Don’t have time to go to the gym? Don’t like the gym? I’m sure I don’t need to lecture you on how important it is to stay active, especially around exams! The experts suggest 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day to keep that heart and brain happy! So here are 7 easy exercises you can do in your own room or in any small space.


1. High knees

Standing, raise one knee to 90 degrees, as that knee goes down raise the other knee. Once you have the hang of it, increase your speed. Make sure you’re using those arms! You can do this in reps (10–15) and sets (3) or you can do it for time (2–5 minutes). Make sure you break a sweat and you get your heart rate up! To increase the intensity increase your speed!

2. Standing mountain climbers

This is similar to high knees expect you’re going to work your arms at the same time. Doing mountain climbers standing up really helps if you’re in a limited space. As you’re standing, raise one knee and raise the opposite arm in the air. Then switch knees and arms and increase your speed. It’s just like doing high knees while punching the air with your opposite arm. Again you can do this in reps (15–20) and sets (3) or for a time (2–5 minutes). You can increase your intensity by increasing your speed.

3. Jump squats

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Sit back into a squat (keep your back straight and make sure you can see your big toe) and then jump up as high as you can and repeat going back into a squat. I’m not going to lie: these are a little rough for me, but the pain means it’s good, right? Even a few of these and you’ll feel your quads working and your heart pounding! You can do reps (5–10) and sets (3) or time it (1–3 minutes).

4. T push-ups

This is just a simple push-up with a twist. Go down into your push-up (keep your back straight) and then as you come all the way up, shift your weight to the right side and lift your left arm and twist by reaching your left arm up and make a ‘T’. Repeat with opposite arm. You can do this with reps (3–5) with sets (3) or time it (1–3 minutes).

5. Leg lifts

Laying on your back with your legs together and your arms down by your side, slowly lift your legs at your hips (really try to keep your legs straight and engage your core) to 90 degrees. Then slowly come back down without your feet touching the floor. You can do this in reps (3–5) with sets (3) or time it (1–3 minutes). Really make sure you’re engaging your core!

6. Plank

This is a great exercise! Who doesn’t like plank? Get on your hands and knees with your forearms out in front of you, shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs so you’re balanced on your toes. The key to this is to really engage your core and make sure your back is straight. If you’re having trouble, try putting a bottle of water on your back so that if you slump or hump, the water bottle will fall. You can do this for as long as you like as long as your form is good, but we recommend 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Tip: to make this harder try lifting the opposite arm and leg to really work your core.

7. Bird dog

Get on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. You’re then going to lift your right arm and your left leg at the same time, and then switch arms and legs. You can do this for a time (1–3 minutes) or reps (5–10) and sets (3).

8. Corpse (savasana)

Lie on your back with your legs extended in front of you and have your arms palms up at your side. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Today you exercised. Good job! Take this time to be proud of yourself and relax your heart rate.

Always remember to do some stretches! Touch your toes, sit down and extend one leg and reach for your foot, go into a lunge, put your toes up against a wall to stretch your calf muscles.

You can do any of these as workouts: pick a few or do them as a circuit. The reps, sets, and timing are just suggestions. Do what you can. You know your body the best. As long as you got your heart pumping and tried to push yourself a little bit, you did a good thing!

Kauri Dahl

Kauri’s major is in kinesiology, so you should believe her when she tells you about the benefits of exercising!

Discover more at-home workouts at CosmoBody, the new fitness and lifestyle video channel.

You don’t need much space to get an awesome workout. Which is a good thing, considering most dorm rooms have just enough floor space for your bed and — wait, that’s all. Grab your desk chair, and complete each of these compact moves from CosmoBody trainer Adam Rosante back-to-back. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat two more times for a full-body workout.

1. Air Squats

Stand with heels shoulders-width apart and toes turned out slightly. Open up your chest and pull the shoulders down your back. Sit your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the ground, extending your arms straight out and bringing your hands together at shoulder level as you near the ground. Push through your heels to stand as you release your hands along your sides and squeeze your butt at the top. Do 10 reps.


2. Push-Up Jacks

Get into push-up position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your feet together. Hop both feet apart, then hop them back together. Keeping your body in one straight line between your head and your heels, brace your core as you bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor. (If that’s not happening, bring your knees down to the floor, cross your ankles, raise your heels to come off your kneecaps, and do a modified push-up). Press up to starting position. That’s one rep. Do 10.


3. Bulgarian Split Squats

Push the chair against the wall so the seat is facing forward and your back is facing the seat. Stand far enough in front of it to put the top of your left foot on the chair. Keeping your front knee behind your toes, sink straight down until your standing thigh is parallel to the floor. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps, then switch legs and do 10 more.


4. Bicep Chair Curls

Stand behind your desk chair with your feet hips-width apart. Grab both sides of the chair so your palms face each other. Lock your elbows at your sides, roll your shoulders back, and bend your elbows to lift the chair up. With control and without dropping the chair to the floor, lower it back to starting position. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps.


5. Forearm Plank

Get into plank position with your forearms on the ground. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders and your hands locked together. Keeping your gaze down, push out through the heels and engage your core to keep your body in a straight line between your head and your heels. Hold for 30 seconds.


Pin the tutorial to try it later:

Lauren Ahn

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter.

Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.

Gradyreese, Getty Images; Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

Ah, the elusive hotel room workout! Whether you’re packing up for business or pleasure, travel has a tendency to throw off the fitness routines of even the most dedicated gym-goers. Of course taking a few days off is OK, too—you probably won’t see a huge drop in your gains after missing just a few training sessions. But if you do want to squeeze in a workout while on the road, these routines are designed to done in small spaces and with minimal equipment. Even better? You’ll be done in 20 minutes or less.

1. Mix and match these bodyweight moves for a custom small-space workout.

Choose from upper body, core, lower body, and cardio-focused moves—or try ’em all. And here’s your workout plan: pick six of the moves demonstrated in the video, do the first one for 30 seconds then rest for 10 seconds and move on to the second move. Do this until you complete all six moves. Rest for one minute, then repeat the circuit one to two more times.

2. Mentally escape to this beach while getting your cardio sweat on.

Repeat this five-minute circuit three times for a 15-minute running-free cardio workout. Or do it up to five times if you’re feeling like an overachiever.

3. This cardio workout is low-impact and extra-quiet for your downstairs hotel neighbors.

Moves like the “quiet burpee” will get your heart rate up and the side lunge twist will really work your core. The whole routine will only take you eight minutes to complete so you’ll be back to your travel itinerary ASAP.

4. Grab a sturdy hotel room chair for this total-body strength workout.

You can also use the edge of your bed if there’s not a chair available.

5. Or, if you packed your resistance band, try this full-body strength routine.

Accessories like jump ropes and resistance bands are super light and portable, so make them the first thing you toss in your suitcase before you leave. No excuses, right?!

6. If you want a yoga flow, this quick sequence will work your muscles and help get you centered in unfamiliar surroundings.

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, right? A rise and shine yoga workout will bring you some calm while fitting in a workout.

7. This barre-inspired workout is focusing entirely on your abs.

Upper abs, lower abs, obliques…you’ll work them all in this 10-minute routines.

8. The burn in this HIIT cardio workout is SO real.

You’ll do each move for 50 seconds, then you have a 10 second break to recover before moving on to the next exercise so prepare to work up a serious sweat.

Want to stay in shape on vacation without having to spend half your morning at the hotel gym? With this hotel room workout exercise routine, all you need is 20 minutes to get a full-body workout. And best of all, you don’t need any gym equipment, so you can leave your yoga mat at home.

Watch the video here, and then scroll down to find details on the number of reps and a breakdown of how to do each exercise.

5-Minute Hotel Room Workout Warm-up:

1. Jumping Jacks (60-seconds)

2. High Knees (60-seconds)

3. Leg Swings (30-seconds each)

4. Arm Swings (30-seconds)

5. Shoulder Circles (30-seconds each)

6. Core Twists (30-seconds)

10 Hotel Room Workout Exercises:

Recommended: Two to three sets of 12 for each

1. Push-Ups: (works biceps, chest, core, shoulders and triceps)

Steps: Place your hands on the floor to line up with your shoulders and move into a plank position. Keeping your back flat and core tight, lower down and up.

Modified Push Up: Place your knees on the floor, and follow the same steps.

2. Tricep Dips: (works chest, deltoids, triceps, and upper back)

Steps: Place your hands at the edge of a chair or bed shoulder-width apart, with your feet out in front of you. Keeping your back straight, bend your elbows back until they reach a 90-degree angle, and then raise up by fully extending your arms.

Modified Tricep Dip: Sit on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Place your arms directly behind you, and bend from the elbow to dip backward and up.

3. Single-Leg Stand (works core, glutes, hamstrings and quads)

Steps: Sit on a chair with both feet on the floor. Elevate one leg, and lean forward using your working leg and core to stand up. Sit back down and repeat.

Modified Leg Stand: Using your core strength, stand up with both legs then sit back down and repeat.<

4. Squats (works core, glutes, hamstrings and quads)

Steps: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lower down until your hips and knees are parallel, then come up and repeat.

Modification (45-Degree Wall Sit): Place your back against the wall and slide down to a 45-degree angle, keeping your knees and feet aligned. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

5. Hip Hinge (works core and lower back)

Steps: Stand with your hands on your hips, feet hip-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat and core tight, slowly lower your upper body down and up.

Modified Hip Hinge: Sit on a chair or bed with both feet on the floor, and follow the same steps.

6. Leg Lifts, Front, Back, & Side (works core, glutes, and hip flexors)

Steps: Stand up with your back straight and core tight. Raise one leg straight out in front of you to a 45-to-90-degree angle, then bring it back down. Hold onto an object for balance if needed. After one set repeat exercise to the side, and then to the back. Adjust the height of the leg lift to modify.

7. Standing Bicycle Crunch (works core and obliques)

Steps: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, fingertips behind your head, and elbows pointing outward, in line with your shoulders. Bring your right leg up and twist the left side of your body to the right, bringing your opposing knee and elbow together at the torso. Continue by alternating sides.

Modified Bicycle Crunch: Place one hand against the wall for balance and do a set on one side before switching.

8. Plank (works core and lower back)

Steps: Go into a push-up position, or, bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms, keeping your back flat and core tight. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Modified Plank: Follow the same steps, only this time with your knees touching the floor.

9. Side Plank (works core and obliques)

Steps: Lie on your side with your body in a straight line. Extend your forearm out, with your elbow lined up slightly below your shoulder. Keeping your hips square and your neck in line with your spine, push yourself up so that your palm is supporting your weight. Hold for 30 seconds and lower, then switch sides.

Modified Side Plank: Follow the same steps using your forearm to hold yourself up.

10. Heel Raises (works calves)

Steps: Raise your heels off the floor while keeping your knees straight. Hold, and then lower your heels to the floor.

What to Wear While Working Out on Vacation

Women’s Amazon-Based Comfy Outfit for a Flight 2

  • How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
  • 13 Things You Need to Pack for an Active Vacation
  • 12 Superfoods That Will Keep You Healthy While Traveling

This video was filmed at the Nine Zero Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.

Olivia Briggs loves to work out on vacation. To see more by Olivia, follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

3 Quick and Efficient Hotel Room Workout Routines

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Well, it’s that time of year again. February rolls around, and we are all trying to stay on track with those New Year’s resolutions to stay active. As our initial motivation starts to wane, nothing can derail our fitness plans more than a little travel time. Without the comfort, and stability of home, our daily exercise regime can fall by the wayside.

Well, my friends, I am here to tell you that traveling doesn’t have a stand in the way of our fitness plans. In fact, adding a hotel room workout routine is the perfect opportunity to add a little spice to your trip. The only supplies needed are a pair of runners, a hotel room, and a plan.

Check out these fast, and effective hotel room workouts that allow you to stick to your fitness goals, while still being able to enjoy your travel time.

Hotel Room Workout 1

Tabata or High Intensity Interval Training, is a perfect workout for travelers. Not only can it be done with no equipment, but it will keep you burning calories long after your workout is done.

The process for Tabata is simple. Make a list of 8-10 high intensity exercises, like burpees, or jumping jacks. Start with the first exercise, and engage in 20 seconds of intense movement, then take a 10 second break.

Repeat this process for 8 rounds. Once your eight rounds are up, rest for one minute, and then move on to the next exercise in your circuit.

To make life even easier, download a Tabata Timer app on your phone. The timer will beep whenever you need to stop, and start, so you don’t even have to look at the clock.

The above is one of my favorite Tabata combinations. Your workout will be over before you know it, and you’re guaranteed to be a sweaty mess.

Hotel Room Workout 2

The Hot One Hundred workout is one of my favorites. It’s easy to prepare for, and every time you do it it’s different.

Just pick 10 exercises, and complete each one 100 times. Break up the moves into manageable sets, and do them in whatever order you want, ex: 5 burpees, 10 bicep curls, 15 dips etc… I usually keep a note pad handy and jot down my progress as I go.

I like to mix it up by choosing exercises that focus on different muscle groups. This combination is one of my go to workouts when on the road.

Hotel Room Workout 3

Hotel room workout routines aren’t all about cardio either. You can create an effective strength training plan using items you find around your room.

Hotels often sell big bottles of water near the minibar. These make great weights for bicep curls or tricep extensions. Chairs in hotel rooms are great for step ups or incline pushups. Be creative with your environment, I’ve even been known to do feet taps on the bathtub.

The Muscle Maximizer is a great full body strength training routine, with a little bit of cardio mixed in to keep your heart rate up. Use the tools around you to add resistance as needed.

So there you have it. The next time you are faced with the dilemma of exercising while you travel, lace up those runners, and look no further than these hotel room workout routines. A fast, efficient, and fun workout is right at your fingertips.

For more tips on fitness travel clothing ideas, please read:

  • 10 Best Leggings for Travel
  • Adea Bra Friendly Camisole Tops Review
  • Gift Ideas for Active Travelers

Author Bio: Kate Zealand is a self-proclaimed “Beauty Guru Turned Backpacker.” She is passionate about staying healthy and feeling beautiful while traveling. Kate is currently on a five month backpacking trek through Costa Rica with her husband, Shaun. Follow Kate’s adventures on her blog

Ever said, “I’d love to get in shape, but I travel too much?”

If so, this guide is for you!

Today we’re gonna teach you exactly how to get fit no matter what type of business trip you’re on.

We’ll cover:

  • 5 Quick Travel Workouts (no equipment required).
  • How to eat healthy while traveling.
  • What are some of the healthiest fast food options?
  • How do I eat a healthy continental breakfast?
  • How to make exercise on the road a priority.
  • How to overcome jet lag (and other tips)

It’s time to get you a specific action plan that you can take with you on your next trip.

This is the philosophy we teach to all of our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Clients. Many travel quite a bit, so having “worldwide accountability” and a specific plan for travel has been a game changer for these Rebels.

Are you trying to learn a new exercise, lose weight, or build muscle, but find doing it on the road a challenge? Let us help you – click below to learn more.

5 Travel Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Without access to your favorite gym, it can seem like you are doomed to remain sedentary until you get back home.

Have no fear! These 5 workouts you can do anywhere and at anytime!


Set the alarm clock to 15 minutes from now and see how many circuits you can do!


No gym required for this workout!

If you have a body, you can do this circuit! If you’re a brain floating in a jar, email me. I’ll think of a workaround for you.

  1. Bodyweight squats: 20 reps.
  2. Push-ups: 10 reps.
  3. Walking lunges: 10 reps each leg.
  4. Dumbbell rows (using your luggage/laptop bag as a weight): 10 reps each arm.
  5. Plank: 15 seconds.
  6. Jumping jacks: 30 reps

Run through this circuit three times. If you don’t have milk in the hotel room for the rows, find something of roughly the same weight with a good handle. Your luggage might work perfectly.


Throughout the world, you’re often never that far away from a playground or a park.

Get a workout in there!


Was that Beginner Bodyweight Workout too easy for you?

Then try out this more advanced circuit!


This is Nerd Fitness. There’s no way I’m going to miss including a nerdy themed workout.

  1. Bodyweight Squats: 30 reps.
  2. Push-Ups: 20 reps (or 40 knee push-ups).
  3. One arm rows: 30 reps (each arm).
  4. Planks: – 60 seconds.

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

Here’s what I do specifically while traveling:

#1) Skip meals strategically. I know that if I skip breakfast, it means I can eat a slightly larger lunch and have an extra drink with dinner and STILL come in under my daily calorie expenditure.

#2) Prepare for bad meals. I love me a good steak dinner with a side of mac and cheese and sweet potato fries and dessert and a few whiskeys. When I’m on vacation or celebrating, that sounds like heaven to me.

However, I know if I always eat like that, I’m going to pack on a ton of weight.

So I plan ahead for a big meal so that I can enjoy it guilt-free, and not see the scale budge. I eat protein and veggies for lunch, strategically undereating so that I can overeat for dinner – and not gain weight in the long run.

#3) Never eat 2 bad meals in a row. We have a big “never two in a row” rule at Nerd Fitness. Believe it or not, even being healthy just 50% of the time carries with it the tremendous potential for weight loss and a healthier life. So, if you eat a bad lunch, follow it up with a healthy dinner. Eat fast food for dinner? Cool! Make your breakfast healthy.

This is NOT “100% or nothing.” Every decision counts, every meal counts, so any decision where you are SLIIIIIGHTLY healthier than you would have been otherwise is a win in my book.

If you’re interested in the Nerd Fitness philosophy on proper diet, make sure you read our article “How to Start Eating Healthy.” It’ll give you 10 tips to kickstart your weight loss journey.

Curious on my default diet these days? You can read all about it right here. And here is the specific diet I followed – while traveling frequently – to lose 22 pounds sustainably.

Here are some other strategies for healthy eating.

#1) Ask your hotel for a mini-fridge. Fill it with your own healthy snacks – just make sure they don’t charge you for taking out the other foods! Fruit, sliced veggies, and some deli meat will provide you with some sustenance until you can order a proper meal.

Here is a post with some ideas for healthy snacks you can buy and store in your room.

#2) Travel with a cooler. If you know the hotel can’t accommodate a mini-fridge, or you’re on a road trip, no problem! Bring a mini-cooler or cooler bag. If you use a bag, it’ll fold up for easy packing.

Is it weird to travel with a cooler? Sure. But we embrace weird around these parts.

#3) Bring non-perishable snacks with you. I’ve eaten almonds forgotten in a backpack, months later, and lived to tell the tale.

Lots of dry food like nuts and jerky won’t spoil anytime soon, so store some in your travel bag. Munching some beef jerky is a much better idea than the pizza in the airport terminal. Here are some good almonds to purchase, and here’s some recommended beef jerky for you to try out.

#4) Focus on protein and fiber. When choosing meals or snacks, make sure the foods you pick are full of protein and fiber. This will help keep you full, so you’re not tempted to eat the donuts waiting for you at your work conference.

What are protein and fiber-rich foods? Hard-boiled eggs will store well, and can be bought at many convenience stores. That’s a good protein source. Deli meat, jerky, and nuts will also do the trick for your protein requirements.

Fiber-rich foods? Fruits and vegetables for the win. Always bring an apple with you.

#5) All is not lost if you order fast food. There’s a common belief amongst our coaching clients, that the moment you step foot in a fast food store, you lost. You made a terrible decision by even walking in. Might as well order whatever, because you already failed.

This is 100% not true. What you order will make all the difference. For example, I eat a chicken bowl from Chipotle almost every day. To the point that it’s weird.

Why? Because it’s healthier than anything I’m realistically going to make at lunchtime, given my schedule.

Remember, what you order is more important than where you order from.

Let’s dive into that last point a little more.

What Are Some Healthy Fast Food Options?

Let’s outline an entire day’s worth of eating, provided by a drive-thru window (we cover this in our fast food article).

Most of these can also be found at your average airport terminal.


Location: Starbucks

  • Sous Vide Egg Bites, Bacon & Gruyere: A great protein source. Go ahead and order some black coffee with it too.
    • Calories: 310
    • Protein: 19g
    • Net Carbs: 9g
    • Fat: 22g

Location: Dunkin’ Donuts

  • Sausage Egg and Cheese Bagel (no bagel): Sausage and egg are a breakfast staple. Plus, cheese!
    • Calories: 370
    • Protein: 16g
    • Net Carbs: 3g
    • Fat: 33g

#2) LUNCH:

Location: McDonald’s

  • Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad (Use the Balsamic Vinaigrette): It’s mostly greens, grilled chicken and a little bacon. No customization required. Your salad comes in under 400 calories.
    • Calories: 320
    • Protein: 42g
    • Net Carbs: 6g
    • Fat: 14g

Location: Subway

  • Oven Roasted Chicken: Grab it with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onion, green peppers, cucumbers, and olives, with oil and vinegar as dressing. Also, feel free to add bacon and guacamole to increase your calories. Your nutrition info will look like this if ordered as above:
    • Calories: 490
    • Protein: 24g
    • Net Carbs: 11g
    • Fat: 35.5g


Location: Boston Market

  • Three-Piece Dark: Lot’s of protein, decent fat, and no carbs.
    • Calories: 300
    • Protein: 37g
    • Net Carbs: 1g
    • Fat: 16g
  • Green Beans: Keep it simple.
    • Calories: 90cals
    • Protein: 1g
    • Net Carbs: 4g
    • Fat: 5g
  • Fresh Steamed Vegetables: Following our “simple” strategy.
    • Calories: 60
    • Protein: 2g
    • Net Carbs: 4g
    • Fat: 3.5g

Location: Chipotle

  • Salad Bowl (with Carnitas): order it with Fajita Vegetables, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Sour Cream, Cheese, and YES for Guacamole.
    • Calories: 710
    • Protein: 34g
    • Net Carbs: 12
    • Fat: 51g

The above should help give you some ideas on what to order when you’re depending on fast food.

Want some more ideas? Check out our guide on healthy fast food.

How Do I Eat a Healthy Continental Breakfast?

So your room comes with a free complimentary breakfast.

Might as well take advantage of it!

Go ahead and load up on these:

  1. Eggs. We mentioned earlier to prioritize protein with your meals. Just about every hotel continental breakfast will have some eggs. The quality might be so-so, however. If they have some hot sauce around, this can make just about any scramble tolerable.
  2. Sausage. Continuing with our protein theme, if there is sausage at the buffet, grab some. Granted, it’ll often have some sugar in the form of maple syrup included. But we’re going with the best we can here.
  3. Bacon. We love bacon around these parts so much, we wrote an entire post on it. The fat in bacon will help keep you full until you’re next meal. Plus, if the eggs are crappy (the eggs will probably be crappy), you can mix in some bacon to bring up the tasty factor.
  4. Fruit. It can’t all be about meat. Go ahead and grab some fruit for your plate. Apples are relatively high in fiber, which is why they’re my go to. Bananas also have decent fiber, as well as vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. Are there berries available? Grab some for their antioxidant potential (we talk all about berries and antioxidants in this article).
  5. Toast. I know, I know, we might be attracting the Carb Police on us for this one. But you can do a lot worse at a breakfast buffet than a little whole wheat toast. If you put some eggs and bacon on it, you have yourself a pretty decent breakfast sandwich with some fiber to help keep you full.

Alright, prioritize the above on your plate. Plus, stay clear of the following:

  1. Juice. If I could give you one single piece of diet advice, it would be this: try not to drink your calories. There’s a lot of arguments on diets, but this advice is widely accepted. An orange has plenty of vitamins in it, plus a lot of fiber to help balance out the sugar. OJ? Zero fiber, and it’s mostly just high-calorie sugar water at this point! Skip the juice and eat the whole fruit.
  2. Pancakes/Waffles. Don’t eat these, unless you are good at portion control! The high calorie batter itself will have sugar in it, plus it’s designed to have more sugar (maple syrup) poured on top. Stick to toast.
  3. Cereal. This breakfast food is often packed full of carbs, calories, and sugar. For example, the third ingredient for Cheerios is “sugar.” And that’s Cheerios. Don’t even get me started on Fruit Loops or Frosted Flakes. Again, stick to toast.

The above advice should get you started on loading up properly at a breakfast buffet.

How To Make Staying Fit A Priority on the Road

If you are trying to get healthy but need to travel frequently, I want you to make exercise your constant.

I don’t know if you were a Lost fan, but my favorite episode, “The Constant,” involved a character named Desmond who had to find the one “constant” in his life in order to stay sane.

Something Desmond could focus on as his mind traveled through time.

You had to be there.

I’ve traveled quite a bit over the years: sightseeing countries, sleeping on buses, exploring temples, and visiting a new town seemingly every other day.

During all this chaos: exercise became my constant.

I knew that without a doubt, no matter where I was or what I was doing, every other day I would find a way to work out – no excuses. I might have had to add in an extra day between workouts maybe a handful of times.

What I’m trying to say is this: if you are serious about prioritizing your health, even while traveling, then start treating exercise like YOUR constant.

Make it a reliable, consistent thing in your schedule, no matter where you are in the world.

No matter what.

Sound difficult? Start by asking yourself the following:

“If I HAD to still get my workouts in, even if I am traveling or on vacation, how would I do it?”

Most answers will be something like this:

  1. “If I had to work out, it would mean that I need to wake up SUPER early tomorrow morning to hit the gym before the conference starts.”
  2. “If I had to get my run in, it would mean I could only go for a 20 minute run instead of my normal 60 minute run.”
  3. “If I had to get my workout in, that would mean I need to actually PAY for a day pass at a real gym, because I know hotel gyms are crappy.”

This is the most important question you can ask yourself before your trip: “How do I make this work for me?”

Then, structure your environment and schedule to make it happen:

  1. Add it to your calendar.
  2. Set up a text reminder.
  3. Plan your schedule around it.
  4. Have your coach or friend remind you.
  5. Research the nearest gym or park.

Again, ask yourself – what if you HAD to work out, no matter what. How would you get it done? What would you need to change?

And then do whatever you can to make it your constant.

How to Overcome Jet Lag (and other tips)

We need to address a few final points: sleep, jet lag, and hydration.

All of these are going to impact your ability to follow the advice above.

#1) SLEEP.

When I’m sleep deprived, I often don’t have the energy to exercise…when the reality is that exercise is often the thing that will give me energy (foreshadowing).

Also, if you’re lacking on shuteye, you’ll get hungrier. When you’re sleep deprived, your brain sends signals for more energy, which means more calories. This is troublesome if you’re trying to hold out until you can order a nutritious chicken salad.

Prioritize sleep.

Two good tools to help with this are earplugs and an eye mask. Some hotels have a way of being bright and noisy.


Even being able to go to sleep, is going to assume you are not suffering terribly from “jet lag.”

Jet lag is the phenomenon of traveling from one time zone to another, but still being stuck in the former time.

For example, you fly from New York to London.

It was night when you left New York. It is now morning in London. You may or may not have slept on the plane.

What time is it?

Your body can have some serious trouble getting back on track, because our circadian rhythms (our biological clock) is thrown off from the geographic change.

My solution: work out ().

Studies have shown that a good sweat can help change your circadian rhythm, which might help you adjust to the local time.

If you’re able to, work out as soon as you get settled to help combat jet lag. I’ve personally found this to be super helpful in adjusting to the local time.


Air travel dehydrates you. The cabin’s air is environmentally controlled, with lower moisture than you find here on the ground.

  • Humidity on the good old fashioned Earth: 30-60%
  • Moisture in an average airplane: 10-20%

Yeah…that 10-20% is less than the Sahara desert.

On top of that, the pressurization of the cabin itself causes you to expel H2O.

Something something, physics. Something something, less water.

The low humidity and pressurized environment create a perfect scenario for you to lose lots of water.

And if you’re dehydrated, it can make you tired, which can go back to that whole hunger and calories thing.

Drink water.

Above All Else, Preserve Momentum While Traveling!

Whatever you’re currently working on improving in your life, you can continue working on that while traveling.

You only fall off the wagon if you resign yourself to the fact that it’s impossible to stay fit while traveling!

Why not have the opposite mindset, and ask “How do I make this work for me?”

Millions of people manage to stay healthy despite a hectic travel schedule, and I want the same for you.

Here are some final tips to help you while traveling:

  1. Travel day? Pack some healthy snacks with you in your bag – apples and almonds are my go-to.
  2. Going out to dinner with your company? Find the restaurant online, scour the menu, and “pre-order your dinner” in your mind so you know what to order when you get there. Order the “meat + veggie + potato” option on the menu, and ask for double veggies instead. Aim for something like steak tips, or grilled chicken, salmon, etc.
  3. Traveling with your family? Let them know that you’re making a concerted effort to eat better and that you’d like their support.
  4. Going out with friends? Let’s say you’re going out with buddies, and you have no choice but to eat fried food and drink tons of beer (I hate when that happens). Compensate by being extra diligent on the days before and after – no drive-thru meals, no late-night vending machine stops, no bad snacks while at the convention.

Pick your battles. Plan ahead. Make eating a priority.

Alright, that should help get you started. Now, your turn:

Do you travel for work?

Do you upcoming vacation this summer?

What struggles do you have while on the road? What kind of questions do you have about staying in shape and traveling?

Leave a question in the comments and I’ll help in any way that I can.


PS – I want to again remind you of our Online Coaching Program. If you live from hotel room to hotel room, constantly on the go, there are still some things you can keep constant: your coach!

They can be right there with you, from any part of the world, helping you make sure you hit your fitness goals. Click on the image below to learn more:

All photo citations can be read right here.

Vacations are for relaxing, but to many, that includes a semi-daily workout routine. Most hotel gyms are windowless and drab, giving little motivation for you to exercise on vacation.

How to Avoid the Hotel Gym: Alternative Workouts to Do on Vacation

Here are eight different types of workouts to do on vacation (outside of the hotel gym) that’ll also help you further explore your destination.

Rooftop Yoga Classes

(Photo: Colonnade Hotel)

If yoga is one of the ways you exercise at home, why not bring your workout to new heights on the road. If you’re traveling to an urban area, many high-rise buildings with public rooftops will offer some form of exercise as part of its programming. Or, if you’re staying in a skyscraper hotel, they’ll most likely offer some sort of class as well.

Take Boston’s The Colonnade Hotel, which offers weekly Roof Top Pool yoga classes with its resident yoga teacher (free for hotel guests) during the summer, and while weather permits. Or, check out London’s Sky Garden, which sometimes offers Sunrise Yoga classes—a healthy breakfast buffet is even included in the class price.

Pro Tip: Search Eventbrite by location and the type of workout you’re looking for, whether it’s rooftop yoga or other outdoor workout classes.

Pop-up Spin Studios

If you’re a spin-aficionado, then you’re likely familiar with outdoor pop-up classes. Check your favorite studio in the city you’re visiting for upcoming events. Destination SOUL, a Soul Cycle program, might feature a pop-up studio in a vacation spot: it previously was on Martha’s Vineyard. The well-known spin chain is set to host more locations in the series moving forward, so stay tuned.

Rival studio, Cyc, also hosts a variety of pop-up outdoor classes, like at New York City’s Avenue of Americas. Follow them on Instagram for updates.

Gym and Studio Affiliations

Many hotel chains are embracing the travel-fitness trend and going beyond the typical hotel fitness center by partnering with boutique studios and gyms nearby. The Fairmont Washington D.C., Georgetown, partners with Balance Gym, located below the hotel, to offer guests free access and complimentary classes. It’s a win-win for both sides: The hotel doesn’t have to upkeep a fitness space, and the gym gets potential new clients and exposure.

Pro Tip: Many smaller studios or gyms will offer your first class free or give you a free trial or day pass. If the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t offer any special programming, do a quick search on Google Maps for nearby gyms or studios. You can also use websites like Zeamo or Class Pass to search by location for partner gyms offering day passes.

Running Clubs or Tours

Going for a run while you’re on vacation has plenty of benefits—it reduces jet lag, helps you get acclimated to the city, and burns calories—but you can also get a decent amount of sightseeing in on this type of vacation workout.

Tour companies like City Running Tours and Go! Running Tours offer running tours across the globe varying in distance, length (ranging from hours to days), and ability. By running with a local guide you’ll get a fresh perspective on the destination’s history and major sights, as well as a decent workout.

Pro Tip: Hotels are also jumping on board with the running tour trend; Radisson Blu now offers #BluRoutes, safe walking, running, and cycling routes that start and end at select hotel locations. Each route is planned by a hotel team member and highlights local attractions at all fitness levels.

Outdoor-Focused Resorts

Staying at an outdoor-focused resort makes fitting in a vacation workout a lot easier. Just surrounding yourself with nature and outdoor activity options will help jumpstart your brain into workout mode. Whether it’s a sleepy mountain town resort that offers guided hikes or bike rentals (like this one in Vermont) or a jungle resort (like this one in Costa Rica) with waterfall excursions and a zip-line course, you’ll be burning calories every day.

Active Day Tours

If you’re staying in a major city, there are probably plenty of daytime excursions to try. Look on the day-tour booking website Viator (our sister site) for active day tours that will require you to spend more time on your feet instead of on a bus. A Colombian coffee farm tour from Medellin or a full-day Yosemite National Park tour from San Francisco are active adventures that can give you a break from the city.

Bike Rentals

Whether you can get a free bike from your hotel or an inexpensive rental from a city’s bike-share program, cycling around can be one of the easiest workouts to do on vacation. While you won’t be sweating as much as you would at the gym, biking around a city or along recreation paths can be a decent workout. Check out this map to explore city bike-shares around the world.

Health-Focused Hotel Chains

If you’re looking for some easier workouts to do on vacation, book with a health-conscious hotel brand. Right now the hotel industry is bending over backward to cater to millennials who want an “on-demand experience,” so you can easily find a hotel with some free health amenities.

Kimpton Hotels offer free yoga mats for use during your stay, complete with free on-demand fitness programming. Yotel and Radisson Blu both have similar programming with in-room meditation videos. Hilton is even offering a new room category featuring in-room fitness centers; and don’t forget about the cult following Equinox has—so much so the gym brand has its first hotel in New York City.

More from SmarterTravel:

  • What to Wear for an Active Vacation: An Outfit Guide for Women
  • 10 Hotel Room Exercises You Can Do Without Any Workout Gear
  • 7 Running Tours on Every Continent

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

15 Workouts You’ll Actually Want to Do on Vacation

Vacation is a time for relaxing, indulging, and letting go of the stressors of your daily life. Often people mistake their vacation vibes as an imperative to let go of their health along with everything else — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Unlike your chores, work schedule, and to-do list, your body goes with you everywhere. When you let your fitness regimen take a vacation, the effects are apparent pretty immediately, and they make themselves noticed during your time off and when you come back.

Working out isn’t always such a blast; when you’re trying to treat yourself, the last thing you want to do is trudge your way to a depressing hotel gym.

Find the 15 workouts you’ll actually want to do on vacation here.

But what you’re not considering is that you can still work out on vacation without going through all that torture. There are ways to move your body while you’re away that not only aren’t terrible, but that are actually — if you can believe it — fun.

Most of them are free, many of them encourage you to spend quality time with those you travel with, and some of them even help you discover new things on vacation that you would have otherwise missed — but they’re all things that can keep you fit, happy, and healthy all vacation long.

Whether traveling for work or for play, getting in a good workout on the road isn’t the easiest thing to do. Most hotel gyms don’t have much aside from a treadmill, so why bother? But the more you put off exercising, the tighter those pants get. Here’s a workout that will make you sweat with no equipment at all.

Even the most determined guys are tempted by the comfort of their hotel bed. If you usually spring out of bed at the sound of your early morning alarm to hit the gym as soon as possible, the luxury of a king size bed and breakfast delivered to your room are just enough to keep you from getting in a sweat session. Well, that and the fact that the hotel gym isn’t much to write home about.

But no matter your reason for traveling, the further you stray from your routine of regular exercise, the harder it’s going to be to get back to it when you get back home. So, rather than nagging you to seek out the closest gym or make due with whatever the hotel gym can provide, we’re going to make this easy for you—in the sense that you don’t have to leave your room, anyway.

We’ve devised a workout that will meet all your needs when you’re away from home: efficiency, effectiveness, and ease of execution with little to no equipment.

Time is of the essence when you’re on the road. If you’re out of town for business, you likely won’t have an hour or so to spend on a lengthy workout session. With limited time to generate some energy and sweat it out, the more efficient the workout is, the better.

If you’re on vacation, you have plenty of time on your hands, but you probably don’t want to use too much of it in the gym. It’s important that you still get your heart pumping, but you don’t want to use up your entire morning putting your body to the test. This workout is built to get you what you need in a short amount of time.

Since your time is limited, you want to make sure your workouts are hitting multiple body parts. When you’re at home you may have an hour to work on chest or arms, but when you’re hanging in a hotel, you’re looking for something more holistic. This workout will hit you from head to toe.

If we prescribed something that involved kettlebells, squat racks, and resistance bands—but all you had at your disposal was the weight of your suitcase—you’d probably just sleep in and skip this workout. But then nobody wins. We’ve crafted this workout so that, when it came to getting it done, you’d have no excuses. All you need is a few square feet of open space and gravity.

Are you ready? No gym necessary. No dumbbells needed. No treadmill in sight. The movements below are all bodyweight exercises. They will be performed as a circuit, so you’ll work through the entire list before taking a minute to rest.

The great thing about bodyweight movement is that it’s easy to perform. But with that said, if your form is terrible, your results will be similar. Maintain good form, keep your body moving, and work hard until you’re finished. Your body will thank you when you’re done rocking it.

Exercise Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Pushups 20 reps 40 reps 60 reps 80 reps 100 reps
Superman 25 reps 20 reps 15 reps 10 reps 5 reps
Pike Push-up 10 reps 20 reps 30 reps 40 reps 50 reps
Wall Squat 90 sec 80 sec 70 sec 60 sec 50 sec
Plank 50 sec 60 sec 70 sec 80 sec 90 sec

How quickly you can get this workout in is completely up to you. The speed at which you execute will make it more challenging, but will minimize how long you spend exercising. If you’d rather take your time and really focus on your form, it may take you a little bit longer.

No matter what speed you choose, though, this collection of exercises will be efficient, effective, and easy to execute. The moves may be basic, but each one will make you earn your workout as you make your way through them.

Good luck!

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Before calling room service, commit to this hotel room workout (it only takes about 20 minutes) to keep your body strong and refreshed while traveling. Using zero equipment, these bodyweight exercises force your muscles to engage to maintain balance, burning more calories than you might with a fixed-range machine at the gym. Plus, you can do this workout any time, night or day.

Certified trainer Kenta Seki created this hotel room workout for The Manual. “Try this workout and see if you can make it through three to four sets of each exercise in under 25 minutes,” Seki says.

If you dig it, check out his other workouts on FitOn, a cool workout app that offers personal training and a boutique group fitness vibe with tons of exercises to pick from (i.e. weights, HIIT, Pilates, etc.).

Hotel Room Workout

The moves:

Pushup to Extended Plank (15 reps)


What: This variation of a pushup utilizes the edge of a bed, couch, or stable chair.

Why: It is a great progression from a normal pushup because it adds in shoulder and core strength.

How: Perform a pushup. At the top of the plank, put one hand up on the edge of your furniture, followed by the other hand, until you’re in an extended plank with your elbows straight. Put one hand back down. then the other hand back down. Repeat.

Dip to Toe Touch (20 reps)


What: This exercise utilizes the edge of a bed, couch, stable chair, or even window ledge.

Why: Bodyweight dips are an awesome exercise for building and toning your triceps. Adding in these alternating toe touches also tones your arms and challenges your core as well.

How: Perform a tricep dip off the edge of your furniture or a safe ledge, then lift one foot off the floor and touch that toe with your opposite hand. Perform a tricep dip again, and touch the opposite toe. Keep alternating each rep.

Pistol Squat (15 each leg)


What: Pistol squats, also known as one-legged squats, can definitely be challenging. But if you use furniture as a seat, it makes the exercise much more doable.

Why: Squatting most of your weight on one leg is a great way to build up balance and strength.

How: Sit down on your bed, couch, or a stable chair. Lift one foot off the floor and extend it out in front of you. Interlace your fingers in front of your chest and stand straight up, without letting your foot touch the ground. Sit back down and repeat.

Tip: The lower the furniture, the more challenging this exercise will be.

Jump Squat (20 reps)


What: This is a challenging progression from the basic squat. No equipment required!

Why: Jump squats are a great way to build explosive strength in your legs while getting your heart rate up and burning some serious calories.

How: Squat down with your feet flat and arms reaching forward. Press into your legs and jump straight in the air, pressing your arms straight down to your sides. Land back on the ground and immediately bend your knees to land back in the squat position.

Cross-Legged Sit-Up (20 reps)


What: This is a challenging alternative to basic sit-ups.

Why: Sit-ups can become monotonous and are not tough enough for some people, so it’s fun to mix things up and activate different muscles.

How: Sit on the ground with your ankles crossed. Lie down on your back and reach your arms straight behind you, then exhale and sit all the way back up without moving your legs. Lie back down and repeat.

Tip: Change which leg you have crossed in front of the other after each set.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The Movement Movement: How Simple Movement Can Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals
  • How to Build Your Own Home Gym for Under $350
  • Tips and Tricks for Making it Through a Treadmill Workout
  • Get Your Fitness Into Shape with the Best Workout Apps
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Backcountry Skiing, Gear, and Safety

Workout in hotel room

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