Fitness on the go

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm

For busy executives, finding time to squeeze in a workout while on the road can be difficult. In fact, I often hear executives lament about forgoing their workouts while traveling. This is a big mistake. The health of your body is your biggest asset. And if you are a business owner, your health is the company’s asset. Health and fitness must be a priority, even while traveling.

The two challenges travelers face are time and facilities, or lack thereof. For many overworked executives, the reality can be a packed travel schedule to hard-to-reach locales with no workout facilities.

But that still doesn’t excuse you from a workout. 

You can get a workout in less than 30 minutes with no equipment. I call this “Executive Fitness on the Go.”

The following is a high-intensity workout that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes and will help you stay fit on the road. Each of these exercises must be performed to the point of momentary muscle fatigue – approximately 90 to 120 seconds.

“Fitness on the Go” guidelines:

• Focus on your muscles. It will work your heart as you fatigue your muscles. Your muscles are the pathway through which all systems (heart/lungs, bones, skeletal muscle) are engaged and improved.

• You don’t need a gym. You can use the resistance of your own body weight, hotel room objects or even your briefcase!

• Keep it simple. Simple can be effective. It’s all about effort.

• Move slowly. The slower you move, without stopping, the better. Count to 8 on the way up and count to 4 on the way down.

• Don’t think in terms of repetitions. Think of time under load. To use time under load, simply use your watch. Note when you start performing the exercise, and note when you’ve reached muscle failure. If this “time under load” is greater than 2 minutes, increase the difficulty. If your “time under load” is less than 90 seconds, reduce the difficulty to make the exercise easier for you to perform.

• Be willing to work hard. No program will work unless you are willing to roll up your sleeves and push yourself. This means taking yourself to the point of muscle fatigue (or failure). You are doing this right if you take yourself to the point where you cannot finish a repetition with proper form.

• Breathe freely. Never hold your breath. If you work with the appropriate intensity, you will breathe hard. This is good, as it demonstrates a cardiovascular response. Congratulations, you are working hard! 

• Move quickly from exercise to exercise to keep your heart rate up.

• Clip this article and keep it in your briefcase.

“Fitness on the Go” exercises: 

• Wall squat (addresses major muscles of the legs) – Sit against a wall over a chair. Hold squat as long as you can, until your backside slides down and lands in the chair. )Difficulty adjuster: Easy = start with the knee less flexed. Most difficult = knee at 90 degrees. Never start the exercise with the knee flexed more than 90 degrees.)

• Chess press (addresses major muscles of the upper torso, shoulders and back side of arms) – While keeping your knees and feet on the floor, press yourself up off the floor with your arms. Repeat slowly — 8 seconds up, 4 seconds down — until you can’t get all the way up. Do not lock your elbows at the top of the movement. Just before your arms straighten turnaround and go back to the floor. (Difficulty adjuster:  Easy = feet and knees on the floor. Medium = knees only on floor. Difficult = only feet on the floor. Note: if anyone can achieve more than two minutes when performing in the difficult mode, please e-mail or call me, because I’d like to meet you!)  

• Briefcase row (addresses major muscles in the back and front side of arms) – Perform one arm at a time, while kneeling over a chair with your briefcase in hand, slowly pull your briefcase up in a rowing motion as far as you can without twisting your torso. Pause for one count, and then slowly (4 seconds) lower back and repeat. After reaching muscle fatigue, switch arms (and knees) and repeat. (Difficulty adjuster: Add or subtract items from your briefcase or handheld luggage.)

Patrick Ziebell is a certified spine technician, a certified exercise instructor and executive director of the Evolution Exercise & Spine Center, which has locations in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Madison. For questions or clarifications, contact him at (262) 896-6967 or


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