How To, Travel Guide

How to Stay in Shape While Traveling?

Specific endurance and strength training is part of each of my travel arrangements. Being fit while traveling has many advantages. You will not get any tension from the heavy backpack. You do not run out of steam if you have to walk for half an hour to the next quarter instead of 10 minutes. You feel physically more powerful and are mentally more resilient. In sum, you are freer – freer and less dependent on other people and means of transport. And of course, there are my beloved trekking tours that are not recommended without a basic fitness.

Had I struggled to acquire a basic condition in advance of my longer trips, it was challenging to get them during the trip. I admit, also out of laziness. Because some days it was too stupid in the multi-bed dormitory room.

But I wanted to get some fitness. To keep my loss curve low, the long sightseeing tours and rides, trekking and hiking became my endurance training. The strength training I tried to insert some selected exercises short & compact in my travel routine. I would like to recommend this as a fitness program for traveling & being on the move.

To stay fit, you do not need anything – no (free / paid) apps, no devices and no special tools. What you need is just the motivation to take some time every few days to do a few exercises.

Yes, I am the same. I maintain that these are enough to maintain a basic level of fitness for 90% of people. Because honestly, do you believe that you would travel (I do not mean a holiday, but a constant onward journey from place to place) perform an effective, building endurance or strength training of one or two hours a week? Hardly likely.

All in all, I recommend 13 on-the-go exercises designed to keep you fit while traveling. With an addition to the back muscles, which in my opinion otherwise comes too short, I did not invent this exercise order myself, but it is based on the High-Intensity Circuit Training. In German-speaking countries, the “High-Intensity Circuit Training” became known as the “7-Minute Exercise” (which was cheated a bit by the timing). I’m a big fan of it.

Because they are effective and meaningful exercises because …

  • Almost all major muscle groups are addressed
  • The difficulty of the exercises can be varied in both execution and repetition
  • as good as no aids are needed
  • the space requirement is low
  • the exercises can be done in a short time

How does the High-Intensity Circuit Training work?

The exercise order is given. Each exercise is performed at full speed for 30 seconds (except isometric / holding exercises), which is equivalent to a repetition rate of 15-20x. In isometric / holding exercises, a specific position is taken for 30 seconds. There is a 10-second break between each exercise.

The whole thing is carried out as desired between one and three l. Your time is a minimum of 9 to 10 minutes and a maximum of about 30 minutes. The recommendation is, of course, the execution of 3 series (passes).

What do you need for the training?

Motivation, your body, (stop) clock (you could count instead), an elevation (such as a chair or a bed) and something you can lean against (preferably a wall ).

What do you have to pay attention to?

Pay attention to correct practice execution and technique. Breathe calmly and evenly in and out of all exercises. Be careful not to hold your breath in the isometric / holding exercises!

Practice in front of the mirror or with friends to correct yourself or have someone correct you. Ideally, you are looking for a sports scientist (haha – sorry, I just had to write that), which checks the correct execution of the exercise and informs you about possible sources of error. If you have a medical condition, a highly official training release is only possible through a doctor. So if you are unsure, please contact this one.

Generally, just do what’s good for you! You are responsible for yourself!

When should you not do the exercises?

For colds, fever, malaise, severe overweight, acute injuries, high blood pressure and heart disease. I do not claim completeness in this listing!

Fit while traveling – the exercise explanations in detail

1st exercise: jumping jack/woman

Starting position: Take a hip-width stand. Let the arms hang down relaxed.

Execution: Jump with your feet in a slightly wider than shoulder width position. Guide your arms over the head in an outer arch. Jump back to the starting position and bring your arms down again in an outer arch next to your body.

2nd exercise: wall seat

Starting position: First, find a surface to lean on, such as a wall, a tree or a door frame. Stand one foot away with your back to the support surface. The feet are hardly noticeably turned outwards and hip-width. Now lean back with your back on your support surface and slide so far down until the thighs are parallel to the ground (90 ° angle in the knee joint). The knees are over the hocks and always look towards the big toe. The arms hang down next to the body or rest on the thighs (lighter).

Execution: Hold the position for 30 seconds and breathe in and out.

Note: If this is initially uncomfortable for your knees, do not go so far into the crook (keep knee angle greater than 90°).

Exercise 3: push-up

Starting position: Get on your knees and support yourself with your hands a little further than shoulder width in front of the body. The hands are approximately at breast height. Lead one leg after the other behind the body. Make sure that your legs, back and head form a “line.” That means the back does not hang, the buttocks are not the first direction of the sky, and the head is not directed to the ground. It is best if you try to pull in the lower abdomen significantly so that you do not sag down in the lumbar spine (this is the most common mistake).

Execution: Lower your entire body while inhaling by bending your arms towards the floor. The elbows move to the side. Before you touch the ground with the tip of the nose, stretch your arms again while exhaling, lifting your body back to its original position.

Note: Push-ups can be simplified or made more difficult. The execution becomes easier if the legs are not stretched backward, but the “line” is formed from the knees. For example, those who want to make the exercise more difficult can put their hands wider on the floor.

4th exercise: Crunch

Starting position: Lie supine on the floor and place the bent legs hip-width on the floor. Put your fingertips right and left on the back of your head. The elbows are next to your ears. The head is kept in a natural position during the entire exercise (the chin should not move towards the chest).

Execution: Now fix the lumbar spine on the floor and build up tension in the abdomen and pelvic floor. When exhaling, roll your upper body up towards the knee. When inhaling, lower the upper body again without laying it down on the floor. The shoulder blades should not touch the ground during execution.

Note:  Remember to breathe regularly (no pressure breathing), work without momentum and maintain the position of the elbows and the head!

Exercise 5: Step-up on a chair/raise

Starting position: Before you start, look for an increase on which you can safely go up and down. Now stand directly in front of your “step,” which is ideally about 50 cm high.

Execution: Now climb completely up and down again. Keep breathing evenly. Change the leg with which you make the step up. Do not get a swing on your arms.

Exercise 6: Squat

Starting Position: Take an upright body position. The feet are hip-width placed on the ground. The toes are hardly noticeable. The arms hang loosely down.

Execution: When breathing in, bend your legs until the thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Your upper body tilts slightly forward. The arms are stretched forward. The movement is initiated by pushing the buttocks backward. The important thing is that your knees look towards your toes and do not walk beyond your toes. The leg axis is retained! As you exhale, you will return to the starting position.

Exercise 7: Triceps Dips

Starting position: Look for an increase, eg, a chair or a bed edge, where you can support yourself. In an emergency, do the exercise on the ground. Support yourself with the hands (the fingertips look towards the body) behind the body. Now put as much weight on your hands as possible by bending your legs.

Execution: Now bend your arms while inhaling. Make sure that your elbows move backward (not to the side). As you exhale, now push yourself back to the starting position by the power of your arms.

Note: Your legs should not help with the performance!

Exercise 8: forearm support

Starting position: Get on your knees and lower your forearms to the ground. Your elbows should be under your shoulder joints. To keep your head in the extension of the spine, look down. Now put your legs back on your tiptoes one after the other. Your body is now forming a sloping plane. Legs, back and head, form a line. Deliberately draw in the lower abdomen to protect the lumbar spine.

Execution: Hold this position for 30 seconds while breathing in and out.

Note: The exercise can be made easier by taking the bank. Instead of putting your legs back, stay on your knees and stand on your toes in this position. Now release the knees from the ground and hold the position.

Exercise 9: Skipping – knee high on the stand

Starting position: Stand on a level surface. The arms are angled sideways next to your body.

Execution: Raise the knees alternately in the horizontal in front of your body. The arms move diagonally with. Stay upright during the entire exercise and do not let your pelvis sink backward!

Exercise 10: Lunge in change

Starting position: Stand on a level surface. Stand upright and support your hands on the hips.

Execution: Now take a long lunge forward in the change. Make sure the front knee is in the widest position above the ankle. The back leg is flexed during the movement; the heel comes off the ground. From the lowest position her as now press back to the starting position without momentum. Start the next lunge with the other foot.

Exercise 11: Push-up with rotation alternating

Starting position: Get on your knees and support yourself with your hands a little further than shoulder width in front of the body. The hands are approximately at breast height. Lead one leg after the other behind the body. Make sure your legs, back and head form a “line.” That is, the back does not hang through, the buttocks does not show as the first direction sky and the head is not directed to the ground. It is best if you try to draw in the lower abdomen significantly and thus secure the lumbar spine.

Execution: Lower your body when breathing in towards the ground. The elbows move aside. As you exhale, you push up in a swift motion, opening the body to one side. The upper arm is released from the ground during movement and stretched towards the sky. Bring your arm down again, make a push-up and turn up the next time. Push in the other direction.

Note:  This exercise is like number 3 and eight on the knees.

Exercise 12-13: forearm support left / right

Starting position: Lie sideways on the floor and support yourself with the forearm. Your elbow joint is under the shoulder joint. Your legs are stretched and overlying each other on the floor.

Execution: Now lift your pelvis and thighs completely off the floor until you form an inclined plane with your body again. Hold the position for 30 seconds while breathing in and out. Make sure your shoulder is stable (not buckling) and the body is not tilted forward. Perform the exercise on both sides of the body.

Note: The exercise can be facilitated by angling the leg 90 ° backward.

Exercise 14: Support back

Starting position: Lie on your back and support yourself with your forearms. Your elbow joint should be under your shoulder joint. Your legs are stretched out on the floor.

Execution: Now lift your pelvis so far from the ground until you form an inclined plane with your body again. The strain is distributed on your forearms and heels. Make sure your head stays in a natural position – ideally in the extension of the spine. Hold the position for 30 seconds and breathe in and out.

Note: The exercise can be made very difficult by performing the exercise, not on the forearm but your hands.

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