Let’s just get one thing straight: I’m not a personal trainer, a doctor, or a coach. I’m just a person who travels a lot who also likes to fit her clothes- two things that don’t always go hand in hand. And let’s be honest, if I’m not at yoga, my actual gym workouts in NYC involve 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill and maybe some core exercises if I go to the gym at all. So I’m not here to give you a specific workout, instead, I’m going to share some sneaky ways I get in some extra movement while I’m on the road.
I find that my energy levels are consistently high when I get in short bursts of exercise throughout the day instead of all at once in the morning or evening. So incorporating a few of the exercises below whenever they’re convenient will keep you both alert and bikini-ready. Remember: this is all about convenience. The easier it is to stay in shape, the more likely you will be to reach your body goals.
1. Sit down
Well, kind of. Do a wall sit while brushing your teeth. That’s two minutes of an isometric hold in the morning, and two at night. Bring on the mini skirts!
2. Lunge, don’t walk
Lunge your way to and from the elevator or the ice machine every time you leave your room. Once you start doing this, it’ll be hard to walk down a long, empty hallway without wanting to burn a few extra calories.
3. Tread water
Being from Hawaii, I rarely pass up an opportunity to jump in the water. Treading water for a bit and getting my heart pumping always gives me a huge burst of energy. If your hotel has a pool or if you’re visiting any other body of water, spend 5-10 minutes just treading water with your legs moving as fast as they can. Too easy? Tread water with your hands up. Still too easy? Bring your elbows out of the water! The best part is, if you break a sweat, just dunk your head under water and keep going.
4. Bedtime yoga
I don’t always notice how tense my upper body is while traveling. Carrying heavy bags, looking down at maps, trying to figure out new places, that all adds to the tension I end up storing in my shoulders. This bedtime yoga routine isn’t going to slim you down, but it will relieve SO much stress and help you sleep like a baby. And we all know that better sleep means a healthier body (and often weightloss, so maybe it will slim you down after all).
5. Put your feet up
Inverted planks, or this fancy ab move by fitness goddess, Izabel Goulart, is amazing for a few reasons: it’ll build arm strength, tone your abs, and give you that blood rush to the head. There’s a reason why inversions are such an integral part of any yoga practice- they stimulate the nervous system and give you a HUGE energy boost. This move (or a handstand against the wall) is great to do when you’re jet-lagged or just plain tired.
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#BodyByIza style 👊💥 Today is your day to start fresh! To eat right! To train hard! To live healthy! To be proud! Estilo #BodyByIza 👊💥 Hoje é o seu dia para começar de novo! Para comer bem! Para treinar duro! Para viver saudável! Para se orgulhar! #paris #home #workout #focus #dedication #motivation
6. Stairs are your friend
If you only have to go up or down 1-4 floors, just take the stairs. It’s environmentally friendly and you’ll look good doing it (*wink).
7. Active Attractions
Find something fun in your area that involves physical activity. If you’re in a region famous for mountain biking, try it out! In Hawaii? Rent a surfboard! While we were roadtripping down the west coast this past summer, we spent a day sandboarding on the Oregon coast and a day wakeboarding in San Diego. There are active things to do everywhere- just ask around for some suggestions.
7. Raise it up
While you wait for your slow friends to get ready, do some calf raises on a large book, a stack of magazines, on a stair, or just on the ground. Don’t forget to stretch it out before slipping on your shoes and heading out the door.
8. Take a hike
Seeing a city, whether familiar or new, is always breathtaking when viewed from above. This, however, is something that requires you to pack real workout or hiking clothes. If you’re trying to keep your packing minimal, skip this and bring some resistance bands instead (see tip #10).
9. Walk as much as you can
This one really depends on where you’re traveling. In LA, it’s hard to walk everywhere, but when I’m home in New York, it’s pretty common to log 5 miles a day just wondering, shopping, and taking photos. A few months ago, I walked 12 miles in a single day in Paris (and I would have kept going if I didn’t have an early flight the next morning!). Almost everywhere I’ve been outside of the U.S. has been extremely walkable, so instead of taking a taxi or hiring a driver, consider taking the scenic route and exploring the city by foot.
10. Join the resistance
Resistance bands and jump ropes are the easiest pieces of workout gear to travel with, period. However, being on the lazier side, I like to get my mini-workouts done in my room and jump ropes will probably annoy the shit out of the people staying in the room/apartment below me. So resistance bands to the rescue! These things are amazing- put them on as you watch tv or sit on a plane to get in a few solid minutes of resistance training on-the-go. But be warned: resistance bands are addicting! Click here for a few resistance band moves to tighten up your booty. There are literally endless possibilities when it comes to resistance bands, so don’t worry, you won’t get bored.
11. Go for a joy ride
Using a bike to get from place to place is fast, convenient, and burns some major calories. Now that most big cities have bike share programs, riding bikes around the world has never been easier, cheaper, or safer.
Sami and I have run around playgrounds on at least three continents. There’s nothing wrong with walking by a swing set or a jungle gym and taking a 5 minute break to monkey around- your body will thank you, as will your inner kiddo.
13. Use the actual gym
You could also use the actual gym at your hotel. Just throwing that out there. I usually don’t, but every once in a while, I’ll be visiting a place (like Palm Springs…in August…in 110 degree heat) and the only option is to get my workout done in A/C.
- Resistance bands
- Jump rope
- Swimsuit that WILL NOT fall off wakeboarding, surfing, etc.
- Reef-safe sunscreen– wear it every day
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