Regularly, I find myself traveling for either work or pleasure. During these travel times, my normal workout routine gets interrupted.
On top of that, it’s incredibly hard to get a work out in if I’m jet lagged or just plain lagging (most likely from too much food and booze).
In order to maintain my fitness levels and my sanity while on the road, I try to get in a modified workout whenever I can. Some of my favorite travel workout hacks are presented below:
Bring Equipment With You
I always bring my workout clothes, Teva’s, resistance bands and a jump rope with me on every trip. It’s a good way to remind myself that I should do something to maintain my fitness level.
When I get to my destination, I even put the gear in a place where I’ll either look at it when I get up or trip over it on my way out. That way, it’s always on my mind.
I tend to travel light (at most a backpack and a roll on) so I only carry one set of workout gear which means it can get a little ripe during traveling.
One great trick I learned was to bring packets of Woollite with me and wash my gear in the sink. That way, I have a fresh set of clothes for my workouts.
Sometimes it can be hard to drip dry them, depending on the place. A couple of great hacks for that is either use the blowdryer or iron to get that last little bit of moisture out.
I know it may sound kinda vain or even odd but believe me, clean work out gear helps make your travel partner(s) a lot happier.
Book A Hotel with a Gym
Most decent hotels (and even some motels) have gyms. Some can be awful but most will have a treadmill, stationary bike and/or set of weights.
All you really need for an effective travel workout is some sort of cardo equipment and maybe some weights.
If you can’t book a hotel with a gym, then the equipment you bring with you will have to do (See the travel workouts below for a great set that will keep you interested and energized to work out on the road).
Wake Up Early
I find myself wanting to work out in the morning while on the road. This stems from all the activities that tend to either bleed into the night or dinners with co-workers or clients.
Getting up early to work out makes it a lot easier to stick with a routine and gets the blood pumping especially if you have jet lag or a tad to much to eat or drink (which rarely ever happens :)).
Do a Quickie Before Bed
If I can’t get a workout in during the morning, then a quick one before bed is good but not ideal.
My before bed workout will be a little different and not as intense simply because, at least for me, it usually pumps me up so I can’t sleep.
Eat Light and Take Vitamins
Traveling wrecks havoc on my diet. I just can’t help eating more especially if I’m out with clients or work mates.
The downside to eating heavy and late is that it interrupts my sleep and makes me feel kinda blah.
Luckily, I have started to cut down on eating heavy in favor of eating lighter meals not so late at night. Sure, I sometimes have that fantastic meal that puts me in a food coma but I pay for it later on.
One other important aspect of a travel diet is vitamins. Even if you don’t routinely take vitamins it’s a pretty good idea to take them when you travel since traveling takes a lot out of you.
Hydration is also critical while traveling. Drink more water than you normally do so you can adjust to the lack of sleep and different climates.
Enlist Travel Mates
Any time I travel with others I always try and recruit them to work out with me. There is something about the peer pressure that drives me and them to make our workout date.
Even if your travel mate is not at the same level it’s just great to encourage each other to get in the gym and stay healthy.
My Favorite Travel Workouts
Some of my favorite on the road workout take about 30 minutes and are meant to keep up my level of fitness instead of building on it.
The next time you find yourself traveling, consider giving these workouts a try:
Explore the area: One of my favorite things to to is run around a city. Ask the front desk if they know of any trails around the area.
Modified Murph’s: Murph’s consist of a 1 mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and then another 1 mile run. That’s a little too much for travel so I usually to 5-10 reps of 5, 10 and 15 each book ended by the runs.
Gym Brick: If the gym you are in has both a treadmill and a bike, then I sometimes will do a mini-brick (bike then run). That’s a great way to break up the workout.
Simple Swim: Most hotel pools are short and can be too crowded to do a real workout. The next best thing is to do 15 minutes of a mix of free and fly. That way you get the maximum benefit from your time in the pool.
Five by Fives: These are pretty fun if the hotel’s gym is well equipped. Basically, you do 5 cycles of 5 exercises with some rest in between. You get to pick which ones to do. My favorite is push-ups, squats, jump rope, bicep curls and lat pull-downs.
Doing Anything Will Help
Most fitness experts agree that doing at least 20 minutes of exercise a day will benefit you. When you find yourself on the road, schedule in some fitness time. It will make your trip a lot more enjoyable.
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