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Post Series: March Your Way to Fitness Challenge
Woman Eating Healthy After Workout on Beach

We’ve all been there … patting ourselves on the back for working out and eating better, and then wham, you go on vacation or attend an out-of-town wedding that throws your schedule, eating and fitness habits out of whack.

Sure, many hotels come with a fitness room, but what are the odds that you’re going to wake up at the crack of dawn to run miles on a treadmill while the rest of the family is eating continental breakfast? It’s your time off, right?

I’ve gathered suggestions for programs, exercises and some kits you can use to avoid sabotaging the efforts you’ve worked hard at. That way you can still feel like you’re enjoying yourself during your time away.

Making the Most of Small Spaces

Fitness professional Andrea Doddato has worked 20+ years in the golf and fitness industry, training over 45 tour players and developing regimented personal training programs catering to golfers. She says the most important thing is to keep the heart rate elevated for a sustained period of time.

“I like to have my clients set a goal of performing the exercises either 30 seconds or one minute in duration. This way they can go at their own pace and strength level while pushing themselves to see how many reps they can achieve, said Doddato. “I may modify exercises or duration depending on age and fitness level, but I will have them run through this once in its entirety striving to do it twice in one workout.”

Here is an example of 10 exercises you can do with minimal space (I’ve added a brief description to a couple moves you might not be familiar with):

1 burpee (begin in a standing position, drop into a squat with your hands on the ground, kick your feet back while keeping your arms extended, then do a push up, immediately return your feet to the squat position and then jump up from the squat position)

2 plank positions using the opposite knee/elbow touch

3 pushups

4 deep Sumo squats

5 side plank raises (each side)

6 jump squats

7 skater lunges

8 get-ups (lay down, sit up and stand up using use some kind of handheld weight in one hand, then do the reverse and alternate hands but make sure you do these moves slowly and with control so you don’t pull something)

9 seated rotations (feet up)

10 bicycles

“This type of training when you’re away from home is the biggest bang for your buck,” Doddato added. “You are constantly moving, burning calories, burning fat stores and conditioning your cardiovascular system while getting it done in less than 30 minutes! And with no equipment, there is no reason NOT to work out!”

Booya Fitness

Friends Using Booya

If you prefer having a program to follow or someone to lead your moves, Booya Fitness has a library of workout routines for any fitness level and you can access them on your favorite device. Didn’t bring your laptop but have your smartphone? You’ll be able to log in and follow along to a variety of 30-minute routines.

Access is based on a monthly subscription model ($9.99 per month), with a price break when you buy a six-month or year-long package. Booya Fitness offers personalized workout plans and nutrition to ensure that members hit their fitness goals. You can preview the workout routines via videos that run about five minutes long to give you an idea of what each workout involves, and you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.


FitKit Green with Contents

“For those who can’t get to a gym, have crazy work schedules or want the flexibility of a home workout, I created FitKit,” said Amie Hoff, founder of FitKit. “It’s an affordable, portable, packable fitness solution with all the tools for a total body workout that can be done anytime, anywhere.”

The kit is $34.99 and contains a Get Started Guide with easy-to-follow directions for included fitness tools such as a resistance tube, exercise band, jump rope and door anchor. You’ll also have access to an online exercise library featuring more than 250 strength, cardio and flexibility moves, plus nutrition tips. In addition, an emergency ID tag and a reflective armband are included for safety and visibility. It all comes in a 10-inch pill-shaped case that won’t take up precious real estate in your carry-on.


Woman Stretching Band

Estelle Underwood is a certified personal trainer and studio owner. She developed BodyWorksBand, an almost weightless resistance exercise band that has a balanced, full-body, strength-training workout illustrated across the length of the band itself. The product is $14.95 and eliminates the need for additional equipment when traveling.

“With the information on the band, that means no memory, DVD or other materials are necessary to execute the workout,” said Underwood. “It’s perfect for exercisers of all fitness levels, and it’s like having a personal trainer with you wherever you take it.”

Shingo Imara™

Shingo Imara Kit

Shingo Imara™, which means “strong neck” in Swahili, is a new fitness product made by Lane Gainer Sports for strength building that easily fits into a backpack or large handbag. While it was originally designed to strengthen the neck, shoulders and upper back to reduce concussion risk in young athletes, it’s evolved into an exercise device anyone can use on the go. The resistance is adjustable to provide built-in progression as a user gains strength.

There are three neck-specific exercises that can be done with the tubing attached to the head wrap and four exercises that are done using the handles and foot loops. In addition to the exercises intended to stabilize the head and improve posture, it can be used for a variety of other strength-building exercises like curls, squats, and calf raises.

At $49, this could be your strength tool when traveling, especially if you plan on getting your cardio in other ways like walking, hiking or other physical activity.

TRX® Home Gym

Susan Longley Using TRX

You’ve likely seen those straps that attach to a door and can be used as a strength trainer. It has a name and might just be the right amount of equipment you need when you’re away. The TRX Home Gym can be set up in less than a minute anywhere you want – the park, the beach or your hotel room.

Susan Longley is a fitness coach for people over 60 and recommends the TRX suspension trainer as a portable solution for clients of all ages. She even uses it with a client who is 93 years old!

“It’s affordable, portable (you can hang it from a door, a fence, a tree, etc.) and in 30 minutes you can really work out your entire body,” said Longley.  “You control the weight you lift and the amount of balance challenge by how you position yourself in relation to the straps, so it’s great for beginners and adapts as you improve.”

The TRX Home Gym is $199.95 and comes with a home suspension trainer, door anchor, suspension anchor, access to the TRX App with an exercise library, a mesh carry bag, a guide to getting started and six free workouts you can access from your phone.

There are many products out there that are designed to work with your lifestyle. What items do you use and which programs do you follow when you’re traveling? Let your fellow challengers know in the comments section below!

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