When you’re on the go, finding the right time and physical space to get your fitness on can seem more challenging than ever. It can be especially difficult to ensure that exercise remains a part of your regular routine when you find yourself working late, traveling often, or even just changing up your schedule unexpectedly. Recent studies show that even just a few minutes of body weight resistance training a day can have a substantial positive impact on our ability to maintain our exercising habit. Couple that with the fact that it can only take two 7-minute body weight exercise repetitions to achieve noticeable results, and you have officially run out of excuses for not working out!
Have a business trip planned in the near future? Spend a few extra minutes researching good gyms or fitness classes in the area. Are you a barre enthusiast? Look up local barre studios and read reviews to see which instructors people are gushing about. Try to sign up for them as soon as you know your schedule so that you commit yourself to going and don’t chicken out last minute, suggests Mahri Relin, founder and creator of Body Conceptions, a full-body lengthening and sculpting method.
Try to book a hotel with a gym.
If you’re able to book the hotel of your choice for a work trip, include a gym—or very close proximity to a gym—as one of your requirements, says Relin. Making your gym visits part of your travel lifestyle will keep you focused on maintaining a regular exercise routine. You may even want to consider getting up earlier to fit in your workout before heading off for your long (and likely unpredictable) days.
No gym? Get creative!
If you’re traveling and staying in a hotel, use the stairs to do cardio intervals by jogging one flight, walking the next, and repeating until you reach the top. Walk back down and repeat until you’ve hit 30 minutes to boost your metabolism for the whole day, suggests Amy Clover, a celebrity fitness trainer.
Look into workouts you can stream from your laptop.
The best thing about this approach is that the options are practically endless. FitnessGlo, for example, is perfect for heavy travelers as it enables you to download each week’s worth of workouts and watch them anytime, anywhere, even without an Internet connection. Another online fitness mecca is DailyBurn, which offers a large variety of workouts from pre- and post-natal yoga to cardio dance, weight training, Pilates, and much more to be streamed from any device anywhere in the world.
When in doubt, do planks.
Don’t have much time, space, or equipment? Do planks! “I’m a big fan of the plank because it’s such a full-body exercise and can be done with so many variations, like knee taps, body circles, hand or foot reaches, hip twists, and such. Planks can be done on your hands and forearms, and your body can be parallel to the ground or propped up to the side. They can also be combined with push-ups and leg lifts,” says Relin. Give yourself 10 minutes to plunge yourself into a plank-focused workout session. Incorporate music and try filling the duration of two 3-minute songs with plank work, alternating with 2-3 minute songs’ worth of jumping jacks, running in place, or other simple cardio.
Invest in a resistance band.
Spectrum Athletic Clubs fitness trainer Matty Whitmore, who was a finalist on CBS’s “Survivor: Gabon,” recommends taking a resistance band along on the road in order to stay fit and toned when a visit to the gym isn’t possible. This will make it possible for you to do simple resistance-based workouts. Try the shoulder abduction: Standing on the center of the band, grab onto either end with your hands. Raise your arms out to your side, then upward and over your head. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. You can also give more intense positions a shot, like lunges, where you stand with your right leg forward, left leg back, and band positioned under right leg. Maintain tension on the band by bending your elbows, then lower into a lunge until both knees are at 90 degrees, front knee behind the toe. Alternate legs and repeat until you feel the burn—then keep going.