Maintaining a consistent workout routine can be challenging in the fast-paced world of business travel. Long flights, busy schedules, and unfamiliar environments can make finding time for health and fitness needs difficult. 

However, with some creativity and flexibility, it's possible to stay active even when you're constantly on the move. In this article, we'll explore some effective and easy workout principles tailored for the busy professional who travels frequently for work. Combine any combination of these strategies to keep your workouts fresh and even more effective while on the go.

 Tips for Exercising When You're Always On the Road for Work

Bodyweight Exercises

One of the most convenient ways to stay fit on the road is by incorporating bodyweight exercises into your routine. These exercises require no equipment and can be done in the comfort of your hotel room. Include movements like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks to engage multiple muscle groups and boost your metabolism.


HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT workouts are a time-efficient way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular fitness. These sessions involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods. The rest period is always shorter than your ‘work’ time, so your heart rate can never fully recover. 

You can create a quick and effective HIIT workout by combining exercises like jumping jacks, burpees, and mountain climbers. Just 15-20 minutes of HIIT can provide a powerful workout, making it ideal for the time-strapped traveler.

You can ramp up these workouts even more by incorporating active rests between cardio-intense movements. Active rest exercises should recruit larger muscle groups, so think planks, body weight squats, back lunges, push-ups, or Russian twists.

Here is an example of a 10-minute routine with active rests that will have you sweating and your heart pumping without leaving your hotel room:

  1. Burpees - 30 seconds
  2. Mountain climbers - 30 seconds
  3. Jumping jacks - 30 seconds
  4. High Knees - 30 seconds
  5. (Active Rest) Plank - 1 minute
  6. Burpees - 30 seconds
  7. Mountain climbers - 30 seconds
  8. Jumping jacks - 30 seconds
  9. High Knees - 30 seconds
  10. (Active Rest) Body weight squats - 30 seconds
  11. (Active Rest) Alternating back lunges - 30 seconds
  12. Burpees - 30 seconds
  13. Mountain climbers - 30 seconds
  14. Jumping jacks - 30 seconds
  15. High Knees - 30 seconds
  16. (Active Rest) Russian twist - 30 seconds
  17. (Active Rest) Plank - 30 seconds

When you're done, cool down properly with a light walk (up and down the hallway?) or stretch.


Resistance Bands

Compact and lightweight, resistance bands are an excellent addition to your travel fitness toolkit. They take up minimal space in your luggage and can add resistance to various exercises, providing a challenging workout for both the upper and lower body. Exercises like shoulder presses, lateral raises, and leg presses can be easily adapted to include resistance bands.


Cardio Options

When it comes to cardio, think beyond the traditional treadmill. Explore your surroundings by jogging or walking briskly in a nearby park. If outdoor options are limited, consider using the stairs in your hotel for a heart-pumping stair workout. Alternatively, a jump rope is a portable and effective tool for a quick cardio session.


Yoga and Stretching

Traveling can take a toll on your muscles and joints, making stretching an essential part of your fitness routine. Yoga is an excellent choice, offering a combination of strength, flexibility, and relaxation.

If your job requires you to sit often and for long periods of time, incorporate hip stretches that open up the pelvis and relieve tension in the lower back. Just 10 minutes of core-focused stretching can do wonders for alleviating work-related lower back pain and even stress.

YouTube is a great place to find free yoga and stretching videos and tutorials. If you want something a bit more consistent to track and save your sessions, it may be worth investing in an Alo Moves or Peloton membership—especially if travel is a consistent part of your life.

(P.S. We aren't affiliated with either service, but they've been tried and loved by WAG Coaches!). 


Utilizing a Hotel Gym

Take advantage of the fitness facilities offered by your hotel. Most hotels have basic gym facilities, including cardio machines and free weights. Plan your workouts around the available equipment, incorporating cardiovascular exercises and strength training. 

When you can access dumbbells that are not as heavy as you’re used to, elevate your workout by adding sprints on the treadmill or burpees as an active rest exercise.


Change The Tempo

Adjusting the tempo of a familiar exercise like squats or pushups can challenge your muscles in a new way. It is effective with exercises that begin with the eccentric part of the movement, like squats, lunges, and pushups. A simple tempo to follow is 4-2-1-1: 

Lower for a 4 count; hold at the bottom for a 2 count; contract powerfully for a 1 count; pause at the top for a 1 count and repeat each rep. 

Staying fit while constantly on the move for work requires adaptability and a commitment to prioritizing health. Incorporating these easy and versatile workout principles into your travel routine allows you to maintain your fitness levels and improve your overall well-being.  Remember, even short bursts of exercise can have a positive impact.

However, that is only part of the fitness equation. Eating on the go can often hinder our efforts towards overall wellness. Use our free Travel Nutrition Guide to learn the ins and outs of healthy eating on the go. 

Find what works for you and make it a regular part of your travel routine. Your body and mind will thank you for it!