Traveling: Simple Workouts to Stay Fit on the Road (cont.)

Hotels Warm Up to Fitness

The hotel fitness center with one squeaky exercise bike and rickety treadmill are so yesterday. Well, maybe not. Depends on where you are.

"I was just in Alice Springs, the only town of any size in central Australia, and the only gym consisted of one marginally usable stationary bike, some prehistoric weight machines, and a single dumbbell," says Schlosberg. "It pays to have a repertoire of exercises so that when you come across a situation like this, you can still create a decent workout."

Back in the U.S., there's a trend in the hospitality industry to upgrade fitness centers and pamper guests, says Lisa Ianucci, author of Healthy Travel, to be published in the spring.

Some hotels provide "fitness kits" for yoga, strength training, or Pilates. At Westin hotels, you can tune the TV to a yoga channel. "Some hotels, like Don Shula's Hotel in Florida, even have a fitness concierge who creates workshops and exercise classes for guests," says Ianucci.

Exercise in Your Room

In her book, Schlosberg presents some workouts you can do without any equipment in the space of a hotel room or guest bedroom. Here's an example:


"Stop telling yourself that you must devote an hour to exercise -- break it up into 10-minute intervals."

Warm up. Start with five minutes of light cardio exercise (try walking or jogging in place) to warm muscles and prevent injury.

Cardio exercise. Schlosberg advises doing 30 minutes of cardio exercise, which can be broken up into 10-minute bursts. Use your jump rope, or try this sequence, which you can repeat or augment with jogging in place (or in the hallway) or strength exercises:

  • Low-jump twists (20 to each side). With feet together and knees slightly bent, hop slightly and rotate your feet in one direction. On the next hop, rotate in the opposite direction. Keep your shoulders still.
  • Jumping jacks (20).
  • Wall jogs (1 minute). Stand about 2 feet from a wall and lean forward, placing your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Jog in place while you push against the wall. The higher you lift your knees, the tougher the workout.
  • Mountain climbers (25 with each foot). Place your hands on the floor or the edge of a desk or dresser. Start with your legs staggered, right foot in front of your left. Jump up and switch feet, bringing your left leg forward. Repeat, alternating feet.
  • Side shuffles (10). Using as much space as you have available, shuffle to the side, keeping your feet apart. Then reverse directions.

Strength training. When you can't get to the gym and don't have exercise tubes, do exercises that use your own body for resistance. And to save time, do multimuscle exercises, such as push-ups, which exercise your chest, triceps, and shoulders. A minimal workout would include:

  • Push-ups
  • Stomach crunches with an upper-body twist
  • Kneeling back leg extensions
  • One-legged lunges