How to Stay in Shape While Traveling—My On-the-Go Exercise Routine 

by JJ Virgin on November 16, 2023

Whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure, your workout routine doesn’t have to take a backseat, no matter how stamped your passport is. 

You won’t always have access to a complete gym or all the equipment you use daily, but with a little motivation and creativity, your fitness goals can move with you wherever you go.  

4 Types of Workouts You Can Do While Traveling 

While your workout routine might change on the road, your overall habits shouldn’t. Whether you’re hitting the gym or getting in a quick sweat session in your hotel room, aim for each of these types of workouts throughout the week: 

1. Strength Training 

Building and maintaining muscle is the best way to balance blood sugar, burn fat, and balance your hormones long-term.1

You don’t need a gym to get those benefits, either. Push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and dips are excellent muscle-building exercises that require body weight only.  

2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT or Burst Training) 

Go hard, and then go see the sights! You can get a full-body HIIT workout in less time than it takes room service to deliver.

Burst training boosts your post-workout metabolic rate, builds muscle, balances blood sugar, normalizes heart rate and blood pressure, and burns fat.2  

You should feel the burn by the end of every 30-60 seconds of bursting. If you easily can go longer than 60 seconds with your bursting activity, pick a harder one or go faster. Burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squat jumps, or bursting up and down the stairs are excellent time-efficient exercises.  

3. Zone 2 Training 

Zone 2 training (aerobic training) involves working out at a moderate intensity that enhances your aerobic endurance. Any moderate-intensity activity with around 60-70% of your maximum heart rate falls within Zone 2 training.  

Brisk walking is the perfect Zone 2 activity—and an excellent way to discover a new city. Hiking and cycling are excellent Zone 2 activities, too. 

4. Recovery Exercises 

Hot yoga, pilates, and stretching can complement your fitness efforts, improving stability, flexibility, and core strength.

How to Stay in Shape While Traveling 

Whether you’re a frequent traveler or want to ensure that your vacations include some physical activity, these options ensure that you can get in a good workout while you’re traveling. 

TRX Suspension Trainer 

My TRX Suspension Trainer is at the top of my packing list every time I plan a trip. Designed by Navy SEALs, who don’t have the luxury of a gym at sea but have to stay fit, it’s lightweight and easy to carry.  

TRX uses bodyweight resistance to target every muscle group, allowing you to adjust the difficulty level simply by changing the angle of your body. You can perform exercises for your chest, back, arms, shoulders, legs, and core without additional weights.  

Bodyweight Exercises 

Bodyweight exercises require no equipment, and you can do them nearly anywhere. Go for compound movements that target multiple muscle groups at once to make the most of your workout. Push-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, planks, and mountain climbers are among the effective bodyweight exercises that target multiple muscle groups. 


Find a stairwell in your hotel or look for a flight of stairs around your destination, and you’ve got a great way to get your heart rate up with some burst training. Here’s how that might look: 

  • Sprint or quickly walk up the stairs, using proper form and engaging your core muscles. For about 20-30 seconds, as you ascend the stairs, put in maximal effort. This should burn a little bit! 
  • During your active rest period, descend the stairs more slowly to recover for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Continue alternating between bursts and rests for about 10-20 minutes. 

Resistance Bands 

Resistance bands are lightweight and take up very little space in your suitcase—but they can really pack a punch! You can add resistance to your bodyweight exercises (like around your thighs in a glute bridge), or use them in lieu of dumbbells for things like bicep curls and lateral raises. 

Fitness Apps and Online Workouts 

Many fitness apps and websites offer on-the-go workout routines that require minimal or no equipment. These resources often provide guided workouts for various fitness levels, helping you stay motivated and focused.

Look for free workouts on YouTube, or try an app like Peloton for a variety of classes you can do in your hotel room, at the hotel gym, or out and about. 

Explore Outdoors 

Move more and bask in nature with hiking, biking, swimming, or even beach volleyball.  

When you travel, I want you to move more, period. Walk instead of taking transportation, take the stairs instead of elevators, and explore your surroundings on foot. Especially with cities, this is incredibly easy and fun to do. Track your movement and you’ll be impressed at how many miles you wrack up daily!

Whether you’re at home or on the road, my FREE Resistance Training Cheat Sheet provides everything you need for your fitness journey, including home gym essentials, an 8-week workout plan, and a progress tracker to track your sets, reps, and weights with each workout. 


  1. Cava E, Yeat NC, Mittendorfer B. Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss. Adv Nutr. 2017 May 15;8(3):511-519. doi: 10.3945/an.116.014506. PMID: 28507015; PMCID: PMC5421125. 
  1. HIIT Benefits: 7 Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training  

The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.