Feeling like you’re not getting enough exercise when you travel? Here are a few hotel room workouts to get keep you active on the go!
Hotel Room Workouts
Written By: Phebe Schwartz
Most of us get plenty of exercise while traveling: there’s all that walking while sightseeing, biking, hiking, swimming (and snorkeling and scuba diving), plus dancing the night away. Dedicated runners can easily slip on their running shoes and off they go.
The good news is that cardiovascular exercise is fairly easy to accomplish without any special equipment. Exercising your heart, building endurance, and working all those muscles is important.
Which is equally important for fitness–isn’t quite as easy while traveling. If you stay at hotels, there might be a fitness center with free weights or machines. But if you stay at hostels, guest houses, budget hotels, AirBnbs, or camp your way around, fitness centers and gyms may not be readily available.
“Starting in their twenties, most people (especially women) lose half a pound of muscle every year if they aren’t strength training to preserve it. After age 60, this rate of loss doubles. But regular strength training can preserve muscle throughout the lifespan, and rebuild the muscle lost.” (source: Spark People)
The simplest solution is to use your own body weight as resistance for hotel room workouts. Yes, I’m talking about pushups and situps. It’s not as much fun as hiking the Inca Trail or taking belly dancing classes, but it’s equally important.
My personal routine is to do my strength training before I’m fully awake. That way I barely notice that I’m doing 75 crunches and 100 squats. Every day.
So, a few tricks:
- First, get in a good stretch. Hold one knee at a time to your chest, count to 20, then switch knees. Or do both knees at the same time. Tightly criss-cross your arms over your head or across your chest and hold.
- Then it’s time for lying down or kneeling on knees exercises, right in bed. (I don’t trust the cleanliness of hostel or hotel floors. And I want my towel clean for my shower.)
I’m a fan of crunches, leg lifts, and other exercises that work my core and back.
Sitting or standing exercises
My next suggestion for hotel room workouts are sitting or standing exercises; these can work the upper body (wall or chair pushups are great, as are chair dips), or lower body.
I’ll admit that I do most of my standing exercises in the shower. I know, it’s a little unusual, but I know other people who do this, too. Just be sure you have secure footing.
While drying off, I do a few yoga poses for balance. A sense of balance and the ability to recover when you trip are things we tend to forget about. But especially for older adults, these skills are really important. I don’t want to break my arm at the Acropolis, as someone I know did. So, it’s balance poses every day.
Then a little more stretching (bend over to touch toes, put a foot on the wall and stretch) and I’m finished with my shower and my strength training, and I’m ready for the day.
Some people like to work one body part per day, maybe focusing on upper body (or core, or lower body) twice a week. Others prefer to work all three in different ways, each day. I aim for two or three exercises for upper, lower, and core every day.
One more thing that’s important
Our bodies get used to a routine and get complacent. In order to keep muscle strength or build more, we need to challenge those muscles, so don’t do the same exercises every single day.
Put together a few routines and switch them up from day to day. Maybe one routine for Monday and Friday, another for Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, and a third for Wednesday and Sunday. Start with maybe two sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise and aim for around ten exercises.
As you strengthen your muscles and the exercise becomes easier, you can increase the difficulty (like do a pushup at a lower height), or increase the number of repetitions.
Here are some exercises that use body weight resistance for strength training.
Arms, shoulders, upper back and chest
- Lying tricep lift
- Push ups – wall, chair, table, full push up in bed, one arm side push up, etc.
- Tricep press
- Work upper body with bridges and side planks
Torso, stomach and back
- Back extension
- Bridge, reverse bridge
- Crunches – straight leg, bent leg, no arm, bicycle, reverse crunch, etc.
- Genie sit
- Plank, side plank, modified plank
- Swimming lifts
- Yoga poses – banana, bow, cobra
Legs, tush and feet
- Calf raises
- Knee lifts – single, double, side, cross legs
- Seated or standing leg lifts
- Squats – pulsing, against a wall, regular
- Airplane or warrior pose
- Dancing Shiva pose
You can mix and match and make up routines with your favorites. Have fun with it.
What are your hotel room workouts? Post them in the comments!
For more travel fitness tips, please read:
- 3 Quick and Efficient Hotel Room Workout Routines
- 5 Smartphone Apps for Travel Fitness
- How to Stay Active While Traveling
- Fast Workouts for Travelers
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Author Bio: Phebe Schwartz started traveling at age 19 and hasn’t stopped. Retired, she and her husband are traveling the world and having the time of their lives! The plan is to have no plan, the philosophy is that where they end up is where they are meant to be. Follow their adventures: Rolling Luggagers