Traveling for work or pleasure shouldn’t include a complete break from exercise. For one, it takes far less work to maintain your strength and cardiovascular conditioning than it does to first build it up. But more important, while a decrease in fitness is part of normal healthy aging, you’ll maintain a greater fitness level along the way by training regularly.
Here are eight simple but effective moves you can do anywhere, whether in your hotel room or on the beach. The workout combines both strength and cardio conditioning.
1. Mountain Climber
Emphasis: cardio and core. Start in a plank position, with hands and toes touching the ground. Hands should be directly under your shoulders, and your torso and legs should form a straight line. Brace your abs and bend your right leg so your knee is close to your elbows, toes off the ground. Keeping your upper body in place, jump your right leg back while jumping your left leg forward. One jump with the right leg forward and one jump with the left leg forward counts as one repetition. Beginner: 10 repetitions; intermediate: 20 reps; advanced: 30 reps.
2. Forward-to-Reverse Lunge
Emphasis: lower body. Stand upright with your arms by your sides. Take a step forward with your right leg, dropping your left knee toward the ground and bending your right knee to 90 degrees. Keep your back straight; you can lean slightly forward as long as your spine stays neutral. Push off with your right foot and step backward into a reverse lunge. That’s one repetition. Keep stepping from forward to reverse lunges for repetitions, then repeat on the left side. Beginner: five repetitions; intermediate: 10 reps; advanced: 15 reps.
Emphasis: shoulders and core. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, bending forward to touch the ground with your hands in front of your feet (bend your knees if you need to). Walk your hands out and away from your feet, lengthening your body into a push-up position. If your core is strong enough and you can maintain spinal alignment, keep walking your hands out in front of you. Once you’ve walked your hands as far as you can, walk your feet toward your hands and repeat for repetitions. Beginner: five repetitions; intermediate: eight reps; advanced: 12 reps.
4. Pike Push-Up
Emphasis: shoulders and upper chest. Start in a downward dog pike position, with your butt in the air, and legs and back straight (think of an upside-down “V”). Bend your arms and lower the top of your head toward the ground until almost touching, then press up to the start position. Beginner: five repetitions; intermediate: 10 reps; advanced: 15 reps.
5. Plank with Alternating Arm and Leg Raise
Emphasis: core. Start at the top of the push-up position, with your toes touching the ground, hands under your shoulders and arms straight. Brace your abs and lift your left arm and right leg off the ground, keeping them as straight as possible. Bring them parallel to the ground, then slowly lower. Now lift your right arm and left leg and repeat. Alternate sides for repetitions, keeping your core braced throughout. Beginner: five repetitions; intermediate: 10 reps; advanced: 15 reps.
6. In-and-Out Jump Squat
Emphasis: lower body and cardio. Start in a squat position with hands clasped in front of you. Your back should be straight, knees bent at 90 degrees. Explosively jump into the air and land lightly in a standing position with feet together. Jump into the air again and, as you come down, lower into the initial squat position. That’s one repetition. Beginner: 10 repetitions; intermediate: 20 reps; advanced: 30 reps.
7. Split Squat
Emphasis: lower body. Stand with hands on your hips, right foot forward and left foot back. Squat down by flexing your right knee and hip. Both legs should be at a 90-degree angle. Straighten both legs to return to the starting position, complete repetitions, then switch sides. Beginner: 10 repetitions; intermediate: 15 reps; advanced: 20 reps.
8. Reverse Crunch
Emphasis: core. Lie on your back with arms by your sides and knees bent toward your chest. Without using momentum from your lower legs, exhale and lift your hips off the floor, bringing your knees as close to your chest as you can. Focus on using only your abdominal muscles throughout the move, keeping your ankles as close to your glutes as you can. Beginner: 10 repetitions; intermediate: 15 reps; advanced: 20 reps.
Perform this workout as a circuit. Aim for three rounds, following the recommended repetitions for your fitness level.