No Gym? No Problem. Get in Cardio Without Leaving Home

Traveling for the holidays can be completely disruptive to your workout routine. You aren’t near your gym and there’s no guarantee there will be any exercise equipment where you’re staying. While you can strength train using just your body weight, cardio is a little trickier—especially if you don’t like to run. But you can actually get in a killer cardio workout without any equipment or stepping foot outside. Just follow these tips:

Do as the First Lady does. If Michelle Obama isn’t able to get to the gym, she does a 30-minute routine that includes a minute of jumping jacks, followed by a minute of pushups and then a minute of sit-ups. She continues to do that circuit for a total of 30 minutes in order to get a good cardio session in on the go.

Stick to shorter workouts. When it comes to cardio, research finds that shorter workouts are best for fat loss.  But the catch is that the workouts have to be intense and your rest periods (which should be no more than 30 seconds) should incorporate jogging or walking in place. See what we mean by completing three sets of the following moves for a 20-minute workout that will burn major calories.

  • Jog in place: 45 seconds (warm-up)
  • Jumping jacks: 45 seconds
  • Rest (while walking or jogging in place): 30 seconds
  • Squats: 45 seconds
  • Rest (while walking or jogging in place): 30 seconds
  • Basketball jump-shots: 45 seconds
  • Rest (while walking or jogging in place): 30 seconds
  • Power squats: 45 seconds
  • Rest (while walking or jogging in place): 30 seconds
  • Mountain climbers: 45 seconds
  • Rest (while walking or jogging in place): 30 seconds

Remember that variety is key. Try out a few cardio routines so that you tone different muscles while also improving your cardiovascular system and overall fitness level. For example, try all three of the following routines from the Huffington Post.

  • High-burn bodyweight workout: Complete 6 to 10 sets of the following moves depending on your fitness level. Don’t know what one of the moves looks out? Check out this poster.
    10 jumping jacks
    10 sprinter lunges
    10 lunge step-ups
    8 side-to-side skater hops
  • At-home cardio workout: Alternate 10 high knees with 2 mountain climbers and repeat five times. Rest for two minutes then repeat that sequence 6 to 10 times, depending on your fitness level.
  • Squat challenge: Complete 100 squats as fast you can, resting when necessary.

Find other exercise ideas with these travel-friendly workout suggestions and share some of your favorite at-home exercises in the comments below.


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Photo credit: Paolo

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Read 3 Comments

  1. Great resource, well written. Fast, to-the-point information. I work in health care & will be sharing this information. It works for all income levels. Many thanks!

  2. What about us elders? I’m in my eighties, and have been working out in gyms 10 years. But many of us are not able to do the intensity of pushups, jogging, and other stuff. But I sure like the idea of working out in fresh air, walking, but no more weights over 25 lbs. It is important for us oldsters to maintain core strength and weight.

    1. Congratulations on your dedication to staying fit – you’re an inspiration! When you’re traveling and need to get a workout in, starting with walking as a base is great. You can modify the interval workout described in the post by speed walking at a pace you’re comfortable with for 30 seconds to a minute and then alternating that with periods of normal or rest walking. Look for stairs or hills to add a little extra intensity if that’s comfortable for you. As far as resistance training, you can use your body weight by performing standing push-ups against a wall or contracting and releasing your muscles during curls or shoulder presses – small weights or water bottles can be added for a little more of a challenge. Working your legs’ main muscle groups through squats and lunges is also an excellent on-the-road move. Yoga and Tai Chi are other great low-impact workouts you can perform in a hotel room or on a beach. It also might be worth talking to your doctor or a fitness professional at your gym to see if they have any suggestions that would be right for your current fitness level. Thanks for reading!

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