It’s June and we’re kicking off our Summer to Shine with a month celebrating Activity. But summer is also our busiest travel season, which can directly conflict with fitness routines. Long hours spent in airports, cars, or airplanes are the first problem. But we can also find ourselves without the gear, gym, or childcare that makes our regular fitness routine possible.

With a bit of inspiration, it’s possible to get a full-body workout just about anywhere.

The “This Hotel Gym is a Joke” Workout

During the pandemic, many gyms and hotel fitness centers were closed, which caused home gym equipment sales to soar. And sure, there are thousands of workouts one can stream, but a no-fail idea is to have a few simple gear-free workouts in your repertoire.

Our photographer, Travis Richardson is a big fan of kettlebell workouts. But since kettlebells aren’t flight-friendly, he has a simple workout he can do anywhere when traveling.

Travis’ Simple Hotel Room Workout

  • 25 Pushups
  • 25 Sit Ups
  • 25 Burpees
  • 25 Squats

Repeat four times.
Finish with stretching.

The Houseguest Workout

When jumping jacks and burpees aren’t going to cut it, go for this jump-free routine.
Do each exercise for one minute. If needed, include 15-30 seconds of rest between each set.

  • Squats
  • Lunges (1 minute on each side)
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Pushups
  • Planks

Repeat four times.

Finish with stretching.

If you prefer to stream a gear-free workout, here are a few of our favorites:

Seated Limb Looseners

Layovers and road trips can leave you feeling stiff and stuck. Loosen up with this routine and—if you’re able—mix in a few laps around the gas station at each stop.

  • Neck Stretches – Start by gently tilting your head from side to side, holding each position for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this movement five times to release neck and upper back tension.
  • Shoulder Rolls – Sit up tall and roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion, completing ten rotations. Then, reverse the direction and roll them backward for another ten repetitions. This exercise helps relieve tightness in the shoulder and upper back area.
  • Seated Forward Bend – Extend your legs straight in front of you and reach forward, attempting to touch your toes. Hold this position for 30 seconds while focusing on breathing deeply and feeling the stretch in your hamstrings and lower back.
  • Seated Spinal Twist – Sitting up straight, cross one leg over the other, placing your opposite elbow against the outside of your bent knee. Gently twist your torso toward the crossed leg, holding the stretch for 15-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side to promote spinal flexibility.
  • Wrist and Hand Stretches – Extend your arms in front of you and, one at a time, flex and extend your wrists, rotating them clockwise and counterclockwise. Additionally, make a fist and release it multiple times to stretch your hand muscles and improve blood flow.
  • Seated Cat-Cow Stretch – Place your hands on your knees and gently round your back, dropping your head forward, creating a “C” shape with your spine. Then, arch your back, lifting your chest and head upwards, creating an arched shape. Alternate between these two positions for ten repetitions, promoting flexibility and alleviating tension in your spine.

Exercising in the Friendly Skies:

All of the road trip exercises can also be done on an airplane. But one of the advantages of being on a long flight is that you can also stand. Take advantage by doing calf raises, taking a walk up one aisle and down the other, and doing a few stretches in the galley area if your plane is large enough to accommodate it.

It’s essential to respect airline regulations and not make a nuisance of yourself to other passengers. But if you remember to keep moving your body while in transit, you’ll enjoy the following:

  1. Improved Circulation: Enhances blood flow, reducing swelling and the risk of blood clots.
  2. Reduced Muscle Stiffness: Relieves tension and prevents discomfort and soreness.
  3. Increased Energy: Boosts oxygen flow, keeping you alert and focused.
  4. Improved Posture: Maintains proper alignment and supports a healthy back.
  5. Emotional Well-being: Alleviates restlessness, anxiety, and stress.

If you’re planning a summer of activity (and we hope you are), check out Destination Fitness, our guide to blending travel, fun, and activity.