It’s tough to maintain your fitness while you’re traveling. I know it’s a lot to expect when I ask my clients to try to work out on their own when they’re away (and I also know that most of them don’t do it – I have wonderfully honest clients). 😉 Truth is, it’s tough to stick with a program when you’re out of your normal routine and in a different environment. And it’s even tougher when you’re in a cold climate – it took everything in me to get out for a run in this cold Newfoundland weather! So how do you stay consistent when you’re away? Here are my top tips for staying in shape while on the road (or in the air, or at the beach, or stuck in a hotel), and remember: it’s all about balance and finding what works for you – these are just some helpful tips to get you started.
- Give yourself slack. The first thing I know I can count on when I’m on vacation or traveling workout-wise is that I probably won’t feel like working out as often or as intensely as when I’m at home. So right off the bat, I try to have grace for myself and know that it’s good to give your body a break too. I don’t want to completely rest, mainly because I feel ten times better throughout my days if I “sweat at least once a day,” as Lu Lu Lemon says, but rest is just as important a concept as eating well, working out, and getting cardio in! So, be kind to yourself.
- Be conscious of how you’re eating. If it’s just maintenance you’re interested in, simply watching your eating habits while on vacation will keep you at the same weight – regardless of if you get even one workout in. It’s all too easy to enjoy a few too many indulgent meals and nullify weeks of hard work, so if you simply watch how you’re eating you can allow your body to be a little lazier. Keep it mind that it’s not just “fat-free” versus “full fat” foods, but rather “real foods” versus “fake foods;” the least processed, the better! Remember, at the end of the day, weight loss and management come down to calories-in vs. calories-out, and skipping a week of workouts won’t affect your strength levels.
- Pick your favorite foods and enjoy smaller portions of them. Moreover, be careful of hoovering near the buffet table! You are on vacation, after all! Pick some fun foods you don’t have everyday and enjoy every bite – don’t fill up on breadsticks you can get from home.
- Come prepared. For this current trip, I came bearing my “cold weather clothes” for outdoor runs, my bathing suit in case there was a pool (sadly, there’s not), and brought along my rope/band and TRX. All these items are easily portable and don’t weigh much, and they give me no reason for excuses when I simply “don’t feel like it.” The band and TRX you can use anywhere, and if I can get the courage and “oomph” to get out the door, then all I need for a good heart-pumping workout are my running shoes! You can also be prepared in teh food department: plannign ahead with plane snacks like carrots, PB&J sandwiches, and other healthy snacks helps you out when you’re only surrounded by expensive, nutritionally-void airport foods! (On this trip, I brought along my jar of almond butter anda tub of cinnamon as a few options to spice things up since I know the food at the conference will be relatively healthy as it is).
- Exercise first thing in the morning. If you are going to exercise, how likely are you to do it after a lazy morning, or after a scrumptious filling meal? Try to get your exercise over and done with first thing in the morning if you’re able to. Of course, if you’re an afternoon or night exerciser and can stick with that plan, then go for it, but getting it done in the morning will free up the rest of your day to play (or catch your next plane)!
- Go for a post-meal walk. What better way to enjoy the sunset with those you’re vacationing with than to let your food digest with a little meal after dinner? If you’re traveling and on business, you might not feel like going for a stroll, but even moving around your hotel room will boost your metabolism and be a better use of your time (even just 10 min!) than turning the TV on in your room and tubing out.
What are your tried and true methods of staying fit while traveling? Do you find it a challenge while on the road? Weigh in with your thoughts on the matter. I’m going to try to keep it up for the rest of the week, mainly focusing on getting 1 more run in, eating “extra well,” and doing lots of squats and pushups – there’s so much you can do even with just your own body weight!
Until next time, live well and be well,