Tips for Staying Fit When You’re On the Go & Busy

July 7, 2017 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

Written by: Zach Connell, CSCS, Pn1, Fitness Specialist

So you’ve just got into a groove with your new workout program. You have the technique down, have been consistently exercising, are starting to feel changes in your body, and then BOOM- you have to hit the road for work or a vacation and your progress comes to a screeching halt. Even worse, the lack of quality sleep or nutrition and the constant sitting associated with travel can leave us achy, tired, and frequently bringing home a few extra unwanted pounds.

We’ve all been there before, and the sinking feeling that it brings can make it feel like we are aimlessly spinning the hamster wheel we call our health. No need for despair, this doesn’t need to be the case. With a little bit of foresight and planning you can develop a systematic and successful approach to stay moving when on the go.

Here are some things to consider before your next trip:

  • “Something is always better than nothing” when it comes to exercising.
  • What does your schedule look like? When do you have 10 minutes to work out? 20 minutes to go on a walk? etc.
  • What will your sleeping environment be like? Packing a pair of ear plugs and a sleeping mask can help avoid unexpected disturbances to a good night’s rest
  • Outdoor activities such as: walking, biking, or hiking can pay dividends for your mental health as well as your physical health
  • 10 minutes is all it takes to improve your health and fitness level per day
  • There’s no required equipment for working out when you are on the road, but there are a few good pieces of equipment that you can bring with you if you are hopping in the car- kettlebells, resistance bands, Perform Better mini band, foam rollers, and an Airex Pad)
  • Determine if you will have access to a gym, park, nature trails, or if there are any gyms in the area that offer a day pass

So let’s recap, in 10 minutes and with no equipment we can do something to improve our mood, strength, balance, coordination, and endurance while lowering our risk for stroke, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Here are a few options:

  • Go for a walk outside
  • Work on your cardio by using a stairwell or steps outside:
    • do 6 rounds of alternating step ups (press your body up with one leg onto a step, step up with your other leg, step down one leg at a time, and then repeat with the other leg) for 1 minute followed by a 30 second rest break.
  • Do a hotel workout or workout at home:
    • 2-minute warm up (step ups, marching in place, or jumping jacks)
    • Do 3 rounds of the following with 30 second rest intervals between:
      • 10 reps body weight squats or 30-60 second wall sit
      • 10 reps wall push-ups
      • plank max hold
      • up to 45 seconds single leg balance on each leg
    • finish with 2 minutes light walking and static stretching
  • Do a hotel workout or workout at home with equipment (*1 medium sized kettlebell and balance pad required):
    • 2-minute warm up (step ups, marching in place, or jumping jacks)
    • Do 3 rounds of the following pairs of exercises with up to 30 seconds rest between sets. Do all 3 sets of Group A exercises, then Group B, and finish with Group C.

Group A: Kettlebell Squat x 10 reps + Kettlebell Swing x 15 reps

Group B: Pushups or wall push-ups x 10 reps + Split Stance Kettlebell Single arm row x 10 reps/ side

Group C: Front plank max hold + Airex pad tandem stance balance

Exercise Video Demonstrations:

Body Weight Squats

Wall Sit

Wall Pushups

Front Plank

Single Leg Balance

Kettlebell Squat

Kettlebell Swing


Split Stance Kettlebell Single Arm Row

Airex Pad Tandem Stance Balance  

  • Try out a free pass at a local gym
    • If you don’t feel comfortable with your exercise technique you can always opt for walking and then hiring a fitness professional to teach you how to properly exercise. If you explain that you are interested in learning how to stay consistent with your exercise routine while traveling a fitness professional can help you find ways for exercise to be effective, enjoyable, and flexible to your schedule.
    • If you are local to the Triangle, Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic offers 2 complimentary 30 minute fitness sessions with a fitness specialist. This would be a good way to determine what to work on when it comes to your health and fitness as well as to develop a gameplan for how to stay moving and pain free while you are on the go.
    • Here are a couple articles that explain why it’s important to keep exercising when you are traveling or busy and how to be successful. 10 minutes a day is all it takes.

When you’re busy and on the go

Why the Pause Button Mentality is Ruining your health and fitness

About Zach Connell, CSCS, Pn1:

Zach Connell is a fitness specialist with Raleigh Orthopaedic’s CORE program. He earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Nutrition and Science from UT-Austin in 2014 and his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. Zach’s background in sports training and nutrition has given him the opportunity to work with the baseball and basketball teams at UT and the football team at UNC. Zach spent 7 years in personal training and schooling prior to joining Raleigh Orthopaedic in 2015. Zach enjoys powerlifting, cooking, sports, and spending time with his dog, Watson.