Travel can put a wrench in even the most disciplined person’s workout routine, but it doesn’t have to throw your efforts totally off balance. There are many ways to work out while traveling, whether you’re taking a long road trip or staying with family for the holidays.
As you prep for your journey, keep these travel workouts in mind. Here’s how you can move your body, even without weights, a lot of space, or running shoes.
Best for: No weights
If you don’t have access to any weights or exercise equipment, focus on bodyweight workouts and modifications that make them harder.
For example, a simple travel workout that covers all your major muscle groups can be as simple as doing three rounds, 12 repetitions each of the following exercises:
- Push ups
- Backward lunges
If you want to get more of a workout, however, you can keep the reps and sets the same, but step up each exercise like this:
- Jump squats
- 1-leg push-ups
- Star crunches
- Jumping lunges
- Plank jacks
- 1-leg bridge
If you struggle to come up with exercises, use FitDeck to find new exercises that will keep your body working hard while you travel. It’s the same size as a deck of cards, so it packs well and makes it easy to put together travel workouts quickly and easily.
Best for: No time
If your travel schedule is full, you may not have time for a run or a full bodyweight workout. That’s where HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, comes into play. This type of travel workout can be quick because the intensity is so high — you should be working at 80 percent of your maximum effort — which leads to higher caloric burn before and after exercise, according to the American Council on Exercise.
To write your HIIT travel workout, keep these tips in mind:
- Stick with simple exercises. The focus here is less on strength training and more on endurance and burning calories. There’s no need to push yourself with 1-leg push-ups — you’ll burn out with regular push-ups all the same.
- Remember to set both active and rest intervals. Start your active intervals at 20 or 30 seconds, with a 1:1 ratio for your rest intervals. If you want to push yourself harder, you can rest for less time than you worked, or vice versa, resting for more time than you worked. An even 1:1 is the best way to challenge yourself if you’re new to HIIT.
Best for: No motivation
If you have no motivation, it may be time to hold yourself accountable with workout videos. When you don’t have a gym, you have to do more work to come up with your routine. With a workout video, you just do what the instructor says — not to mention, it goes by faster because you’re doing less thinking and more moving.
You can pay for online subscriptions to access workout videos, or use free resources like Fitness Blender. The latter provides access to hundreds of free workout videos, ranging in duration and covering every area of the body, with full-body workouts, cardio, HIIT and more.
Do Your Sightseeing on Foot
Best for: Busy trips
When you just can’t get a single workout in — you have no time, minimal space, etc. — focus on making your day-to-day activities more mobile.
If you’re driving a lot, find ways to explore the area on foot. Perhaps you can park the car and walk through town, rather than driving from one place to the other. If you’re in a city, walk the extra 10 blocks rather than taking the subway. If you park in a lot, park furthest from the door and race to see who can reach it first.
Looking for more of a workout? Explore your current location with a run. Sometimes, you learn even more about a place by trekking through in your running shoes. Bonus: your sneakers don’t take up much space, so you can enjoy travel workouts without making any changes.
Stay Fit on the Go
Use these ideas to stay fit, no matter where you’re going or staying. Bring your shoes and explore on foot or take just 15 minutes to do a quick HIIT workout before enjoying your day. Traveling doesn’t have to stop you from working out — just adapt and keep your body moving.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.