The Hotel Travel Series Gives You The Power To Break Through Travel Challenges
We have been right where you are with hotel travel, front and center in our lives and all the challenges that go right along with it! With Craig having over 25 years of business travel and Jenny over 15 years, we know quite a bit about being on the road all the time, living in a hotel, for business or pleasure. Let’s face it, when you are on the road, your daily routine gets thrown to the wind most of the time and you have to take it as it comes because your schedule and your environment are completely out of your control at all times. This is where a commitment and planning come into play, and you will thank yourself for it later.
Why does your lifestyle on the road matter anyway?
No matter what day it is and no matter where you are in the world, our bodies crave movement. You see from the beginning of time, we were created to be creatures of movement, we had to be to survive. We had to move in order to find food, to avoid becoming some other animals dinner and to find shelter and stay alive. Bottom line, if we didn’t move, we didn’t live. As much as we have progressed in so many areas of our lives, one thing remains absolutely true and that is, that if we don’t move, we will not live, at least not as well as we could be living. You see movement increases circulation in our body and triggers hormone releases that not only keep us physically healthy but also mentally. That means, if you want to be a top performer at anything in life, that requires physical or mental work, you must fit movement into your daily life. By the way, movement will also reduce stress and improve your mood which will go a long way in making your travel experience a much more pleasant one. We will go into all of this scientific stuff in a later post, but for now, let’s focus on how you can keep moving on the road.
The Hotel Challenge
Most companies nowadays have scaled back travel budgets to the point that you may be staying in a hotel that calls a room smaller than my bedroom closet with a treadmill inside of it a gym. Which means if one other person in the 150 room hotel decides to workout that day, your plans get all messed up. This is where you have to learn to adapt and get creative and find a way to get moving, no matter what. Let’s face it, if you go down to the gym, find someone else on the treadmill, or find it Out Of Order (which happens more often than not given where the gym falls on the hotel’s priority list), and you decide to skip your workout for the day, you are only hurting yourself. And while it may not seem like a big deal for one day, it really is. You see every single day that we do not exercise, it triggers our body to think that it should start storing up for the cold long winter and that it must be time to fatten up for hibernation. Not exactly what you want to happen, is it?
Forget all your excuses and get moving!
I know what your thinking, what else am I supposed to do? Well, there are a couple of options. First off, you could wander outside into that scary place we call nature and go for a walk or run. This is actually one of the best ideas because by changing your environment and getting out of the stale hotel air, you will cleanse your body and mind to prepare for the tasks ahead or to unwind from all of the hard work you put in that day. Now, that may require extra clothing that you may not have packed so we have some other options too.
If you prefer to stay inside in the safety and privacy of your hotel room, or you are in some bitter cold town in the dead of winter, we are sharing with you here our favorite hotel room exercises that we created out of our years of living 4-5 days a week in a hotel. If we can do it, why can’t you?
Here are 14 of our favorites plus some great stretches and you can pick and choose from them as you please. Some require exercise bands, some do not require anything, but let’s face it, for $10 you can go pick up a band of choice and pack it in your bag with you for every trip. So, get moving!
Stand feet hip-width apart and as you bend your knees and push them out to the side, drop your butt down and back, making sure your knees do not extend past your toes. Drop down slowly and then burst upward. Do 8 – 10 times. Repeat 3 times.
2. Push Ups
Get a towel to place on the floor and place hands directly under shoulders. Lower down slowly until your chest is about 1-2 inches off of the floor and then push up, keeping core tight, abs sucked in and body flat as a board. If this version is too challenging, raise your upper body by placing your hands on the edge of the bed or the desk or even the wall. Avoid going to your knees as it can be painful and reduces the core stimulus which is an important part or the exercise to get you stronger through your midsection. Do 8 – 10 reps. Repeat 3 times.
3. Split Squat with Reverse Fly
Step one leg back and lower knee towards the floor until you have 90-degree angle and making sure front knee does not extend past toes. Put resistance band around hands or wrists with arms extended in front of you and palms facing the floor. As you lower down slowly with legs, stretch arms apart, keeping elbows straight and as you come up bring arms back together. Repeat 8 times on each side and repeat 3 times. These can be done without the band too, creating your own resistance and your push your arms backward.
Again, use a towel to lay down on your stomach on the floor. Place arms directly out overhead and lift chest off of the floor. Keeping your head neutral so as not to strain your neck, move arms down by your sides and then forward overhead again, as if you are swimming, keeping arms and hands off of the floor at all times. Do 12 – 15 reps and repeat 3 times.
Lay on towel and place elbows on the floor directly below shoulders with hands together as pictured. Tighten your core (abs, glutes, quads and hamstrings) and suck in your stomach, lifting your body off the floor. Your body should be flat and stiff like a board, balancing between your toes and your elbows. Do not let your hips sag or your butt push towards the ceiling. Think fat. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
6. Reverse Crunch
Lay on your towel on your back, hands by sides and legs straight up at a 90-degree angle with your body. Push your heels up toward the ceiling by contracting your lower abdominal muscles. Be sure not to rock your feet towards your head or you are not doing the proper exercise. You should feel this in your abdomen, between your hip bones. Do 12 – 15 and repeat 3 times.
7. Rolling T’s
Start in our push up position as in exercise two. Complete one push up and then slowly roll to the side into a side plank, balancing on one hand with your other arm straight up toward the ceiling. Slowly roll back into push up position and complete another push and then roll to the other side for a side plank. Do 12 – 14 (each side counts as 1) and repeat 3 times. If you can not do a standard push up, eliminate that part of the move and just slowly shift from one side plank to the middle and to the other side.
Lay on the towel on your side and place your top foot on the edge of a chair as pictured. Raise your body up into a side plank balancing on your elbow. Bend your bottom leg to 90-degrees at the knee and raise that leg up to your top leg and back down to the floor 6 – 8 times. Switch sides and repeat. Do these 3 times.
9. Bulgarian Split Squat
Place your one foot on a stationary chair (don’t use a swivel desk chair) and scoot your front foot forward so that as you bend your knee to 90-degrees your knee does not extend past your toes. Slowly bend front knee and drop down until at 90-degrees or as far as you can go and then slowly stand back up. Do 8 on each side and repeat 3 times.
10. Tricep Dips
Put your hands on a stationary chair with fingers facing forward and your back close to the chair. Balance your body up on your heels. Slowly, bend your elbows to allow you body to drop down and then steadily push back up to straighten arms. The closer you move your heels to the chair the easier the exercise. The farther away, the harder. For an additional challenge, you can raise your feet to another chair or table. Do 12 – 15 reps and repeat 3 times.
11. Tricep Balance Leg Lift
Stay in tricep dip starting position except bring feet flat on the floor bending knees at 90-degree angle. Slowly reach opposite arm and leg out in front of you reaching your hand out towards the toe working hard to keep your balance. Slowly return to start and repeat on opposite side. If you want to add a challenge, do a tricep dip in between each one so that you dip down and then extend the arm and leg during the upward motion. Do 12 – 14 and repeat 3 times.
12. Banded Shoulder Press
Stand in a comfortable position with your core tight and your resistance band secured under your foot. Grab handles with each hand and position hands by shoulders. Slowly press up to until elbows almost fully extended and then slowly lower back to starting position. Speed control is critical here with the bands to create constant tension on the muscles. Also, it is critical to keep you core locked down, like someone is going to punch you in the stomach, so you don’t arch your back. Do 12 – 15 reps and repeat 3 times.
13. Banded Bicep Curl
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and band under both feet. Spread your feet farther apart for more resistance, closer to make it easier. Hold handles by your side with your elbow at 90-degree angles. From there curl hands up toward your shoulders slowly and then go back to starting position. You are never dropping hands all the way down to straighten elbows because you will loose the tension on the muscle with the bands. Do 12 – 15 reps and repeat 3 times.
14. Bird Dog
Position yourself so that you are balancing with your hands on the edge of the bed and toes on the floor about hip-width apart. Slowly lift right arm and left leg, balancing for 3 seconds and go back to starting position. Repeat with left arm and right leg. Do 12 – 14 reps and repeat 3 times.
Hold each stretch a minimum of 30 seconds.
Start by placing foot on bed or chair and slowly reaching forward with the hands towards the toe as far as you can go. You should feel the stretch in the back of your leg (hamstring) Repeat on opposite side.
Step one leg back and bend front knee, making sure you don’t extend knee past toes and try to push your heel as close to the floor as possible, stretching your calf muscle. While doing this stretch, reach arms overhead and then bend elbows and grab one elbow with opposite hand, to pull elbow toward the center stretching the tricep. Repeat on other side and stretch opposite arm as well.
From calf stretch position, bend the back knee also and push the hips forward to feel a stretch in the front of the hip. Reach one arm across your chest and hug into your body with your other arm, stretching the shoulder. Repeat on opposite side.
Stand straight up and hold onto the wall with one hand and pull foot toward buttocks with other hand, being sure to keep your knees as close together as possible, feeling the stretch in the front of your leg (quadriceps). Repeat on the other side.
Get rid of your excuses and get moving towards a better life, physically and mentally so you can prosper not only in your business or career but in your personal life as well. Movement makes everything but, it requires commitment and consistency. So find something you love to do and start doing it. Mix it up to keep it interesting and make it your Number 1 commitment each day because, without it, everything else in your life will suffer.
For more helpful articles, visit us at www.craigandjennyd.com.