Mayo Clinic Health Library

Travel workout: Fitness tips for business travelers

Updated: 06-12-2013

If work keeps you frequently away from home, you know how challenging it can be to maintain your fitness program. Travel time and meetings might leave little room in your schedule for a workout — but keeping fit doesn't have to be a lost cause. A little dedication and planning can help you stay in shape when you're traveling. Consider these travel workout tips.

Pack for fitness

Before your trip, research the hotel or nearby fitness facilities and pack accordingly. Your travel workout essentials might include:

  • Athletic shoes
  • Exercise clothing
  • Swimsuit
  • Jump-rope
  • Resistance tubing
  • Tennis racket
  • Hand grips
  • Music and headphones
  • Exercise video or DVD

For a different type of travel workout, you might ask the hotel staff about renting in-line skates or a bicycle.

Work out as you go

Wear your walking shoes when you travel. If you're traveling by plane, stroll through the airport terminal. When traveling by train walk through the cars occasionally. Walk outdoors when the train stops to let passengers on and off. If you're driving, take frequent breaks to get out and stretch.

Get started

When you arrive at your destination, set the tone for your trip by working out right away. If that's not possible, schedule a time for your next workout and treat it as an important appointment.

Get creative and squeeze in activity whenever you can. For example:

  • Check out local parks and trails. Ask the hotel staff about safe routes for walking or running.
  • Use the halls. Walk up and down the hotel halls — or, if possible, to one of your meetings. Skip the elevator or escalator and take the stairs.
  • Get wet. Swim laps in the hotel pool.
  • Skip rope. Use a jump-rope in the hotel's fitness room or at the edge of the parking area.
  • Do jumping jacks. Try a few sets right in your room.
  • Try aerobics. Play an exercise video or DVD.
  • Use resistance tubing. These stretchy tubes offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them. You can use resistance tubing in your travel workout to build strength in nearly any muscle group.
  • Take advantage of your own body weight. Try pushups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.

Listen to your body

If jet lag or schedule changes leave you exhausted, make your travel workout shorter or lighter than usual. It's OK to take it easy once in a while.

Remember, however, that regular exercise can help reduce stress and feelings of low energy, which might be just what you need to get down to business.