Don’t Let Travel Derail Your Fitness Efforts. Here’s How.

If you are soon destined for a vacation, particularly if it requires wearing a swimsuit, chances are that you have devoted plenty of hard work to looking your best in that suit. However, don’t let the vacation itself wipe all of your efforts away. Consider instead how amazing it would feel to come home afterwards feeling no guilt over losing that swimsuit-ready body that you worked so hard to achieve.

Finding time to exercise when not at home in your regular routine is key. It also keeps your mind free to decompress from all the activities and stress of travel. It is important to make a commitment while on vacation to find the time to exercise – eliminate excuses. It could be as simple as 30-45 minutes first thing in the morning while everyone else is still snoozing or 30 minutes before each shower and dinner in the evening. Regardless of how you schedule it, keeping some regularity will increase your energy levels and have you feeling good. If you can stick with your routine while traveling, you will also have no problem getting back into the groove when you return home.

If you are fortunate to have a fully equipped hotel gym, you can easily perform all of your standard workouts. If the hotel only has cardio equipment, you will need to be a bit more creative on some days. There are countless alternatives as well. Maybe you are staying on a boardwalk by the beach or somewhere else with beautiful scenery. Take advantage of this and do some movements outside while enjoying a view that you don’t see at home. Many hotels have running maps for the area. I have taken advantage of that often and added a GPS watch to track my distance and pace, which makes it more fun.

With a little effort, you can find many websites, YouTube videos, books, and apps to see a wide variety of exercises you can even do from your room with little or no equipment. There are also some simple items you can purchase and take with you to help. Top items I have bought and packed based on my needs include: resistance bands, loop bands, agility ladder, jump rope, TRX, sliders, lateral resistor, 2-pound dumbbells, and an abdominal roller. Any one of these can add to your routine on the road.

You can even use items in the hotel room and the hotel itself. Here is an example of a routine I use as one of my favorite things to do:

Hotel towels: Numerous exercises performed in a “quick-style” method while holding a hand towel tight will give you one of the harder workouts you can experience…promise!

Books in the room: Stack them evenly on the floor and “pull” yourself down into an isometric push-up hold for 2-5 minutes.

Wall: When done correctly, a wall squat/sit can give you an amazing burn. Challenge yourself to see how long you can hold the position at thighs just below parallel, and then increase that duration with each time you exercise, or try holding yourself up with just one leg.

Desk chair: Use this to perform dips, elevate your feet for pushups, or do side planks.

Hallways: Any hallway works. Just make sure you feel safe. You can mix it up all you want: walking lunges any which way (add the SKLZ Lateral Resistor ( to make it more impactful), pop squats, leap frogs, bear crawls, etc.

Staircases: Again, make sure you feel you are in a safe environment and preferably with someone. Find a staircase on the premises or in the stairwell if there are many floors where you are staying. Run the staircase up, or even bunny hop, and then feel free to take the elevator down for a breather and then do it all over again.

There are truly no excuses when you examine the numerous body weight exercises that can be done while on vacation (See Plyo Workout below). Most people underestimate the intensity of what just using their own body can do. If you have avoided trying these types of exercises, try it as a change-up and see what a great full body workout it is in a short amount of time.

If you are like me, you’re seeking a vacation with lots of activities that get the body moving. Often though, we find ourselves being a part of the more sedentary relaxing vacation of lounge chairs and huge meals. In that case you’ll want to find ways to add some movement in when possible. Here are some simple ideas to sneak it in:

Move at the airport. If you happen to whip through the TSA lanes fast or have a layover, walk around and explore the sights and sounds of the airport.

Take a break from sitting. For example, if you are on the beach soaking up the sun all day, for every hour that you bask in the glow, get up and stroll around for 10 minutes. You can even go out and tread water in the ocean or pool to burn some calories. For a real challenge, try running on the sand. It is one tough cardio workout!

Park further away. Or even be dropped off by the cab a block away. This gives you a chance to gain some valuable extra steps in burning more calories.

Relax at the end of your day before going to bed. Yoga moves can help here. Calming your mind and body before bed will help you get a better night’s sleep and wake up with more energy for the next day.

Do Your Plyos
Here is an example of one of many body weight workouts you can do anywhere:

  • Burpees
  • Plank to Pushups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Skater Squats
  • Russian Lunges
  • Sissy Squats
  • Jump Squats
  • Donkey Kick
  • Superman
  • Side Plank

1st round – 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
2nd round – 35 seconds work, 25 seconds rest
3rd round – 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest
4th round – 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest
5th round – 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
6th round – 55 seconds work, 5 seconds rest

By Kelly Patrick