The alternate facts about anytime, anywhere workouts.

I gave myself a work out DVD-set this Christmas: ultimate core and body exercises in only 18 minutes/day!

Of course, I started right away, the day after Christmas. I liked the 18-minute time frame: it seems to be the magical time frame to ‘get it done’. Seriously, you can do almost anything for 18 minutes, right?

Boring meeting? Hang in there: It’s over in 18 minutes.

Dreadful presentation? It’s only 18 minutes.

No time to exercise? Come on, it’s just 18 minutes less of silly cat videos on Facebook!

I think the plan is to do one DVD per day, six days in a row followed by one day rest.

Yes, great plan, but after the first DVD I couldn’t walk or bend the following day, so I decided to do the workouts every other day. That was still more than before (which was, uh, nothing), and I was confident I would look great in no time!

I am four weeks in. I see a (very small, but still) difference in my body: more definition on the arms, less bulgy back fat, and a somewhat shrinking waistline. (Unpleasant side effect is that my belly fat, that doesn’t seem to shrink at all, is now much more present and hence makes me look like I am 5 months pregnant. It’s a matter of keep going, I assume, and eventually, once all the fat in other places has disappeared, it will have to tackle my belly-fat. Please don’t tell me if I am wrong: I’d rather don’t know!)


My faithful exercise buddies!


Even now I am temporarily working full-time, I am committed to my workouts, and hey, you can easily spare 18 minutes after the kids are tucked in at 9pm…(insert somewhat sarcastic voice here). Yes, I am proud of my determination and dedication.


In a few weeks however, I will be traveling and spending some time in a hotel. After that trip there will be another, longer one and I can’t bring my DVD’s with me, and certainly not my dumbbells. I am in such a good routine right now; I don’t want to lose my momentum.


Too heavy to bring along


Luckily I came upon a work-out routine in a magazine: “The anytime, anywhere workout.”

But here is the thing: there is no such thing as an ‘anytime, any place workout.


Doesn’t fit in my suitcase

For starters, I don’t know if you have ever seen an CSI unit in a hotel room: they find a whole lot more than some blood spatter on the floor.  I can possibly use a bath towel to rest my hands on while planking or doing push-ups, but still, the very thought of touching a hotel floor with anything else than the soles of my shoes or slippers freaks me out a bit.


Then there is the jumping: a burpee sounds effective enough, but I am not sure if my hotel neighbors, especially the ones down from me would appreciate it.


I don’t know about you, but with my body I need to wear certain clothing accessories for workouts. If this is TMI for you, stop reading now. Jumping, even if it is only 10 jumping jacks will become very painful if I don’t wear a sports-bra. Same with ‘mountain climbers or donkey kicks’ (especially when you already are hanging upside down and have gravity against you.)

Anytime will have to be redefined as: “If you really, really want to, you can make time to do a workout, even while traveling.”

And anywhere as: “if you are not too picky and bring a large beach towel or if you have the ability to bring a yoga mat, you might be able to do a workout in your hotel room, granted, you bring the right clothes to exercise in and you don’t jump too much.”


So although it sounds great, an ‘anytime, anywhere’ workout: I have trouble believing it.


I guess that I will just have to climb the Dutch mountains during my travels next month (Google it: they might exist and they are probably HUGE!) to stay fit or count my steps at the airport as my temporarily new work out routine.


the Dutch Mountains



Edith Schriever

About Edith Schriever

I am a Maine-igrant from the Netherlands. While my scientist husband fell in love with the beautiful research institute here, I fell in love with Mount Desert Island. Mountains, ocean, wild life, peace and quiet! A culture change? Yes, a bit. Americans are not at all like the Jerry Springer audience I saw on TV when living in the Netherlands, well, at least not everyone. Portions are big and toilets small and low; I have learned to embrace the cultural differences.