Travel workout without gym equipment

Travel workout without gym equipment

Here is my travel workout. I live all over the world. I developed a travel workout routine so I could stay in shape as I travel the world.

I left the United States in 2007. I have lived in 65 countries so far. I go back to visit family and friends in the USA, but mostly I move forward discovering new parts of the world. Today I am in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

How are travel workouts different?

Travel workouts are different because you can’t be certain that you will have a gym near you when you land in a new place.  You need to be more flexible than the average gym rat when you travel.

Gym rats

I am not a gym rat. I only workout enough to stay healthy, to maintain high-level consciousness, to maintain a healthy sex life, and to continue to eat my favorite foods without getting fat. Before leaving the USA, I only visited the gym to maintain these 4 goals.

Gym fetish

Most of the world does not have the gym fetish. You will not be able to maintain your gym habit as you travel the world. You have to find another way.

Many places around the world do not have hotels with gyms. Many places don’t have Airbnb apartments with gyms. So I had to figure out a way to stay in shape under any conditions in the world.

At first, I tried finding a gym everywhere I went. I often wasted my first day living in a new town looking for and joining a gym. That failed too often to be considered reliable. Then I tried only renting Airbnb apartments with gyms. That failed because most of the equipment sucked.

Finally, I created a routine that did not depend on anything, and it worked. Here it is.

Creating a travel workout routine

I am routine oriented. If I don’t integrate a travel workout into my daily routine, it doesn’t get done. I can’t have a routine that depends on anything such as gyms, weights, treadmills, bicycles, free weights, or even yoga instructors. Sometimes I even end up in places with unreliable Internet. So I can’t depend on online yoga instructors or other online workout routines.

I needed a travel workout routine that could survive under all conditions. I needed one that I could start first thing in the morning without giving it a moment’s thought.

You see, I start every day with a workout. By honoring my body every day with a travel workout routine, I start each day the right way. Here is what I do each day as I travel to maintain a healthy body.

Maintenance routine (Obtain doctor approval for each below movement before starting)

Travel Workout: Monday through Friday

Running/Walking: I start each day running. I walk out the front of my door and run wherever I am in the world. All I need is shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes. I suit up and go. I don’t spend any time picking where to run. I just run from where I am. I run in a different direction each morning so I learn what my neighborhood looks like. I often learn as much about the world I am living in from my morning runs as I do reading online. Ask your doctor how long you should run or walk each morning. I run for at least 20 to 30 minutes. There are no exceptions. Just go.

Resistance Bands: Monday through Friday

Resistance Bands: On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, after my run, my travel workout includes my resistance bands workout. This simple workout includes each of the following exercises and repetitions. Don’t worry if you don’t know what these exercises are, they are in the attached video at the following times. Just watch the “Travel workout without gym equipment” video at the time suggested below to see each movement.

Pushups (1:16) Do as many as you can safely achieve. I do 20.
Abs (1:54) Do as many as you safely can. I do 30.
Squats (2:56) Do as many as you safely can. I do 30.
Triceps (3:36) Grab a chair and exercise your triceps. I do 20.
Back (4:14) I do back with these resistance bands. Pick a resistance band so you can do more than 10 but less than 20 repetitions. (the 10to20Rule).
Curls (5:08) I do curls with these resistance bands. Do the 10to20Rule.
Stretching (5:51) Do these stretches daily

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Travel workout cross training (Tuesday and Thursday)

Notice that you can do the above maintenance routine no matter what. So you do it … unless … a cross training routine is readily available. For example, I am in an apartment in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia today that has a great gym. So I run no matter what on Monday through Friday. But on Tuesday and Thursday, I replace the above resistance bands travel workout with a cross training routine. But I still do the resistance bands on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

In this case, there is a machine circuit available in my apartment building (Travel workout without gym equipment at 9:19). So on Tuesday and Thursday, I replace the resistance bands routine with the machine circuit routine. If there was a great Internet connection, I could replace the resistance band training with an Adriene Yoga class. If there was a great free weights gym in the building, I could replace the resistance band training with free weights. If I was at the ocean, I might paddleboard. Whatever exercise presents itself to me without effort, I integrate into my weekly routine as a cross training on Tuesdays and Thursdays (instead of the resistance band training). But I always run Monday through Friday.

Discovery Walks

If you have been following my world travels, you know that I am a cultural explorer. I love to walk around ancient cities and temples and explorer white sand beaches. Whenever I visit a new part of the world, it is not unusual for me to spend a few hours each day just walking around without a map. This is when Qiang and I have some of our best talks. We do this in the evenings on weekdays and in the morning on weekends depending on the weather.

Some days, I walk with a path set out on Google Maps on my smartphone. In that case, there is usually a list of places I have read about and want to see. I often make old town walking tours and record those so you can see my favorite parts of a destination.

It is not unusual for us to walk 3 to 4 hours a day. All of this helps keep us in shape.

Integration of physical and spiritual health

Finally, I would like to discuss the intersection of physical and spiritual health. Just after my morning run, endorphins flood into my body. Running opens my receptivity to the spiritual and reduces my interest in the worldy. Thus, running increases both my physical and my spiritual energy. Both of these energies support my access to present moment awareness.

Present moment awareness has made the most lasting difference in my life. Although awareness extends beyond my body, my body seems to play a central role in the perception of awareness. When I start each day honoring the role my body plays in spiritual awareness, joyfulness occurs effortlessly and naturally throughout the rest of the day. There is a silent joyfulness in the awareness the travels with me.

I have learned a little trick that turns the awareness experience active rather than just passive.

Sharing insights about present moment awareness

As I run, I listen to some of my favorite spiritual Youtube entities, such as Mooji, Alan Watts, Papaji, Werner Erhard, Eckhart Tolle, etc. They speak my experience of life. Hearing the different ways they describe what I experience helps me connect words to experiences I have lived for decades. Insights about the nature of present moment awareness flood into me as I run. Their voices make me smile. They know me.

After each run, as I cool down, I hit record on my smartphone. I share any experiential insights I made while running and listening.

There is power in observing and speaking this indescribable experience you have. That power is not as clear to you when you merely agree with the words another speaks. Even if they speak your experience accurately. Your silent accurate agreement is not the same as a spoken insight you have about their words. As you select and arrange words describing your insights on the same experience, the power of the experience lives in you.

Words are not the same as present moment awareness. But your awareness about how your words fail to evoke your insight … illuminates the experience for you. Words will never be the experience itself. But seeing the distance between the failed words and the experience you describe … illuminates the experience in you. The rest of us get to chuckle because we know your struggle.

Thus, my travel workout routine purposely integrates both physical and spiritual health into my daily life–present moment awareness. I share these recorded insights on Running Meditations and on Present with Vagabond Buddha Youtube channel. If you are up for a chuckle at me as you run, give a listen.

Thanks for listening.  Dan of Vagabond Buddha.

2 thoughts on “Travel workout without gym equipment”

  1. Your tips on Patzcuaro and Morelia are awesome.
    We are going next week and will check it out.
    I liked the workout wiht out gym.
    Check out the 7 minutes Johnson and Johnson work out from Human Performance Institute. It is for people on the go. I love TRX which you can do almost anywhere where you have a door:-)
    Love your posts keep it coming.

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