How You Can Find Time to Work Out

Sergeant puts in time in the gym.
Sgt. Navril Carrion, the chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear noncommissioned officer with Headquarters Support Company, Headquarter and Headquarter Battalion, I Corps, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., works out at McVeigh Sports and Fitness Center. (Sgt. Cody Quinn, 28th Public Affairs Detachment/U.S. Army photo)

I have received a few emails asking about a good workout you can do in your hotel room while travelling  or in your living room when too busy to go to the weight room. This email is from a civilian high school student who aspires to become a member of the Armed Services.

"I was trying to figure out how I would be able to work out in Germany. Two weeks is a long time without a work out. So I was wondering if you had any good workout ideas for some kind of work out I could do in my room in Germany? Thanks."

For those who are geared toward future military, active-duty military members or those who prefer a calisthenics workout, these tips are perfect for you.

The goal is to create a maintenance program that will challenge your cardiovascular system as well as your muscle endurance. Some hotels may have weight rooms with cardio equipment or even pools. If that is the case, get your cardio in the pool or on bikes or treadmills. Otherwise, these workouts can be done with little or no equipment as demonstrated below:

The superset is a series of exercises to be repeated with no rest. For the upper-body superset, simply do 5-10 push-ups, then roll over and rest your push-up muscles by doing 10 crunches and continue on with the two different versions of push-ups and crunches. One superset can be accomplished in as little as two minutes. If you repeat this particular workout five times, you will have 150 push-ups and 200 crunches in a 10-minute period.

5-10 supersets

1. Push-ups: 10

2. Crunches: 10

3. Wide push-ups: 10

4. Reverse crunches: 10

5. Triceps push-ups: 10

Add 10-20 jumping jacks after or before every push-up set and get some cardio benefit out of it.

Total time: 10-20 minutes.

On other days, you can work your legs and abs again or combine them for a full-body workout.

Repeat the leg superset 5-10 times, depending on your fitness level:

1. Squats: 20

2. Crunches: 20

3. Lunges: 10/leg

4. Left/right crunches: 20/20

5. Heel raises: 20

6. Reverse crunches: 20

Add jumping jacks to this one, and you will get winded.

The leg workout superset below is a little more challenging, because you stand up and lie down repeatedly. Some people have commented that the hardest part of this workout is the transition from one exercise to the other. As you can see, there is really no excuse not to exercise any day of the week, whether you are traveling, working long hours or staying at home with the kids. With minimal equipment and time sacrifice, we can fit exercise in our lives and stay healthy for many years to come. Good luck.

Mix a little cardio with PT for an all-in-one workout with cardio and muscular benefits:

Jumping jacks: 10 (repeat 5-10 times)

Squats: 10 (repeat 5-10 times) and/or jog, walk or bike 5:00


Repeat 4-5 times:

Squats: 20 reps

Lunges: 10/leg reps (regular, half)

Calves: 30 (regular, toes in, toes out)

Bike or jog: 5:00

Mix jogging or biking with leg exercises with this time-saving workout:

Jog a quarter-mile or bike 2:00-3:00/stretch

Repeat four times:

Jog a quarter-mile on a treadmill or outside (or bike 2:00-3:00)

Squats: 10-20 reps

Lunges: 10-15 reps each leg

Calves: 30 reps each leg


Hope that gives you a few ideas of how you can maintain your fitness level while on travel, as well as how you can start a fitness plan with little or no equipment.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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