Do you find it hard to workout when you travel? If you’re like me, you don’t do well with changes to your routine or schedule and when you don’t have the equipment you normally use to workout with.
So when I go away, I first try to be very proactive and planful, thinking about what my routine will look like while I am gone. I first try to figure out what I can bring with me and also what facilities will be available- i.e is there a gym where I’ll be staying, can I safely run outside, is there a Crossfit nearby that I can drop into, can I take a yoga class, etc…
If I think some of these aren’t available, fitting in my normal workouts may be a challenge, so I do my best to go into the trip with an open mind. I’ll do what I can & I try to look at it as a way to breathe some new life into my routine and do something different. Sometimes, being limited in the time you have and the equipment available can be a good thing because it forces you to be more creative with your workouts or spend more time on some much needed rest and relaxation.
GETTING READY TO GO:
THINK: What can I take with me?
Packing your dumbbells obviously isn’t the best idea, but if you don’t have a clue whether your hotel has a decent exercise room, there are some alternatives:
Resistance bands can be a great traveling companion. You can use bands to target every muscle in the body and since you have tension throughout the entire movement, you’ll really feel the burn. They are also easy to stuff into your suitcase without taking up much space. Great for when you’re at home, at work, or away in your hotel room. You can find them a variety of bands and tubes on Amazon, other retailers, and even local sporting goods store. Most bands come with a list of exercises you can do with them.
For other ideas, you can visit:
Jumping rope is a great exercise for your heart and body, and will really help you burn calories. Take the opportunity to practice your jump roping skills and maybe even double unders!
A yoga mat:
I have found some interesting and often beautiful spaces to practice in while on vacation. I have unrolled my mat at the airport and found a comfortable seat or lying position and meditated, or some light stretches in between flights to help with stiffness and circulation. If you’re in a hotel, can you rearrange the furniture to create a little yoga nook? You can download music to your phone to help create the right ambiance for you. Find yourself in tight quarters? Take your mat outside onto the porch, grass or the beach. Complete some sun salutations, warrior I & II sequences, allowing your body to move, flow, and stretch.
What can you do without equipment?
Swimming is a great cardio exercise and it targets every muscle of your body. If you’re at a hotel with a pool, swim laps or try pool running.
If you’re at the beach, the ocean offers even more opportunities for exercising while having fun – surfing, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, riding the waves- all are great for burning calories and staying active.
Walking and/or Running:
Walking and running are great ways to explore a new location. You don’t need much more than a good pair of shoes to get a great cardio workout in for the day. Plus, if you’re at the beach, you’ll get even more out of your walks/runs by using the sand to your advantage. Walking or running in soft sand is much harder than walking on pavement. Note- if you’re going for a longer duration run/walk, wear shoes rather than being barefoot because it could cause shin or calf pain. Get up early and watch the sunrise over the horizon. I can’t think of a better way to start my day!
Want to run on pavement but aren’t comfortable in a new location? Try finding a few local running clubs you can link up with to run or who can suggest safe routes for you. I have found some local groups on FB and messaged them prior to traveling.
Ways to workout out as your travel:
Getting stuck in an airport with long layovers or plane delays is no fun, but you can take advantage by getting in a little exercise.
Your best bet is to walk the airport, avoid the escalators & take the stairs, and keep your arms going and your posture straight. If you have a ton of carry-on luggage, find a locker and stash it there or take it with you to add some weight to your walk. Or as I said before, unroll your yoga mat. Some airports even have quiet meditations rooms you can practice in or gyms you can take advantage of. Most charge anywhere from $10 to $20 for the day.
On the Plane:
Is there anything more uncomfortable than the seats on an airplane? You can combat a stiff neck and back by getting up every 30-60 minutes or so and walking the length of the plane. While you’re up, get the kinks out by lacing your fingers together and stretching from side to side or stretching them up over head (micro backbend) and then in front of you while gently rounding your spine (like a standing cat/cow pose). While seated, stretch your neck, arms and legs too. Anything you can do to keep the circulation going will help reduce some of the aches, pains, and bloating.
Many hotels have exercise rooms but, if they don’t, they might have an affiliation with a local gym for a small fee. Ask the hotel manager about local health clubs and about any parks or trails close by.
I like to google and find local gyms before I go. I’ll reach out about a drop in classes or ask about special rates, especially if I’ll be going for or a week. My favorite thing to do when I travel is find a cool new Crossfit affiliate or “Box” to go to!
Don’t want to go or pay for a gym? Google travel WOD (Workout Of the Day). You will find several full body, no equipment needed workouts you can do anywhere, any time.
For me to be most successful and able to workout when I travel, I think it helps to do a little research before you go, so you’re prepared when you get there.
Other ways to stay healthy:
Traveling can throw a wrench into your healthy eating. From the questionable airplane food to the quick food at the airport (pizza, burgers, fries, ice cream etc.) it’s easy to get off course. Then you have the temptation of new and exciting restaurants to try while you’re at your destination. Try to bring easy, packable snacks for the plane (fruit, granola bars, trail mix, etc.) and, when eating out, try to make at least one healthy choice each day.
Whatever your destination, a little advance planning can ensure that you stay on track with your exercise program. Be active, get out and explore, eat healthy, and most importantly have fun.