The Traveler's Workout: How to Stay in Shape on the Road at Rich Man's Gym

Introduction:

How do you stay in shape when you're traveling and can't make it to the gym?

Recently, I did a Hub called "No Gym? No Equipment? No Problem!" where I reviewed four fitness programs that require no special equipment and no gym. Just a little space, time and you.

For many people, especially in the months the revolve around vacation, getting in their daily dose of exercise can quickly take a back seat to other activities. Granted vacation is a time to rest and recoup, but that doesn't mean that you get to start working down the Seven Deadly Sins checklist like a Babylonian Bachelor Party.

The other time getting in a good workout can be hard is on the road. Executives, drivers, and salespeople alike spend lots of time traveling to and fro. Most of that traveling means we spend a good deal of time on our butts.

So how do you do it?

First, we'll take a look at the problems that can arise for the traveler and then look at some solutions.

Hip Flexor
Hip Flexor

Problems:

Too much sitting can tighten your neck. Your neck holds your head up. Obvious right? Well when your neck is constantly lifting your head or your head is always slightly forward from looking at the computer or the road, it's going to get worked. So will your shoulders.

Your back. If you allow yourself to slouch or don't sit straight, your back muscles will wear out fast.

And then there's the hips. Hip Flexors to be exact.  When they tighten up from either lack of use or too much sitting, it can lead to low back pain as the pelvis gets tilted forward.

So we're gonna take a look at a few ways to loosen and stretch those different muscle areas out.

We're also going to take a look at some bodyweight exercises that you can do. Yes most Hotels now have a fitness center so you can get on a treadmill or use a weight machine, but what if you don't have that option?

Solutions:

There are a ton of stretches and exercises you can do to loosen your neck, back and hips.  These are my favorites and what works best for me.  See what you think!

Your Neck:

When your neck is stiff from sitting at the wheel, in the office, or a plane, there are a few moves I got from Super Joints and John DuCane's QiGong Recharge that have proven most effective for relieving tension in the neck.

  1. Look up. With a straight spine point your chin to the sky. Hold it there for a moment and then bring it down to touch the top of your sternum. Repeat that. Work up to a comfortable stop. It's not uncommon for some people to do up to 50 repetitions after practicing this drill for a while...
  2. Look to the Side. Turn your head to the side, keeping your spine straight. Without having an Exorcist moment, go as far as you can comfortably and then slowly go to the other side. Repeat to a comfortable stop.
  3. Ear Pull Ups. Pull your ear to the sky and push your shoulder down. Repeat that to a comfortable stop.

Your Back:

  1. Cobra Stretch or Downward Dog. Start in a push up position and then form an upside down V shape with your backside pointing towards the sky. Here you can feel a good stretch in your mid back and your shoulders and you may also feel it in your legs, calves and you might also notice tension building in your arms. Hold this for a moment and then slowly lower your hips until you strike the cobra pose you see on the right. While you are here imagine your spine getting longer. Hold for a few seconds and repeat.

Your Hips:

  1. My favorite hip stretch is the old school, take a knee hip flexor stretch.  So take a knee.  Try your right knee for now.  Keep your left leg at a 90 degree angle.  Lean into it, hold.  When you feel tension, exhale and relax into it.  You can also place your hands on the small of your back to help keep your spine straight.


Shoulder Bridge
Shoulder Bridge

Bodyweight Only Exercises for a Killer Workout:

Try this routine in a circuit to get the heart going, muscles pumping and sweat pouring...

  1. Deep Knee Bends 10-20 repetitions
  2. Push Ups 10-20 repetitions
  3. Mountain Climbers 10-20 repetitions
  4. Shoulder Bridges 10-20 repetitions

Perform 4 circuits and work your way up to 10 circuits of 20 repetitions each.

I've included a video of the Mountain Climbers, but please make sure you have a sold feel for how to perform each exercise correctly and with proper form.

Finally

Make sure that even though you're out and about, you eat smart.  Yes, if you're on vacation, enjoy yourself, but don't go crazy.  Take car of your body and your body will take care of you.  If you have to eat fast food, try to pick the smart stuff.  You know what's good for you.  If you're gonna eat something that's "bad" make sure you've earned it!

Thanks for following along, make sure to leave a comment or feel free to ask if you have a question!

Happy Traveling and all the best to stay in shape on the road!

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