How To: Stay in Shape on the Road

Keeping to your workout regimen on the road is next to impossible—especially when you’re working within the confines of your hotel room and there’s the lure of the minibar. We tapped BJ Gaddour, a featured expert for Men’s Health (our September box co-curator) and the CEO of online workout company Streamfit, for his advice on staying fit between flights, rides, and hotel rooms. Here are his top five tips and travel-friendly exercises.

Flex your Feet

Any time you’re sitting for long periods of time, your ankles get really tight—and that limited range of motion causes pain in other parts of your body. “Try pointing your toe as far away from you as possible, then flex and pull your toe as far as you can toward your shin,” says Gaddour.” “Next, make circles with your feet, alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise.”

Thrust your Hips

Another casualty of too many hours in a sardine can-size airplane seat: Your butt. Activate your gluts by performing this modified movement: Placing your hands on the seat of your chair or armrest, thrust your hips forward, while flexing your butt. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then relax and repeat. You might get a few stares from your neighbor, but you’ll mobilize your hips, keep your butt from powering down, and lubricate your spine.

Rise and Sweat

“It’s best to commit to working out first thing immediately upon waking—before you shower and before you eat breakfast,” Gaddour instructs. Your workout can be as short as 10 minutes and there’s plenty you can do in your hotel room with just your own body weight and luggage. Regardless, getting in some form of physical exercise when you wake up will energize you—and decrease the chance of skipping your workout in favor of a pint.

Stick to the Basics

If you’re short on time and space, focus on squats and pushups. Do as many good reps of each as you can in 30 seconds, then switch to the next exercise without resting. After 5 minutes, you’ll be sweating; make it to 10 and we’re talking about a serious workout. If you don’t have a clock, do 10 squats and 5 pushups per round and do as many rounds as you can.

Skip Breakfast

Eat your last meat at 8pm, then skip breakfast (get a black coffee) and make your first meal at noon. This puts your body into a 16-hour fasting state—and maximizes the release of growth hormone. By limiting your eating hours to an 8-hour time frame, you’ll eat fewer meals, consume fewer calories, and save money. When you do eat, minimize starch and sugar in favor of protein and vegetables.

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