How can you possibly stay fit while traveling?
You have been there before and you will be there again. It’s time for a trip and you won’t have your regular schedule or places.
Which means no place to work out. And you are not quite sure when you will be able to exercise.
Or have healthy food. There’ll be yummy food but it will all go straight to your belly. You will come back home 10 pounds heavier. And spend the next 3 months working it back off, that is, if you can get back into the swing of things.
The vacation from your regular life might turn into an extended vacation for your fitness. And then you might not get back on track until it’s time for your New Year’s Resolutions…
It doesn’t have to be this way; in fact, you can find ways to turn travel into a fun and engaging way to stay fit. And you might even come back in better shape than you left in!
Tips for How to Stay on Track
1. Train Leading Up to Travel
The best way to stay in shape while you travel is consistent training leading up to the trip. It takes time to get out of shape. Just like saving money leading up to your trip helps you stay financially fit, starting the trip in shape helps you stay in shape, even if you can’t manage a single workout.
If you can figure out how to train well 42 weeks a year relaxing 10 weeks won’t stop you from staying fit. And as you get closer to 47 weeks you are really fit. 50 weeks makes you a rock star.
2. Schedule Active Social Visits/Activities
You don’t have to “work out” to stay in shape. You can also just do physically demanding activities. Hiking, rock climbing, or even walking around a museum all count.
You can get bonus points by doing these with people you plan on seeing anyway. You can catch up over an ice cream cone or a walk around a park. And the best way to do this is to schedule your activities and meals in advance so you don’t end up getting hungry and then defaulting to food that’s not ideal (usually junk food).
3. Allow Yourself to Indulge
There is food that you can’t usually get at home. As well as special foods for many areas in the world. If you go to Italy have some gelato! Don’t miss the hummus in the Middle East. If your grandfather always took you to a special restaurant, go!
But know in advance what you want to indulge in. It will help give you the willpower to say no other things.
4. Eat Healthy Convenience Food
Not all convenience food is junk food. Even gas stations have healthy staples like hard-boiled eggs, chopped veggies, and bananas.
And with supplements such as protein bars, superfood, and protein shakes, there are shelf-stable options that you can buy in bulk and use in a pinch.
At the beginning of your trip go to a supermarket or health food store and buy some convenience food that will help you avoid the drive-thru later on.
5. Don’t Sweat While Working Out
Quality exercise does not mean you have to be dripping in sweat, requiring you to change clothes and shower. You can still work out and stay dry.
Breathing exercises, light stretching, and walking around in nice weather (or in the A/C) will help you stay fit and get fit in other areas. Find some breathing exercises or light stretches that you can sneak into your routine. YouTube is an endless resource for workouts like these.
6. Relax in Health-Promoting Ways
You want to find some time to relax while you are traveling. And there are plenty of health-promoting ways to relax. Like getting a massage, hitting the beach or going for a spa day with friends.
Check out Groupon and travel guides to find things that will be relaxing for you and that will also help you recover from the stress of travel.
7. Find Special Movement Opportunities
Traveling might present once in a lifetime opportunities for “exercise.” Especially if you are seeing family or unique destinations. Some things in the world are really special and worth seeing. I personally will never forget my first time at the Dead Sea, one of the natural wonders of the world.
And being with family can create even more special opportunities. Playing with children when they are young is a great workout. They’ll grow up faster than you think so take the time to appreciate them while they’re young and active and keeping you on your toes.
Traveling, whether for work or for pleasure, can be a stressful experience. Worrying about bringing a few extra pounds back with you doesn’t make it any better.
Imagine not being afraid of the scale when you get back to regular life. Imagine not feeling bloated after 7 straight days of drive-through meals. Imagine coming home feeling fit and energized and ready to attack life with new vigor!
You can come home from your next trip and still be in shape. By following these tips – namely having a plan for your meals and scheduling in time for “mini workouts” – you can stay fit, return to your regular life, and not lose any momentum in your health/fitness routine.
And who knows, you might even lose a pound or two “accidentally”.