Most of us forget all about fitness when traveling. And that coupled with eating less healthy, more calorific foods and generally eating more (because it somehow doesn’t count – tell that to your waistline when you’re back home!), is a perfect recipe for weight gain.
But whether you travel for work or are on vacation, being on the road shouldn’t mean skipping workouts. It’s actually rather easy to keep working out while on the road – you just need to be a little flexible, love the challenge and be prepared to change up your workout routine a bit. In fact, traveling and being away from your normal place of training is a great opportunity to try something new and, if you want it to be, can liven and freshen things up – both mentally and physically.
Look for opportunities to do activities you can’t do at home. And if you’re still hesitant, remember, that some exercise is better than no exercise at all. So enjoy the variety and embrace the change.
Head to your hotel gym. Hotel gyms can range from very well equipped to not much more than a broken stationary bike and a couple of dumbbells. Whatever you have access to, with imagination, you can create a productive workout. If the weights are kind of light, do high reps, lots of sets and take very short rests. If there is nothing more than some exercise mats and some cardio, do a cardio/bodyweight circuit. Make the most of what you have and be ready to improvise.
Check out the hotel pool. Many hotels have swimming pools and while they are often on the small side, you can still get a decent workout done. Swim some laps, do some interval training, or try some deep water running. You can also do some aquatic strength training by mimicking your normal strength training exercises against the resistance of the water.
Look for nearby gyms. Some gyms offer a “pay as you go” option so you can use the facilities without having to join. If you are going to be in the same area for a few weeks, it may be worth asking if short-term memberships are available.
Go for a run. Running is a great way to get your workout done while exploring the local area. Ask your hotel receptionist or concierge for advice one the best places to run – and anywhere you should avoid. Make sure you take note of your outbound route so you can find your way back easily and respect local dress restrictions if traveling in countries with strict modesty laws. If you are running at night, stick to well-lit areas and wear bright, reflective clothing. Always carry some form of I.D.
Travel light. Suspension trainers, such as the TRX, are ideal exercising on the road. Portable and light, you can do an entire workout for every muscle in your body using suspension trainers. All you need is a tree, a post or a door anchor. And if you think suspension trainers are just for strength training, think again. Suspension trainers are incredibly useful for circuit training. Or try resistance bands. Like suspension trainers, resistance bands are super light and portable. What’s more, you can perform virtually every strength training exercise that you’d do at the gym. Combined with a door anchor and handles, you’re basically are holding a gym in the palm of your hand for less than the cost of one-month’s gym membership.
Bodyweight exercises. It’s with you wherever you go.Yep, your body is your very own personal strength training machine. Push-ups, lunges, squats, burpees, sit-ups, planks, chair dips…there are literally dozens of exercises you can do using nothing more than your body. Bodyweight exercises are simple and are easy on your joints but still remarkably effective and you can make them as easy or as hardcore as you want, just by altering the angle of your body.
Hit the beach. Exercising on the road is a perfect excuse to exercise outdoors and skip the gym. Grab your suspension trainer, resistance bands or your own library of bodyweight exercises and head to the nearest beach to exercise. You can run or swim, do interval training in the form of beach sprints, run up dunes or go primal and do some strength moves by using whatever rocks or driftwood you find. Hit the beach early and you’ll have it all to yourself.