The past ten years I spend most of my life on the road, traveling and working in different countries all over the world. No matter whether you travel for pleasure and enjoy a quick getaway in a homestay, travel for work with a hotel visit, or jump from country to country for a few months with your backpack, it is important to stay on track with your fitness goals and your workouts as well as your eating habits. At first, it was hard for me to find a routine with this super random lifestyle and always being on the go and not knowing what my day will bring. But in the end, it actually wasn’t as hard as it initially seemed.
All it takes is some preparation, dedication and commitment. So not exactly anything you are not already doing on a daily basis anyways, right? Being away from home doesn’t mean you need to be away from your personal goals, and throw away all your good habits which took so much effort to establish in the first place.
There are ways to keep yourself on track even when out of town.
Below you will find three tips that I find most helpful to keep me stick to my workouts as well as three tips that help me stick to my diet plan as much as possible, especially when I am on the road for a few weeks or even months.
Planning ahead is the key to staying on track with your health and fitness goals.
Most people have an “all-or-nothing’ mentality especially when it comes to exercising and dieting. Scratch that! Even going for a walk for 30min or doing some squats and lunges for 10min is better than sitting on the couch or in your sun chair all day long and the only walk you do is to the hotel all inclusive buffet.
Just like you are planning your daily life at home with chores, tasks and errands that need to be run, you can also plan your holiday travels while still keeping the freedom to go with the flow.
Tips For Your Workout
When on vocation there are really no limits on when or where to workout. Your options are probably endless and it is completely up to you how you schedule your daily activities.
1) Be Flexible
Choose whichever location you would like; the gym, the beach, the park, the city, even a playground offers a diverse set of workout equipment such as swings, balance beams, monkey bars, gymnastic bars and benches.
Almost every hotel has a gym or some type of fitness center that can help to get you by during your stay in case you are not to keen on working out outside. Usually the weight
machines have a description and safety tips on them that show you a variety of exercises you can do.
I personally barely ever use a gym for my workouts when I travel.
I love exploring new cities or the seaside either by foot or renting a bike and cruising around the neighborhood or along the boardwalk. This way I get to explore the area more throughoutly and see things I wouldn’t see in a car or on a bus tour, plus get my cardio in for the day.
The beach usually offers plenty of water sport activities to chose from. Give it a go and try something new. Rent a stand-up paddle board, go surfing or for a swim, do some sunset yoga or try one of the many calisthenics outdoor parks if they are around.
Check the area for special events, join facebook groups, look up Meetups or use the local newspaper to find out what’s happening during the time you are there.
Maybe there are some sports events happening you can join and meet like-minded people.
Once you found what you are looking for, make sure you schedule your workouts just like any other activity that day to keep you countable.
I am a big fan of booty bands and always pack mine to add some resistance to my workouts as well as a jump rope for a quick warm up or high intensity cardio interval. Booty bands are super light and easy to travel with. They usually come in packs of three or even five with different strength and are perfect to add some difficulty and resistance to any workout.
Being creative has made every workout a fun one and I never got bored. For example use books that you brought for your enjoyment, pack them in a backpack for some extra resistance and maybe one or two water bottles e voila, you have a core bag that you can lift, or carry on your back and do lunges and squats with.
You can chose to use stable objects in your room such as a chair or table, to create levitations to do lunges, push-ups, box jumps, with your own body weight.
This is a great way to get your heart rate up and going and break a sweat without even leaving the room. The same can be done in the park with a bench as an alternative.
I would recommend for you to workout your entire body during each training session. Don't try to split the days into legs, abs and arm sessions. Use complex movements such as burpees, lunges, squat jumps, planks, push ups, box jumps, broad jumps, ab bikes etc. in any form and variation. The mentioned exercises challenge your balance, force your stabilizers to work, engage your core as well as workout your arms. First of all, this will not only help
you save time and gets you a good sweat in a short period of time, but you can also do these exercises from anywhere at any given time of the day.
Be realistic! Think through what you can do while traveling. While at home you might be able to fit in a 2-hour gym session, think about if that is possible while on your trip. There is no need to train for hours and hours. 30 minutes 2-3 times a week are plenty to keep going and staying on track.
Tips For Healthy Food Choices
One of the biggest concerns people have when they travel is how they can maintain their healthy habits when they are tempted by so many great options. Some of the cities people are traveling to have a reputation for having the best of certain types of meals.
Treat yourself to some local goodies and try out new foods, that is totally fine. Nevertheless, try to scan the area ahead of time.
1) Search For Restaurants At Your Destination
Eating out and not cooking can be a huge obstacle for some of us. We can not control nor do we know exactly the ingredients nutritional values of the food that is being served. Once you know your destination check online what food options are around and prepare yourself rather than being on the verge of starving once you get there and then chasing the closest fast food option because you cannot wait to get some food into your system..
Knowing your choices beforehand and having an idea of menu options that support your lifestyle and dietary needs will help you avoid poor last minute meal choices.
2) Find A Local Grocery Store
If you have the option to cook during your stay, try to find a grocery store close to you and stock up on things you would eat regularly. Natural is always better
3) Pack Health Snacks And Stay Hydrated
Pack some healthy snacks for on the road, for long strolls or beach visits. I always bring a banana or apple, some dates, nuts, a granola or protein bar or some dried fruit with me. If I know I will be on the road the entire day I even pack some carrots, cucumbers and a hummus or feta dip to keep my energy level up.
As simple as it sounds, make sure you drink enough water especially when traveling through hot and humid countries.
As you see, staying on track with your workouts and eating habits while traveling is totally doable, as long as you are willing to put some preparation into it.
On one hand, vacation time should be downtime and maybe your body needs this period to recover if you just come from having trained very hard over the past few weeks/months.
That is completely fine. Listen to your body. However, try not to become a couch potato for a few weeks. It will be super hard to get back on track ones you return back home.
Whatever you decide to do though, do it without guilt. If you’ve worked hard and plan to enjoy a not-so-healthy meal, do so with intent and love. Don’t shame yourself the next day for it. Enjoy yourself and the hard work and time it took to prepare for your trip.