While traveling is an amazing endeavor by itself, those who do it often know it’s not always sunshine and roses. It’s a disruption of a routine, which is especially painful if you’ve just mastered your meal prep game and going to the gym regularly. As any disruption, it comes with issues not that easy to solve: what are you going to be eating? Will you be able to track your macros like you do at home? And what about exercise? You surely don’t want to return to the gym after a week and discover that all your PR’s are gone. But worry not – there are tips and tricks that can help you stay your fittest you on the road! Here are my four tips to keep your fitness regime while traveling.
Make Room For Exercise
If you’re staying in a hotel, chances are it will have a gym. What can also be true, though, as that it can sadly consist of a few cardio machines, dumbbells and a few other things you never use anyway. If you’re a powerlifter, ask the hotel whether they have a barbell stored away. If that fails, you can always get creative with bodyweight exercises. Push ups, pull ups, crunches, bench dips, and a little HIIT, will definitely make your heart pump heard.
In case the hotel doesn’t have a gym, or you’re staying somewhere else, all of these exercises you can do in your room as well. When it comes to HIIT, 20 minutes is all it takes. Do it in the morning for the fresh, accomplished feeling throughout the day, or before evening shower for falling asleep like a baby.
Walking can also be a form of working out. Hands-down the best way to experience a new area is on foot. You’ll see and discover so much more than you would have if you just opted for seeing the main sights. Doing this in comfy shoes can be an amazing workout experience in itself. If, on the other hand, you’re traveling for work and have meetings to attend, if you have time, try allocating an hour or half an hour to walking to the venue. If this sounds extreme because of the great distances, catch the public transport or Uber but get off a bit earlier.
Make Healthier Food Choices
There’s a recipe for eating healthy but not boring until the rest of your life, and it says: let 80% of your food be healthy, and the rest is up to you to choose. That is the best nutrition advice you can get, not just when it comes to travel. It means that you should prioritize lean protein, dairy, good fats, grains, vegetables, fresh fruits, and these should be the staple of your diet. However, it does not mean that donuts are banned forever. They are just banned from being an everyday dessert.
Yes, travels are a bit different and you will likely want to try local delicacies and sweets. Go for it! But do pick grilled meat, veggies and salads, and then have a little something that’s calorie dense and oh, so delicious.
If you’re on the go most of the time, which you are when traveling, don’t forget to pack simple healthy snacks to get you through the day. Having a bag of nuts, a pack of plain crackers, an apple or a protein shake, is much better than entering a patisserie shop every time you need a lift-me-up.
Pack Workout Gear
Just like you don’t pack your entire wardrobe when traveling, you can definitely do with just one pair of leggings and one or two sports tanks. Don’t forget the sports bra and a hairband. When packing shoes, opt for those that can double as walking shoes for discovering the city, as all the other shoes will make your feet sore and painful after 10 miles of wandering. What you shouldn’t pack, though, are the dumbbells, as it truly is the dumbest way to fill your suitcase. But you can pack a resistance band, which is portable, small, and multi-functional, as you can use it instead of a good chunk of machines.
You can also pack your swimming suit: it’s small and doesn’t take a lot of space in the suitcase. If your hotel has a pool, you can do a few laps before going to bed. It will work all the muscles and get you in the mood for heavenly sleep.
Get Enough Sleep
You might wonder why this is such a crucial advice in a piece about maintaining fitness, but all the professional athletes know how important sleep is. If you’re cutting on sleep for several nights in a row, you’ll feel tired, which is a shame when traveling. But more than that, lack of sleep will actually make you weaker than you normally are, you won’t be able to work out like you normally do, and your muscles won’t be getting the necessary time to rest. Seize the day, yes – but make sure to also seize the 7-8 hours of sleep.
Have fun traveling! But don’t let your fitness regime take over your trip. It’s wonderful to have goals and work on achieving them. Sometimes, though, you just need to stop a bit and enjoy the sunset right in front of you, instead of clocking your new PR in running 5k.