When Traveling, any Workout is Better than None

My dad's old weights in my brother's garage came in handy during my visit.

It’s always been very hard for me to work while traveling. If I’m out of my routine, without my usual equipment, I just don’t feel like it’s worth it. What’s the point if I don’t have access to the same weights and machines? What if I injure myself trying to do all new things? Plus I’m not a workout-at-home kind of person – I need to be around a lot of other energy to get pumped. 

The downfall of such rationale is that I could get back to the gym after a week of traveling and overdo it. The last time I did that, I hurt my lower back and it took weeks for it to heal. 

So this time I adopted a new attitude about working out when traveling: Whatever I can do (cautiously) is much better than nothing. Even if it’s a walk, or some random abs, or a half routine – it’s something that will help my body adjust when I go back to my full routine at home. 

Before my trip my brother told me he had some weight equipment in his garage – a squat rack, a bench with a few attachments and some rusted 1960’s plates from my dad. That’s all I needed to hear to commit to at least one workout on my five-day stay. 

With only a few days since my last workout, I worked the next muscle groups due with my brother’s weights – shoulders, triceps, and abs.  

I’m happy I didn’t write off a workout just because I wasn’t at my own gym – now I’m ready to get back in the swing tomorrow.

16 thoughts on “When Traveling, any Workout is Better than None

  1. Allow me to introduce you to the mother of invention; NECESSITY!!!

    I lived about 20 years in that mind-set. But as I got older, the workouts became much more about mental stability than really square pecs. As that transition took shape, my travel workouts became more important to me; pull-ups from tree branches, shoulder presses with logs, Rocky Balboa kind of stuff.

    I travel mostly for recreation and in rural areas with no gyms. In this, I have come to realize that the whole world is a gym if you’re willing to drop some boundaries, and explore some possibilities.


    • Lisa: That does sound fun. I even walked around the playground in laps and that satiated me somewhat ;).
      Lindsay: Old school is exactly right. They are nicked and rusted and seem heavier, lol.
      Roy: It’s kind of liberating to just realize that you’re not just working out on vacation to stay in shape, but for mental health reasons. From now on I’m going to do something for my body while I’m traveling. Tabada is another great option I didn’t think of.


  2. Working out is a great way to keep yourself in shape, mindset focused, and body on track. As long as you keep working out…you’ll feel better than not. Your brother gives good tips..lol..Great Post. I’m new here and i love the website. Nice.


  3. LOVELY Pic! Wow! A full weight rack, bench and rusted plates. You must admit it is better than pressing gallons of milk **winks**

    Oooooh – you found a playground? Tell me you did some inverted rows – pleeeeeeeeeez!



  4. I truly enjoyed this post so much. You’ve hit so much on the head. I can relate to just about everything in this post, except traveling and dealing with my family. =)

    It’s one of the worst things to dabble in on something entirely new and then your body becomes injured. Just as it’s also the worst when one doesn’t train, then finally does, then goes all out with a bang again and get injured as well. Seems the possibilities of getting injured are endless.

    Quite interesting how you also hit the Working Out At home isn’t as exciting. I really relate to this and have recently wrote a blog about this on my xanga site because I find that I also need to feed off other people’s energy. This I can’t do at home. I must rely on everything I can possibly bring at home. So again, I can relate.

    I’m very happy your brother and father had equipment you’re very familiar with as is and took the offer, with what seems like glee. I’m happy for you. Win win situation, where “working out cautiously” is a very good answer. 😉


    • Ines, it’s so good to see you on my blog! It’s cool that we resonate with each other in so many ways. I admire people who can work out at home and actually stick with it, but I’m not one of those people. I’m proud I was able to do something while out of town… maybe that’s the biggest benefit of all :).


  5. Right on, Suzanne! If travelling to a new city, would it be possible to find workout groups through local forum sites like Craigslist? I was thinking that it might be motivating (and interesting!) to work out with new friends while in different cities.


    • Thanks Garick! That’s also a great idea for traveling on a longer term basis (or if you travel somewhere regularly). And I never thought I working out with out of town friends either – another great idea!


  6. I don’t travel often, but my youngest son and I are taking a trip to Disneyworld in two weeks. I am so looking forward to the warmer weather and the jogging track around the resort we’re staying at!

    And it is so ODD for me to feel that way. Never thought there would be a day when I looked forward to working out.

    Anyway, loved your article. It’s a good reminder to stay on track, even when your routine is broken.


  7. Amen!! As someone that travels pretty much every week, I’ve had to figure out ways to get my workouts in with no excuses. What’s been great for me are some DVDs that I take with me- ones that require NO equipment (kickboxing, plyo, yoga– from Cathe, Ilaria, P90X, Insanity), I pop them in my laptop and do from the room. I’ve been bringing my Valslides and Val-bands with me too- those have a ton of moves you can do (also a ton of videos of others using them for different legs/core movements on YouTube). I bring a set of bands and my workout clothes…and this month I indulged on a new TRX system to bring with me. Psyched about that. You never know what kind of gym a hotel will have so I pretty much assume there WON’T be a gym, then it’s a double win if there is one. But you can do sooo much without one…..it’s just gonna take that “I’m gonna do SOMETHING” attitude. And then it feels GREAT when you fit it in, for sure. 😉


    • If there’s anyone who’s a star example of working out on the road, it’s you Kelly. You’re a maniac and inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing all your methods. It’s obviously paying off girlfriend.


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