Ahhh, the open road! New and exotic locations to explore – travel is good for the soul. But if you love working out (and you do!) then you’ll know that staying in shape while you’re on the road can be tricky to say the least. Most of the time you’ll be far away from a gym (or it’ll be expensive), you won’t have your favorite workout equipment on hand, and there’s no Whole Foods Market around the corner.
Instead you’ve got hotels, motels, restaurants and fast food. And of course, if you’re on holiday, you just want to kick off your shoes, relax and drink cocktails on the beach. While it’s great to take a well-deserved break, you also don’t want to undo all of the hard work you’ve done so far, and the good news is that you don’t have to.
Try out some of these tips to keep fit and healthy while you travel. Aim high and even if you’re only able to do some of what you plan… it’s better than nothing!
Go for a Run
We love running because it’s sweet and simple: with just a pair of sneakers you can hit the road (or beach!). It’s a great way to fight the travel bulge and explore your new location like nothing else. Remember to stay safe, especially when you’re in an unknown place – buddy up, or better yet, find a local running group to join.
Join a CrossFit Gym
One of the best things about CrossFit, besides being an awesome workout, is its popularity – you can find a CrossFit class just about anywhere in the world, so it’s worth checking out if there’s a CrossFit gym near you. Not only will you get a great workout, but you’ll also meet some interesting (hopefully) locals too!
Got Mountains? Hike Those Things!
We’re not talking Everest here, but if you’ve got mountains or hills then spend some time going up. Hiking – especially up steeper inclines – is a fantastic lower body workout. And if you’ve got hills, then it’s going to be all about the HIIT hill sprints. Do 20 – 30 minutes of those a day and the travel bulge isn’t going to even look at you.
It’s Time for Tabata
If you don’t have a lot of time, but you still want to get a fat-defying workout in, then nothing beats Tabata’s. If you don’t already know, the Tabata protocol is a type of high-intensity interval training which only takes 4 minutes. That’s just 4 minutes, but don’t be fooled, it takes everything you’ve got – here’s a Tabata workout to get you started.
Your Room Is Your Gym
Who says you need a gym anyway? Get creative with where you’re staying and you can transform it into your very own workout zone. Bodyweight exercises are going to be your best ally, but you can also add some resistance by using a small suitcase for squats, bottles of water for bicep curls, a chair for dips – get creative and you’ll discover lots of possibilities.
Take Your Gym With You
The key to taking exercise equipment with you is that you want to make sure it’s lightweight – resistance bands, TRX, sandbags (empty, you can fill them at a beach for example), pull-up bar, jump rope – and voilà: your own personal, transportable gym. For workout routines, you can use a good fitness website (hint, hint) or take along a few workout DVDs.
Try New Activities
One of the great things about travel is that it presents you with a plethora of new activities, so take advantage of them. So try out the windsurfing, paddle-boarding, tennis or skiing. You’ll have so much fun that you won’t care about the calories you’re burning or the muscles you’re working – and even better, you may discover something you really love doing; after all, fitness should be fun.
Pack Your Snacks For Travel
The worst time for eating badly is generally while you’re in transit. The stress of catching a train, plane or auto mobile can make you want to reach for those comforting sugary and starchy foods – to the chagrin of your waistline. Airplane food is known for being horrendous, but also it usually isn’t the healthiest of options either. And for other means of transport, fast food restaurants abound – tempting you with their succulent promises.
Lay temptation to rest by packing your own healthy options; a salad with tuna or eggs for protein, jerky for a protein-rich snack, celery and humus or whatever works for you. Once you’ve arrived at your destination it will be a lot easier to reign in any unhealthy eating, but remember it’s not about deprivation (especially if you’re on vacation)… just moderation!
Recon Healthy Eateries
A little bit of reconnaissance goes a long way. If you have the option, you can plan ahead by finding out places where you can shop for whole foods, or restaurants which serve healthy food options, before you even arrive. And of course, if you’re experiencing a new culture, one of the best things about it is the diverse foods, but by doing a little research up front, you’ll also have healthy options for when you aren’t indulging in exotic delicacies.
Get Your Workout Done First
Working out when you wake up is one of best ways of sticking to a consistent workout schedule. And it works just as well when you’re travelling too. It may seem like a hassle getting active first thing in the morning, especially when you’re meant to be relaxing on vacation, but once it’s done, it’s done! You’ll feel great for having done your workout (even if it’s isn’t as good as your normal one) and you’ll be keeping the dreaded travel bulge at bay.
Relax… and Get Enough Sleep Too
As much as we love working out, when you’re travelling you have the opportunity to enjoy a whole range of new experiences, and working out should just be a small part of those. So explore, enjoy and spend some time relaxing and recharging – you’ll have plenty of time to hit it hard again when you get back home.
What are your travel fitness tips? Let us know in the comments below!