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3 Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

November 05, 2018

Staying in shape whilst traveling can be tough, luckily there are some work arounds! We've listed them below:


3 Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

1. Isometrics

Isometrics are one of my favourite keep fit approaches at home and away because you don't have to go anywhere, it doesn't require any equipment, and it is super for keeping those muscles toned.

The short version of Isometrics is that they are a "type of strength training whereby the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. They are done in static positions, rather than being dynamic through a range of motion."


Translation: You are basically exerting pressure against your body from your own body to exercise instead of exercising by moving your joints and thus your muscles.


There's two key approaches to Isometric exercises

  1. Static – where muscles are tensed and you tighten your whole body
  2. Yielding – where you contract against a weight or resistance that slowly forces an eccentric contraction

Breathing is key to isometrics, so do not ignore proper technique for this as Todd Kuslikis has defined:

  1. Sipping Breath
  2. Long Breath — slowly breath in filling your diaphragm
  3. Long Sipping Breath
3 Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling


Also, be careful! Just because you're not lifting iron weights or going flat out on a machine doesn't mean you can't hurt yourself. If you slip or lose grip you will find out just how much force you are exerting.

Bottom line, you may look like your having a serious argument with yourself if someone walks in on you doing isometric exercise but trust me, it's great!



2. Hotel gyms

Keeping fit is now a common part of everyday life for millions of people and hotels have recognised they need to keep pace with the times. Whether you're a regular business traveller, away for a couple of days or on vacation at some fancy resort, chances are there's a gym where you're staying.

The nice thing is these gyms typically have something for everyone. Heavy iron plates for the powerlifters, shiny dumbbells for everyone, machines that look like torture instruments and nice rubbery mats for the yoga set. It's all there and I've always looked at a new gym as a chance to try out new routines and exercise with equipment I haven't used before. 

3 Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

What I'm saying is is too easy to get stuck in a rut..

(Call it a your routine if your still happy with it) at your regular gym or fitness studio. So here's your chance to try something new! Perhaps your old gym has never had a rowing machine. Well, here's your chance. Or maybe they don't have a good leg press machine, well, here's your chance.

My point is that you need to embrace the different surroundings of your temporary gym and make the most of it.


3. Calisthenics

Jumping jacks, are you for real? Well, yes actually. You see there's a reason they taught you all those exercises in gym class back in elementary school. It's because they work, and like walking or isometrics, require no equipment, can be done easily, anywhere (well almost, but we'll get to that) and are a great way to start the day.

Also, how do you think the military keep fit? Calisthenics are a huge part of their exercise programme and I figure since we're not in elementary school here we should aim high. So let's outline some of the USMC physical fitness test (PFT) requirements as your target level of achievement.


Note: This is setting the highest benchmark here so remember, be realistic of your abilities as these targets are to achieve the max score on the PFT!


3 Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling


  • Lie flat on your back with shoulder blades touching the deck, knees will be bent, and both feet will be flat on the deck. 
  • Arms will be folded across the chest or rib cage with no gap existing between the arms and chest/rib cage.
  • A single repetition consists of raising the upper body from the starting position until both forearms or elbows simultaneously touch the thighs, and then returning to the starting position with the shoulder blades touching the deck. 
  • An assistant / counter may be used to hold your legs or feet.
  • Targets for max points:
    • Men: 110 reps (no time limit; 21-25 yr old)
    • Women:  Men 105 reps (no time limit; 21-25 yr old)

Pull Ups

  • Execute as many accurate and complete pull-ups before dropping off the bar. (No time limit)
  • The bar must be grasped with both palms facing either forward or to the rear.
  • No bringing knees up horizontal to waist. 
  • One repetition consists of raising the body with the arms until the chin is above the bar, and then lowering the body until the arms are fully extended.  
  • Targets for max points:
    • Men: 23 reps (no time limit; 21-25 yr old)
    • Women:  9 reps (no time limit; 21-25 year old)

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Jumping Jacks 

  • Although not part of PFT I figured it would be useful to add this exercise because it's great for overall cardio, balance and fitness.
  • A word of caution, watch out for ceiling fans.
  • If you can't remember how to do them then go back to elementary school.
  • Our Target: 200 ( in 3 minutes)


Push Ups

  •  Assume the front-leaning rest position by placing your hands where they are comfortable for you with your feet together or up to 12 inches apart.
  • When viewed from the side, your body should form a generally straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  • Begin the push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your entire body as a single unit until your upper arms are at least parallel to the ground.
  • Return to the starting position by raising your entire body until your arms are fully extended. Your body must remain rigid in a generally straight line and move as a unit while performing each repetition. 
  • Targets for max points:
    • Men: 87 reps (no time limit; 21-25 yr old)
    • Women: 48 reps (no time limit; 21-25 year old)


    Here's a link to the current USMC PFT/CFT requirements with all the requirements for different ages:

    So there you have it, there's loads of ways to keep fit while on the road! Admittedly, I got a bit carried away with the Calisthenics but that's probably because I consider it to be the foundation to working out without any equipment if your not staying in some fancy hotel with a gym.



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