When you travel, it’s easy to come up with excuses to sit more and move less. Your body takes a toll and instead of having more energy during your vacation, you feel sore and spent.

After too many trips feeling like this, I came to realize it doesn’t take much to “work out on the road”. So I started to move where ever I was whenever I had time without feeling like I had to invest an hour or two going to a gym or Pilates studio for a “full workout”.

It’s amazing what 3 mins, 15 mins or 30 mins of movement can do for your body and psyche when you know your body needs it!

Sometimes I do just an exercise and sometimes I put together a full routine. Here are some things I think of when putting together a routine on the road.

Move the spine in all directions

It’s easy for the spine to get stuck, especially in a plane or in a car for extended periods of time. Give it the gift of movement. Move it forward, back, turn it and bend it sideways. You can make it look like an exercise or just wiggle and stretch it around. If it feels good, your body probably needs it!

Move your hips and strengthen them

Hips get stuck and feel tight when you sit too much. This can affect how the rest of the body feels. When you mobilize the hips and then strengthen them, it’s one of the best ways to feel strong and ready to take on the day. Simple ways to do this are with squats, the Pilates bridge, any side lying work, etc.

Be resourceful: Use small props or whatever’s around

While you don’t need to use specific props, they can be fun, add to your creativity and feel factor and enhance your workout so you get a better “bang for the buck” for the time you spend. My favorite props to take on the road are light weight and pack well: the Pilates ring, Theraband and squishy ball. When in a hotel or on the road I’ve also been resourceful with water bottles, towels, books, belts, doorways, walls, stairways and even overhead compartments of airplanes.

This week I am visiting some friends and it’s hot, hot, hot outside. I’m 32 weeks pregnant and desperately need to move my body after a long car ride and in between our leisurely meals. I’ve sped up the routine so you can see it faster. Below, I’ve written it out for you if you’d like to follow it.

Move to feel good, not to exhaust yourself

When you move, it should feel energizing and refreshing. While you do want to work your body and muscles, you don’t need to fatigue yourself. The point here is to move, build a bit of strength and give yourself a boost. After all, you’re on vacation!

 

14-Min Summer Heat Workout with Pilates Ring

Place ring round outer legs just above knees

 

SUPINE (on your back)

Press out into ring

Bridge – neutral up, articulated down (lift hips)

Thoracic rotation – move upper spine

Hip sways + foot lift

Bridge + arm circles

 

SIDE LYING – 1st side

 

Press up into the ring

Turn top leg in and out while pressing into the ring

Press up into the ring

 

SUPINE

 

Hip sways with foot lift + thoracic rotation

Knee extensions – bring knees above hips leaving feet dangling – stretch legs and bend to dangled position

Knee extensions – single leg

 

SIDE LYING – 2nd side

 

Press up into the ring

Turn top leg in and out while pressing into the ring

Press up into the ring

 

SUPINE

 

Bridge

Bridge + arm circles

Hip sways with both legs up

+ straighten top leg – pointed

+ straighten top leg – flexed

 

SEATED – holding ring

 

Squeeze ring in front of chest

Arc ring up to sky with long arms

Squeeze ring

Circle ring with long arms

 

Side bend towards ring – 1st side

Hold side bent position + thread the needle

 

Squeeze ring

Arm arcs

 

Side bend towards ring – 2nd side

Hold side bent position + thread the needle

 

QUADRUPED – on hands and knees – no ring needed

 

Cat/cow

Sweep one arm forward and back

+ look at hand as it goes back

+ circle arm as it goes back

 

Cat/cow

Sweep other arm forward and back

+ look at hand as it goes back

+ circle arm as it goes back

 

Cat Cow

Place ring perpendicular to floor and press into top handle

Hold hands and balance ring + waving cat

ROMEO KNEELING – 1st side

 

Long arm arcs

Hold arms at top + bend and stretch elbows

Hold elbows in bent position + squeeze ring

 

TALL KNEELING

 

Hold ring in front of chest + turn spine side to side

 

ROMEO KNEELING – 2nd side

 

Long arm arcs

Hold arms at top + bend and stretch elbows

Hold elbows in bent position + squeeze ring

 

QUADRUPED – ring between inner thighs, just above knees

 

Shoulder blade glides

Knee hovers

Hold knee hover + squeeze into ring

 

That’s it!