until I had to go downstairs to meet the van the next day. This was even true when I had a long layover, sometimes 18-24 hours. If I got out of my room it was to explore a city, not to workout. This is just the nature of traveling, it is exhausting, whether you are working or not.
After a few months of flying, I knew I had to find a way to incorporate some kind of workout into my trips. It was a lot of failed attempts over a couple of years. I would drag myself to the gym, unsure of the equipment just to end up on the treadmill or the elliptical watching something on my iPad to pass the time. I even tried workout apps as well as workout routines I found on Pinterest, but I still was not able to make it more than just an occasional attempt.
However, I eventually got pretty comfortable working out while I was traveling and it all started with setting a realistic goal. I learned that there was no way I could workout on every overnight layover. Some of them were only long enough for me to sleep. Instead, I told myself I would get a workout in at least once while traveling. I could usually get two in but the goal of one was attainable. Start small.
Next I had to figure out how to work out when I couldn’t fathom leaving my bed. Since I teach Pilates when I am not living in the sky, I had a little arsenal of knowledge built up. I decided to take my Pilates knowledge and turn it into a quick full body hotel room workout. I was definitely going to work out more if I didn’t even have to put shoes on!
The key to this workout routine is to change up the order of these exercises and vary the number of times you repeat the circuit. This makes it easy to get the same workout in a few days in a row without getting bored.
You can start with a quick 2-times rotation then do it 3 or 4 times on another day of your travels!
My Foolproof Travel Workout Routine
This travel workout routine consists of 4 moves and can be quick and efficient or long and exhausting. It all depends on how much time you have and what you want to get out of it.
Below is a breakdown of the 4 moves as well as 3 routine variations using each move.
Plank : 30/45/60 seconds
Place your hands on the floor and step your feet back creating a table like surface with your back. Shoulders stack over your wrists, press your bra strap up towards the ceiling, lift your core up and in (like someone is tightening a corset above you) squeeze your legs together and flex your heels back.
You can modify by dropping your knees, just keep your hips in front of your knees.
Hold here for 30 seconds, then 45, then 60. Increasing the time with each rotation through your circuit.
Mountain Climbers : 30/45/60 seconds
Find that plank form then take the opposite knee to the opposite elbow. Bonus Points: pick up the pace and run it out.
You can also take the same knee to the same elbow to switch it up and get your obliques fired up.
Squat Kick : 10/15/20 reps
Standing up straight, tuck your tailbone under to remove the curve through your low back. Step your feet hips distance apart, keeping your feet parallel, sit down and back finding a squat position. When you stand up press your hips forward squeezing your glutes.
Next, kick one leg out, bring it back to hips distance, squat and repeat on the other side.
Bed Push-ups : 10/15/20 reps
Find a plank position off your bed or table in your hotel room. From there bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle bringing your chest towards the bed/table.
In addition to this travel workout routine, another great way to get a workout in while traveling, is doing a little yoga. I love looking up “bed yoga” on Pinterest and do a little yoga sequence before heading to bed.
Working out while traveling is hard enough, so remember to give yourself some grace. I always tell my Pilates clients to do what their body needs. The same rule applies here. Just do what you need and what feels good. Even if you go a whole trip without so much as a little jog to the elevator, it’s okay!
Some days we are strong and sometimes we just need to crawl into that crisp white hotel bed and binge some Netflix.
Blyss is just a 20 something girl who likes champagne and tequila, loves a good book, and a hard Pilates class, who is trying to figure out how to adult one life lesson at a time. Catch her if you can because she spends most of her time amazing adventures all over the world.