Traveling for business or pleasure? Don’t let long trips disrupt you exercise routing. Just two to three weeks away from training will result in muscle loss.
There are simple ways to work strength training in while you’re away from home.
“One of the first things to remember is we have a functional body,” said Juan Martinez, Holistic Strength Coach and Founder of CEO, Semet Fitness. “Before commercial gyms and group fitness classes, people did calisthenics, yoga, or used their own body weight to increase their strength and improve mobility.”
Five Ways to Resistance Train While Traveling
Pushups: You don’t need equipment to do a pushup and it’s one of the most efficient exercises you can do. The movement requires more than one muscle group to work at once, which helps to improve overall strength. If you need to modify, bring your knees to the ground or do pushups on the wall. You can also change the tempo to make it harder. For example, lower yourself down in four seconds, pause for two at the bottom and come back up in three seconds.
Squats: Squats also work various muscle groups at one time and are highly effective, even without weights. You can amp up the intensity level by doing jump squats, single-leg squats, increasing the number of reps or changing the tempo. If you want to get creative and challenge yourself while working on form, stand in front of a wall or door with your nose and toes touching it. Place your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and angle your feet out slightly. Then squat down as far as you can go without losing contact with the wall. Do three sets of fifteen repetitions.
Hip Thrusts: Often, traveling requires hours of sitting. That can lead to tight hip flexors or sore lower backs. Hip thrusts can be done anywhere you have floor space and are essential to strengthening glutes, hamstrings and core muscles that can help to alleviate hip and lower back pain. You can increase the intensity with resistance bands (also easy to pack) or by propping your heels up on a chair while you are laying down on the floor.
Jump Rope: Jumping rope has stood the test of time and has proven to be one of the most efficient cardiovascular exercises. According to a study published in the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, skipping rope for ten minutes daily can result in the same cardiovascular improvements as 30 minutes of running every day. Jump ropes are easy to travel with and fit into any suitcase or backpack.
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings: If you’re staying near a beach, use what you have all around you. Fill a hotel laundry bag or plastic bag with sand and make a sandbag that you can use to add weight to your workout. You can carry it in front of you, do over the shoulder raises or put it across your shoulders and do lunges. If you are in the mountains, go for a hike. You can also ask locals whether there’s a park nearby that has calisthenics equipment, like pull up bars.
It will also take longer to gain back the muscle you lost than it did to lose it.
“The more you train, the better off you are. This doesn’t mean you are working at maximum capacity every day,” said Martinez. “You can work in mobility one day, flexibility on another. But what’s important is that you are physically active every day.”
Martinez has been training clients for a decade, including Olympic and professional athletes. “If you have a floor or wall, you can find a way to exercise. You can make it as easy or difficult as you want,” said Martinez. “Low tech training can produce high tech results.” When you travel, it’s important to keep moving and find ways to get keep your muscles strong, even if they are a lighter version of your regular exercise routine. Exercise can even help you fight jet lag, according to a recent study in The Journal of Physiology. So, don’t forget to pack your motivation, resistance bands and a jump rope.