Traveling the world is something many of us aspire to do, and so is working out to stay healthy. Oftentimes, though, we find it difficult to keep up a training routine on the road due to several changes:
1) Change in Schedule – Most of us have a time set aside for working out in our day-to-day schedule. A vacation alters your schedule drastically, which means you will have to find a new time for your workout.
2) Change (or the lack thereof) in Equipment – If you work out at a gym, you are used to having certain equipment at your disposal. When you are on a trip, though, there is not guarantee the equipment will be available to you.
3) Change in Environment – If you are a jogger or bicyclist, you no longer have a familiar path or destination to exercise. Gym member? Your normal place of exercise will not follow you on your vacation.
Aside from working out, our dietary habits also change when we are on the road. Many travelers, myself included, want to try new foods in the destinations they are visiting, even if these delicacies have high calorie counts, are loaded with added sugars, etc. However, we need to keep in mind that our bodies don’t realize we are on vacation, and the laws of biology (as it pertains to digestion and consumption) do not change.
As a result, traveling can easily serve as an obstacle to our workout and dietary routine. This is especially frustrating when you have to redevelop a workout rhythm after your travels, which can take up to 1-2 weeks. But there are ways to integrate travel and fitness!
1) Plan Your Trip - Most of us make plans when going on a vacation. For instance, travelers usually plan what days they are going to see certain attractions, eat at restaurants, day trips, etc. You can also apply this to work-out sessions! If possible, try to carve out 30-60 minutes of the day where you can exercise. Even if you only have 10-15 minutes to work out, that is better no workout at all!
2) No Equipment…No Problem! – Most vacation rentals do not have a private fitness facility. However, you may be near a fitness center. If your budget allows, most fitness centers offer a relatively inexpensive day or weekly rate for using their facilities. Also, some vacation rentals have private pools, which you can use to tread; swimming burns LOTS of calories.
Of course, you may not have the money for a fitness center and your vacation rental may not have a pool. If that is the case, you’re in luck because there are plenty of body training options, including the following:
- Ab work (Sit-ups, crunches, air-bike, hip raises)
- Tricep dips (find a chair or sofa to do these)
All of the above exercises really work your body strength and core muscles. Do enough repetitions and you will not be missing the gym for very long.
3) Look at Your Surroundings - Check to see if there are any hiking trails or parks nearby for jogging, walking, etc. Many parks have work-out stations you can use. Also, if you are staying near the beach, try exercising on the sand; you will feel the burn very quickly! Swimming in the ocean is another great way to exercise…and it’s fun!
4) Items to Bring - Bring some lightweight fitness items with you on your trip. Resistance bands are very helpful and allow you to work your arms and shoulders. Also, bring appropriate clothing (gym shorts, sneakers, t-shirts). You don’t want to work out in your jeans or khakis, do you? Another useful item is a sweat belt; this helps you sweat off additional water weight off your abs while working out.
5) Master of Your Diet – According to master trainer, Travis Steffen, diet is anywhere from 70 to 90% responsible when it comes to transforming and improving your body. One reason travelers gain weight on vacations is because they take no control over their diet. They leave it up to airport restaurants, flight menus, nearby cuisine to determine their diet. Be prepared and pack healthy snacks to take with you on the trip; this is especially helpful in the airports and planes where healthy meals are few and far between.
Also, most vacation rentals have kitchens so use this space to prepare healthy meals while on your trip. You should definitely try the local flavor while on vacation, but be sure to balance it out with healthy eating options!
Finally, remember the reasons you want to travel in the first place…to have new experiences! Why not take this chance to explore new ways to work out, control your diet and stay fit!
- Skip Davis; March 27, 2014
Campbell, Adam and Gotthardt, Melissa. “Stay Fit and Avoid Weight Gain While Traveling” Stay Fit and Avoid Weight Gain While Traveling N.p. Web. 26 February, 2013 http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/stay-fit-and-avoid-weight-gain-while-traveling
Elkaim, Yuri. “How to Work Out While Traveling” U.S. News N.p. Web. 10 Jan. 2014 http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/01/10/how-to-work-out-while-traveling
Steffan, Travis. “Losing Weight is About 80 Percent Diet” Workout Box TV N.p. Web. 09 February, 2010 http://www.workoutbox.com/blog/weight-loss/losing-weight-is-about-80-percent-diet/