How to Stay Fit While Traveling
Plan ahead and follow these guidelines to stay fit and healthy while you travel.
Most of us love to travel. Despite the many great experiences that come with being on the road, staying fit can be a challenge. From prolonged sitting on airplanes to a lack of gym access, you will most likely be confronted with obstacles to staying fit during your trip. This is no reason to fear your next vacation or business trip. All it takes is proper planning and the right information. In fact, you can get yourself in even better shape with nothing but your body and some space, both of which are available to you wherever you are and at no cost.
Here's a guide on how to stay fit and healthy while traveling.
Basic Rules for Fit Travel
- Plan ahead.
- Be active.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Pick the right foods.
- Enjoy yourself.
What to Pack
This is hands down the single best conditioning tool you can carry in a bag. Research has shown that jumping rope burns more calories than the treadmill over the same period of time. Jumping rope is great to include in your warm up routine and is a perfect finisher at the end of your workout to burn extra calories. As if that isn't good enough, you can always have it with you. If you're going to be traveling, get yourself a jump rope. I recommend a speed rope, like these by Rogue Fitness.
Try the jump rope travel workout.
Use a lacrosse ball for soft-tissue massage by rolling it on your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest and upper back. By massaging away restrictions to normal soft-tissue extensiblity you will alleviate pain and improve your range of motion. Myofascial points, better known as trigger points, are located on specific parts of your body and are one of the most common sources of bodily pain. Get yourself a lacrosse ball and take it with you on your next trip.
Check out this helpful video on how to properly use a lacrosse ball for myofascial release.
It's easy to overindulge on the wrong foods when traveling. To help avoid this, be sure to pack some healthy snack options for the trip. The better options include trail mix, nuts, dried fruits and certain protein bars. Also, consider your mindset about food and nutrition when you're traveling. Food should be viewed as fuel for your body, providing you with the energy you need to get through busy travel days, meetings, sight-seeing and workouts.
Keep workouts short and minimal. Maximize your time by performing high-intensity bodyweight circuits right in your hotel room. This will allow you to build muscle, burn more calories and get better results in less time. Bodyweight exercises require no machinery or equipment and are a simple, effective way to develop your strength, stability and flexibility.
Here are six effective and time efficient workouts that can be done almost anywhere.
- 5 Rounds for Time*
- 10 Rounds for Time
- 5 Pull-ups
- 10 Push-ups
- 15 Squats
- For Time: 100 Burpees*
- As Many Rounds as Possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes*
- 5 Handstand push-ups
- 10 Pistol squats
- For Time*
- 50 Pushups
- 50 Squats
- 50 Burpees
- Tabata- perform 20 seconds of all-out work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Do this 8 times*
*Can be done in your hotel room
Remember, exercises like push-ups, squats and burpees can be done anywhere, but pull-ups may require some creativity. You can usually find a decent pull-up bar in most parks and near many beaches. Strong tree limbs work too. If you can't find anything to do a pull-up on, try doing some one-arm rows with your suitcase or bag.
Looking for more travel workouts?
Check out these travel-friendly bodyweight workouts.
Eat Healthy With the 90/10 Rule
Eating healthy on the road is not as difficult as you think. The more healthy food choices you make while you travel, the better you will feel and the more you will enjoy your trip.
Many nutrition experts are now embracing the 90/10 rule for eating. This means that 90 percent of the time, you are eating healthy and the other 10 percent of the time you can eat your cheat foods. This strategy is good all the time but is perfect for traveling. Who wants to go on vacation and not enjoy some of their favorite foods? The 90/10 rule allows you to indulge some of the time. What business traveler has access to healthy natural foods all the time on the road? The 90/10 rule gives them some flexibility in choosing some less healthy snacks on the go or being less picky when dining with clients.
Psychologically, it would be almost impossible to stick to a strict diet all the time while traveling. Allowing yourself to eat what you want ten percent of the time will help keep your mind at ease. Physically, you cannot keep your energy levels up if you are always in a caloric deficit, which tends to happen when constantly eating clean. Help your body regulate body weight and fat mass by occasionally indulging in higher calorie meals.
Staying fit while traveling is not as difficult as it may seem. Plan ahead, pack right, stick to bodyweight workouts, and make smart food decisions MOST of the time. Follow our basic rules for fit travel and remember to enjoy yourself while you're traveling the world.