As a fitness lover, it’s important for me to exercise at least 3-4 days a week, but when I travel it isn’t always possible or easy to fit in a workout or stay consistent . Whether I’m on a relaxing vacation or immersive adventure, it’s often hard to stay consistent with my workout regimen. A variety of reasons may cause you to stray, but it is very possible to stay consistent, it just requires work. Here are 4 tips to staying fit while traveling!
1. Use the hotel’s amenities to your advantage!
One of the things that really help me maintain my fitness goals while on my travel journey, is choosing a hotel that has gym accommodations for their guests. By doing so, I allow myself to make fitness a priority on my journey. Now if you’re like me, the nicer the gym the more psyched you are to work out. So it does help when your hotel has a bomb ass gym. It just makes going that much easier and intriguing. In addition to that, if the lighting is perfect, can anyone say “selfie”. We all know that if you didn’t take a selfie or a video, it doesn’t count. For example, when I went to Atlanta, I chose the Hilton, because according to the reviews I read, the gym was a big highlight. Low and behold, when I got there the gym was definitely a gem and I ended up working out longer than I expected. However, simply booking a hotel with a good gym, sometimes isn’t enough to motivate us.
2. Understand traveling is not a break from reality!
For me, it’s important that before I travel I put it into my head that this isn’t a break from working out. Exercising and staying healthy is still a priority and I need to continue with my workout regimen as if I weren’t traveling. By putting that in my head beforehand, it helps me stay consistent while traveling. So when I get to the hotel, I’m actually motivated to go to the gym and buss out a workout. It also helps to set a specific time to workout and for a set amount of time, that way you mentally prepare yourself and motivate yourself for when it’s time to workout. It also allows you to fit in a workout if you have a tight schedule. 30-45 min workouts are just as effective as an hour plus workout, as long as you maximize your time in a way that best suits your workout goals. By making it a priority to workout before you leave for your trip, it helps when it comes to staying consistent while traveling. One of the best workouts you can do when you are on a time constraint is High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT. For me, I would choose exercises that work all muscle groups. Here is an example of a HIIT workout you can do when you travel:
Burpee- who doesn’t love a good ass kicking burpee
You can break up your HIIT workout in many ways. Three ways are my go-to. One is called Volume 100, where you do 100 reps per exercise. The easiest way to get this done is to do 10 reps for 10 sets. Or, if you’re a beast, you can knock out 100 reps in 1 set. A second way is called As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) which is doing the exercises until failure. Although AMRAP is often used by crossfitters, it can be utilized by those who simply need to get a good workout in. A third way is called Every Minute On the Minute (EMOM) where you do an exercise every minute on the minute for normally 12 minutes. So you are basically exercising for 12 minutes straight. You perform a different exercise every minute.
Are you tired yet? Good. You may be a bit fatigued after doing any of these, but hey, you are that much closer to your goal. You are burning fat, you muscles are growing and you are building endurance. How great is that? GET TO WORK!
3. Get creative with your exercises!
What do you do if your hotel doesn’t have a gym? Or the gym isn’t up to your standards? Then you create your own workout plan without equipment and get to work. All you’ll need is a bit of space, which can be done in your hotel room or wherever you stay, whether hostel or airbnb. Remember those beautiful exercises I mentioned previously? Well they do not need to be done with weights. Your body weight does the trick. When I started my fitness journey, I was strictly working out at home using up to 25lb weights and a lot of bodyweight workouts. You don’t need a gym to get in a good workout, although we often think we do or use, not having a gym, as an excuse to not workout. From my personal experience, I like to create a workout circuit based off what I want to workout that day. How many workouts I include is based on how much time I want to spend in the gym. So if I’m trying to workout for 30 mins to 45 mins, I’d probably include a warmup, 1-2 circuits consisting of 4-7 workouts in each circuit, each circuit completed 3-4 times. The best thing about circuits is you can completely customize it to fit your workout goals. If I want an hour or more, then I’d definitely increase the amount of circuits I do and how many workouts in each circuit. But the overall gist is that I don’t need a gym to do these circuits. If you wanted to, you could even pack some ankle weights in your luggage and do a bunch of bodyweight workouts like squats, lunges, hip thrusts, crunches, jumping jacks, etc. Another thing that can help if you don’t have a gym is to utilize the things around you, your suitcase weighs 20 lbs; try and do 5-10 squats holding your suitcase. No treadmill to get in a good warm up, go for a run or do some jumping jacks or burpees. The point is that you don’t need equipment to get in a good workout. Bodyweight exercises are just as effective.
4. Maintaining healthy eating while traveling!
This last section addresses probably THE HARDEST part about staying fit while traveling and that’s what you eat while on your trip. I dub this the hardest part, because it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re home, and now you gotta do it while traveling. IT’S MADNESS! But it’s doable. Do you think they say “abs are made in the kitchen” for shits and giggle? No, it is the TRUTH! You can work out 7 days a week, 2 to 3 hours per day, eat like crap and you won’t see any results. Your body may change slightly, but for the work that you are putting in, you will not see a significant change. You cannot want to burn fat and turn right around and eat a bunch of fat. It doesn’t add up. When I travel, I’m usually not as strict on my diet because it’s harder to do so when you’re out of your element. But it’s all about how you stay consistent once again. Consistency, hard work and dedication is what’s going to get you to your goal. The same way you have to program yourself to be consistent with working out while traveling, is the same thing we have to do when it comes to eating. Just because we are traveling, does not mean it’s a free for all to eat all the things you wouldn't eat at home. If anything, we have to stay more committed to eating healthy on the road because it’s so easy to get sidetracked. Instead of grabbing the french fries cause it was convenient and tasty, try a side salad. Instead of snacking on chips, snack on some fruits or nuts. It’s all about the decision you make while traveling. The more committed you are to staying fit and eating healthy, the easier it becomes to maintain that lifestyle regardless of whether you are traveling or not. Now this isn’t to say you can’t enjoy a few cheat meals/days, because we all need them. You just have to be mindful about how often you eat these cheat meals. If you choose to have some pizza one day, try and eat healthy for the rest of the day or if you do a cheat day make sure it doesn’t become a cheat week. Everything in moderation! And if you just so happen to have no control and end up with a cheat week, counteract it by bumping up your workouts. Go for an extra 20 mins or add another session of cardio. It’s all about balance and moderation.
The most important thing that’ll help you stay fit while traveling, is staying committed to your fitness journey. Don’t let the fact that you are traveling come in the way of you getting a good workout in. By staying committed to fitness when you are traveling via choosing hotels with gyms, creating body weight workouts in the absence of a gym or equipment, bringing your own weights, setting aside time to workout, eating healthy while traveling, etc. you make it easier to maintain this behavior. The more priority you give to it, the more it becomes a habit or routine. Then staying fit while traveling is done without even thinking about it.