5 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling
‘Tis the season to be
jolly fit! Fitness guru Erin Stern shares 5 ways to keep up your workout routine while traveling over the holidays.
Fitting in a training session while traveling over the holidays can be a challenge. But, it’s worth it to find a little time to break a sweat and get moving! A quick training session can boost metabolism, banish plane bloat, and help you adjust to a different time zone. Working out also improves quality of sleep, so you’ll be able to get your zzz’s even if it’s noisy. Here are 5 ways to train while you’re traveling:
1). Stairwell Workouts
If you’re feeling like a quick HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout, or if you’re just trying to shape your legs, stairs provide a great workout.
Option 1 - For HIIT, aim for 6-8 sprints of at least 10-30 seconds up. This should be an all-out effort. Rest for 2-4 minutes between each sprint, or until you’re fully recovered.
Option 2 - If you’re looking to shape your legs, a circuit can be a great option. Incorporate exercises like double steps, double leg hops with a squat, steps with a kickback, stair crawl, and side steps! Each circuit should be 2-3 minutes long. Rest 1 minute between circuits. Aim for 30-40 minutes total!
2). Hotel gym
If you have access to a hotel gym, you have a lot of options for training. This is the case even if the hotel gym just has a piece of cardio equipment and some dumbbells. Depending on your goals, you can create an upper body, lower body, or total body workout. You can also toss in some strategic cardio. For example, if you’re trying to lean down and train upper body, the workout may look something like this:
Start with a 5 minute warm up
Then perform the following…
1a) Dumbbell rows
1b) Dumbbell bench
1c) 1 minute fast pedal on the bike
2a) Dumbbell shoulder press
2b) Dumbbell upright row
2c) 1 minute fast pedal on the bike
3a) Diamond push ups
3b) Hammer curls
3c) 1 minute fast pedal on the bike
Keep rest between circuits short and keep workouts to 40 minutes or less. Try to choose compound movements, especially in the beginning of the workout. Compound movements will work more muscles and burn more calories!
3). Resistance Bands and Mini-Bands
Bands are lightweight and easy to pack. I take them with me whenever I travel. They can be used as a standalone workout or added to any of the workouts listed here! Bands provide constant tension on the muscles and can help you see progress, even when you don’t have access to a gym. Just like the hotel gym workout, choose your workout type. For example, if you’re training lower body, opt for compound movements. Here’s an example workout:
5 minute jog in place then…
1b) Split squats
2a) Sumo squats
3a) Goblet squat
3b) Banded glute bridges
4a) Lateral lunges
4b) Body weight Bulgarian split squats
Since the resistance is a bit lower, keep reps higher. A good rep range is 15-20. This will also keep your heart rate up!
4). Walk the city
The secret to staying fit while traveling is to just get moving. Walking, especially outside, is a great way to burn extra calories. It also encourages us to walk for a longer period of time and can promote new ideas and thoughts. It’s a great way to see the area you’re visiting, too! If you’ve already seen the city, or if it’s not walkable, try to find some hills or a park. This way, you can either do hill repeats, or step-ups, lunges, and popovers at the park!
5). Jump rope
Just like bands, a jump rope makes a lightweight and portable training partner. Toss a jump rope into your carry on, and you’ll be able to get a workout in anywhere. Try an interval workout. You can decide what ratio you’d like to work with. For example, a 1:1 ratio might be 30 seconds of fast skipping, followed by 30 seconds of rest. If you’re looking for more intensity, try a 1:4 ratio. Do double-unders or skip as fast as you can for 15 seconds, and then rest for a minute. For conditioning, you may flip the work to rest ratio. For conditioning, shoot for about 30 minutes of work and rest. For higher intensity work, around 20 minutes is great.
In addition to packing my workout gear, I always pack my PEAK ATP. It gives me more energy to finish the workout strong, even when I’m on a different time zone. Thank you for reading! Until next time, train hard and train smart, y’all!
Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia | TEAM PEAK athlete