Fitness On The Move

The purpose or function of fitness is to get fit (not lose weight). Body composition is managed best through a combination of optimum nutrition and movement, otherwise known as holistic sports nutrition. Increased fitness is associated with better health, less chronic disease and reduced risk of mortality from all causes. But what is fitness exactly and how does one measure it?

Fitness can be defined in many ways. First, fitness is the condition of being physically fit and functional. Second, fitness is the capacity to fulfill a particular role or task, especially one that requires physical strength or endurance. And finally, fitness in the biological sense is our ability to survive and reproduce in our environment.

The role of modern exercise is to condition the body and create total physical fitness. The military uses fitness to make men and women stronger and faster. When a soldier is well conditioned, s/he can cope with much higher levels of stress during combat.

A fit human being has a higher chance of survival. Period. If that wasn't absolutely true, the military wouldn't waste any time and energy conditioning its armies. The take home message here is that fitness works the same way for civilians. Better shape and condition allows us to better cope with mental, emotional and physical stress.

Fitness can and should be measured, and when it is, our capacity to perform is assembled into five principle categories. These include muscle strength, muscle endurance, balance, aerobic capacity and flexibility.

A good exercise program should include a full range of movement and activity organized and structured to create total fitness as a measureable outcome. All five categories must be covered. Like nature the program will be diverse and designed by necessity for sustainability.

My favorite place to work out is the gym down the street. When choosing a place to live in any country, be it short or long term, I always think in terms of proximity to the gym (I’m not kidding). On the road I have my own personal fitness solution.

This workout is short and sweet but very effective at maintaining my basic frame and functional capacity. It covers all the major body parts and all of the essential components of fitness.

Workout Regimen

  1. Warm-Up (calisthenics, joint rotation, twisting)
  2. Standing deep seated full body squats (2 sets of 50)
  3. Chin-Ups (2 sets of 12)
  4. Push-Ups (2 sets of 12)
  5. Skipping (5-10 continuous minutes)
  6. Abdominal floor crunches / Lying leg raises (2 sets of 25-50 reps)
  7. Full body stretch on the floor

Equipment Needed

  • Portable Push-Up Bars
  • Portable Pull-up Chin-up Bar
  • Skipping Rope

Everything listed fits into my suitcase. All exercises are performed with precision and according to principles with time, health, safety, form and function in mind. Movement is full range, in control and focused on intensity and temporary exhaustion.

Portable Pull-Up Chin-Up Bar

This device features a twisting slip-in design that adjusts to fit most doorframes without screws. This pulling movement engages the back, chest, shoulders, biceps and core. If you can’t perform chin-ups the traditional way, you can rest your extended feet on the floor from a low bar position to help reduce difficulty.

Push-up Bars


Push-up bars are two separate pieces of equipment that you grip with each hand and place on the floor where you would normally put your hands if you were doing standard push-ups. Push-up bars allow you to change the direction of your wrists and lower yourself closer to the floor past your hands, increasing movement depth and how hard your muscles work. This pushing movement works the chest, back, shoulders, triceps and core.

Skipping Rope

Skipping is a great cardio workout and fantastic for the calves and shoulders. This stationary aerobic movement can oxidize up to 700 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump. Ten minutes of jumping rope is roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Skipping requires balance, coordination, skill and mental focus. Vary your jump technique and foot work. Skipping will definitely get your blood pumping.

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