Travel Exercise Ideas?

It will soon be “VACATION TIME” as the school year comes to an end.

For those of us who like to exercise …even missing a single day while traveling to our vacation destination can be worrisome. As we all know, stress can have a detrimental affect on our physical as well as mental well being. To help combat these affects, last year I came up with some exercise ideas to be used while traveling to your destination.

Below each idea is a comment from a reader who took advantage of these techniques last summer.

ENJOY!  …and comments…are welcomed!

1)  Isometric Exercises

–    Perhaps better if you are not driving…but even drivers can utilize these techniques. Often while driving I will place my hands opposite each other on the wheel and push towards the center of the steering wheel.  Another idea is to grab the headrest and contract the bicep muscle for as long as possible, alternating until failure.

Comments from a reader:

Dear Steve, I read with great interest your idea on Isometric Exercises. Prior to our vacation, I was in church and my mind began wandering… thinking about your article.  Then I thought… you know I could practice Isometrics  now during the sermon… talk about multi-tasking!

So I placed my hands together in my lap and began pressing them together as hard as I could… all was well until I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and immediately noticed that for several rows back every one was looking at me and snickering. I also realized that I felt perspiration on my forehead…I’d worked up a sweat.

Then I looked at John, a friend of mine who had tapped me on the shoulder. He was pointing toward the alter. When I turned around, the pastor told me, in front of the entire congregation. “Mark… would you please go to the restroom, you are disrupting the service.”   I sat stunned… my wife is elbowing me… and telling me to get up. Finally, I realized… the pastor had seen me doing isometrics and thought I was holding back on a bowel movement. Getting up was my only move and when I did… the laughter really started.  Apparently the Isometrics had caused me to sweat profusely…from every pore,  if you know what I mean….

I won’t be trying this again anytime soon. Wish I’d never read your blog….if I wasn’t a Christian…I’d tell you what you could do with your Isometrics.

2) Pull Up Bar

– a neat idea for some… bolting a Pull Up Bar underneath the roof of your car, so you can do pull ups inside the car.  You can use this with or without a luggage rack but it’s much more stable with a luggage rack,  as you can “tie it in” to the existing structure for extra support.  Using two “U-bolts” , you can easily drill 4 holes through the roof of you car, truck or van to easily make use of a pull up bar in your vehicle. I STRONGLY recommend bolting this in the passenger side or back seat area. I do NOT recommend using this while driving.

Comments from a reader :

Hey %$#@(&  …. I did as you suggested, using the U-bolts, you didn’t mention anything about needing rubber washers… it rained our entire day of driving from NY to GA… the baby would NOT stop crying because the leak was over the child seat… THANKS for making my trip miserable!!!

Before you hand out instructions like this, you really should have someone knowledgeable look at your so called “advice”. I tried this “simple” trick as you called it.  Not only could I not exercise, NOT only did it keep our baby awake but it made the trip last longer…we had to stop every hour and bail out water from the floorboard….oh and … I’m sending you a bill for the repairs, you &%^$#^!!!

3)  Chinese Fire Drill (sprints):

In slow  or non-moving traffic you and your spouse can take turns driving while the other jogs or even better, sprints ahead.

Comments from a reader:

Steve, I have mixed results to report from your  sprinting tip.  Both my husband and I tried this while going to Utah….it worked great for awhile….but then things took a turn for the worse.  We were stuck in traffic for two hours due to a tractor trailer truck accident that resulted in a chemical spill.

I ran first and all went well while my husband rode in the car with our children… but when it was his turn, he ran too far ahead. We found out later that the truck’s chemicals were toxic and while he was sprinting, the fumes over took him and he passed out in the ditch.  Traffic eased up so we kept driving….not realizing that he had passed out and that we had passed him in the ditch.

The kids and I kept driving but we never saw him…I became worried and doubled back. I repeated this several times.  After a couple of hours and calls to the police, I thought he’d been kidnapped.  Well,  my husband finally woke up on the side of the highway, in the dark. He had left his cell phone in the car so he tried flagging down a car but no one would stop for him.  He finally walked to the next exit and called me from a pay phone.  It caused a 6 hr delay in our trip and much aggravation. The sprinting was nice…but the added stress was definitely NOT PRIMAL.


Yes it’s true, not all of my ideas worked out for everyone…. BUT we all know that the “silent majority” … is…well…silent. SO if you had a positive experience with any of my ideas last year PLEASE send in a comment.

… or you can try them this year…. or not… Up to YOU!!!  :)

6 thoughts on “Travel Exercise Ideas?”

  1. Great timing, Steve!!
    Luckily most of my vacations are planned around an activity (lake, mountains, etc) so there are always plenty of simple ways to get the blood pumping. When I don’t have those opportunities I’ve had success with body weight exercises. All sorts of push-ups, chair dips, skyscraper hill sprints (running stairs) and of course long walks to explore my surroundings. My wife takes resistance bands with her for P90-X on the road (that little motivator)! It’s all about imagination and creativity when on the road. It’s been years since my last official Chinese fire drill…I’ll fix that asap!

  2. Hey, it is a vacation. Va means to go and cation means to be lazy. So who needs to exercise on va-cation.

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