How to Workout while Traveling! by Hayden Riley, M.S.

Whether you travel for work or for pleasure, your exercise routine can often be hindered by too much time spent in the airport, on the plane, and in a hotel. To ensure that your exercise routine doesn’t end up on the back burner, here are some helpful hints on how to stay active while traveling.

Airport: Will you be attending San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway, Dallas-Fort Worth, Burlington, Sioux Falls, Helsinki, London Heathrow, or Frankfurt Airport any time soon? If so, you’re in luck! These 9 airports are the first (of hopefully many) to add yoga rooms to one or more terminals. Yoga rooms are designed to allow travelers a time and place to relax and exercise while embarking on a typically sedentary and stressful journey. Visiting an airport that isn’t so exercise-friendly? No problem. Here are a few ways in which you can get in some physical activity while waiting for your flight!

  • Do laps around your terminal! Better yet, do a suitcase walk. Carry your suitcase in one hand and focus on contracting your core so that you remain upright despite the added weight on one side. Switch arms and perform the same distance. If possible, do this 3-5 times per side.
  • Find a staircase and climb away!
  • Find a stable object for safety and do some calf raises, leg lifts, and squats.
  • Pick that suitcase up and do some shoulder shrugs. With your suitcase in hand and down by your side, shrug your shoulders up toward your arms. Switch sides and again, do this several times per side (~15).
  • With your suitcase in hand and by your side, do some side bends to work your obliques.
  • Last but not least – stretch! Long flights and long layovers can often leave us feeling cramped and tight so why not avoid that by taking a few minutes to stretch.

Airplane: On the airplane, feel free to take some time to relax. After all, relaxing and remaining stress-free is just as important. If you are antsy or anxious on planes, like I am, then try to work out your anxiety a bit! When acceptable, get up and walk down the aisle a couple times. Can’t get up? Do some light stretches in your seat. Stretch your neck, arms and even your back with some seated twists. If you’re on a long flight it is essential to get those legs moving – do some ankle pumps, ankle circles, and seated calf raises to increase blood flow!

Hotel: Are you staying at a Westin, Omni, Even, Fairmont, Sheraton, Kimpton, or Hyatt Place hotel?  These hotels are known for being fitness friendly so you don’t have to miss your workout. Forgot your gear? No problem! Check in with the front desk because some of these great hotels will help you keep moving by allowing you to rent workout gear! Not up for the hotel gym? Again, not a problem! Here are some quick and easy workouts you can do in your hotel room with no equipment:

  • Push ups, modified push ups (on knees or against the wall)
  • Tricep dips off of a chair or bench
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Cal raises
  • Standing leg lifts (front, back, lateral)
  • Laying leg lifts (great for core!)
  • Planks
  • Hip Bridges
  • Reverse Kicks
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Squat and Lunge jumps…and so on!