Hotel Room Workouts You Can Do Anywhere – Cleveland Clinic

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When you’re on vacation, the last thing you probably want to think about is hitting the gym.

But keeping up your exercise routine doesn’t have to be a drag. There are simple ways to work out without even leaving your hotel room.

So, whether you’re traveling for pleasure or work, try these travel-friendly moves from personal trainer Tim Carter.

Why exercise matters

We all know exercise is good for us. Not only can it give you more energy, but exercise can also improve your mood, help you sleep better and live longer.

“Movement is medicine,” says Carter. “Exercise can really be a game-changer in how you go about the rest of your day.”

It’s recommended that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week.

Exercises to try

Don’t worry if there isn’t a hotel gym. You can do these exercises easily from your hotel room. Carter outlines two workouts you can do anywhere, anytime.

“The most beneficial workout that you can get in 10 to 15 minutes is breaking it up into one lower body exercise, one upper body exercise and core work,” he says.

Workout No. 1

Carter recommends doing three sets of 10 reps for each exercise.

Circuit 1:

  • Walking lunges. Keeping your feet hip-width apart, take a step forward with your left foot, lowering until both of your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Pushups. Get down on all fours and place your hands wider than your shoulders. Straighten your arms and legs then lower your body. Pause and then repeat.
  • Bird dogs. In an all-fours position, lift opposite arm and leg until fully extended. Repeat with other side.

Circuit 2:

  • Squats. With your feet hip-width apart, bend knees to lower your body in a controlled movement. Return to standing position and repeat.
  • High plank shoulder taps. Start in a plank position. Keep your wrists under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Touch your left shoulder with your right hand, then return to the plank position. Repeat with your right shoulder, alternating sides.  
  • Supermans. Lie down on the floor facedown. Keeping your legs straight and arms extended in front of you, slowly lift your arms and legs off the ground. Lower arms and legs. Repeat.

Circuit 3:

  • Skater lunges. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly step diagonally back with your left leg so it’s behind your right leg. Lower into a lunge. Return to standing and switch sides. Repeat.  
  • Chair dips. Face away from your bed, chair desk or coffee table. Place your hands on the edge, keeping them shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your body, making sure your knees don’t bend past your toes. Raise your body back to the starting position and repeat.  
  • Single leg bridges. Lie on your back with your hands at your sides. Keep your knees bent and feet flat. Lift one foot, extending to a 45-degree angle. Then raise your hips. Hold the position for 2 seconds, then slowly lower your hips while keeping your leg extended. Return to starting position. Repeat with other leg.

Core circuit:

  • Bicycle crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly raise your knees to a 90-degree angle. Bring one knee up toward your armpit. Keep your other leg straight. Rotate your core, touching your elbow to your knee. Alternate between sides so you’re doing a bicycle motion.
  • Situps. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Raise your upper body toward your knees. Lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat.
  • Leg raises. Lie on your back with your legs straight and feet together. Place your arms by your sides. Keep your legs straight and lift your legs until your knees are over your hips. Hold position for 2 seconds. Slowly lower your legs until they are just above the floor. Repeat.

Workout No. 2

Carter recommends doing three to four rounds of each circuit with 30 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest between exercises.

Circuit 1:

  • Reverse lunges. Stand up, keeping your hands at your hips. Take a large step backwards with your right foot. Lower your hips so that your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Return to your standing position. Repeat, alternating legs.
  • Cross climbers. Get down on all fours and place your hands wider than your shoulders. Bring your left knee up towards your chest, twisting towards right elbow. Return to starting position. Repeat with alternating leg.

Circuit 2:

  • Squats. With your feet hip-width apart, bend knees to lower your body in a controlled movement. Return to standing position and repeat.
  • Pushups. Get down on all fours and place your hands wider than your shoulders. Straighten your arms and legs then lower your body. Pause and then repeat.

Circuit 3:

  • Side lunges. Stand up with legs shoulder-width apart. Take a wide side-step with your left leg, bending your knee. Return to starting position. Repeat and then switch legs.
  • Plank toe taps. Get down on all fours and place your hands wider than your shoulders. Lift your left foot and tap your foot to the floor out to the side. Return to starting position and alternate with right foot.

Core circuit:

  • Bicycle crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly raise your knees to a 90-degree angle. Bring one knee up toward your armpit. Keep your other leg straight. Rotate your core, touching your elbow to your knee. Alternate between sides so you’re doing a bicycle motion.
  • Flutter kicks. Lie on your back and extend your legs to a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms straight while lifting your head, neck and shoulders slightly off the floor. Lower your left leg, keeping your legs together and toes pointed. Return your left leg to the starting position and repeat with right leg.

Hotel room workout tips

You can adapt any travel-friendly workout to your strength and fitness level. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your hotel room workout.

  • Schedule your workout. Think about your daily itinerary and when you have pockets of free time. Does working out early in the morning work best for you? Or do you have time between lunch and dinner to get in a good sweat session? Even moving for 10 minutes is better than nothing.
  • Warm up first. Before you get into your workout routine, it’s important to warm up your body first. “You want to get your heart rate up a little bit and get your core body temperature up,” advises Carter. “This helps with injury prevention.” For five to 10 minutes, you want to do moves like jumping jacks and lunges.
  • Add weight. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, use items around your hotel room like a pillow, book, bottle of water or even a towel to add weight. “You can even slow down your reps,” says Carter. “This increases the time your body is under tension.”
  • Have fun. Feel free to mix up your routines and exercises. Find a move you really like? Great. Have a workout buddy? Even better. “Exercise should be fun,” says Carter. “It’s something you should feel excited about and not dreading.”
  • Cool down at the end. Cooling down after your workout is great for preventing tightness and soreness. “The perfect cool down is about three to five minutes,” says Carter. “It helps increase blood flow.” Walking slowly, stretches and yoga poses are good options.

The best thing you can do? Be in the right mindset. Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t reach your goals as quickly as you’d like or you miss a workout here or there.

“All you have to do is just start and take it one day at a time,” encourages Carter. “Then just try to be consistent so that it becomes a habit.”

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