Travelling doesn’t have to mean the end of your fitness goals!
I understand the issues and constraints of travelling and staying fit at the same time but I am definitely not an authority on the subject. Although when I go on holiday I like to workout travelling further distances can cause more problems with fitness and equipment availability, so when Caroline approached me about doing a guest post on the subject I jumped at the chance! I am always looking for ways to be more helpful to my readers so without further ado, here’s a bit more about Caroline.
A Bit About Caroline: Caroline is a writer and health enthusiast. She travels often for work, so she understands just how hard staying fit can be when on the road. She likes to share healthy living tips with others when she can.
Exercising, eating healthily and staying fit can be a challenge; add a family into the equation and challenges such as time, space and motivation become more of a problem. If you’re travelling as well, then keeping in shape can seem impossible. Travelling is full of stress, and by the time you arrive at your destination, you can find yourself exhausted. Even when you have energy, your focus will be elsewhere. If you travel for business, it’ll be on work. If you’re on vacation, it will be on tours, amusement parks and almost anything but staying in shape.
When you travel, you’ll also be eating in restaurants or from street vendors, making eating healthy a challenge. It gets even more complicated if you are in another country. If that weren’t enough, you might not have access to a gym, and most fitness equipment won’t fit in your carry-on. However, staying in shape while travelling can be done and can even add a spark if your routine has lost its momentum.
Fitness Techniques for the Traveller
You don’t need a gym, lots of equipment or even a lot of space to stay fit. If you are staying in a hotel, check their website for a gym or pool. Hotel gyms can be a little limited, but using the right sort of exercises and including body weight exercises and plyometrics can provide a good workout.
Swimming is a great cardio and full-body workout, as well as a fun way to stretch and relax. However, if the pool is more for families than swimming lengths, and you’re lucky enough to be vacationing near a beach, open water swimming can be a great alternative.
If there isn’t a gym or the hotel facilities just don’t feel right, there are other options:
Bring Your Own Equipment
There are a number of compact and lightweight pieces of sports equipment that are ideal for travelling. A skipping rope is a great fitness tool, a great calorie burner and fun cardio and doesn’t take up much space in your bag.
You may also want to try a set of resistance bands. A full set of bands, with a variety of resistances, can weigh as little as a couple of pounds and can fit easily around clothing in a suitcase. Resistance-based workouts can provide a great whole-body workout for anyone.
No Gym? No Problem
If you can’t bring equipment or access local facilities, there are still plenty of exercise options. We have already mentioned swimming, and you can simply go for a run. However, if going a run somewhere new makes you nervous or you are travelling as part of a family so cannot leave your children unsupervised, try yoga, Pilates or HIIT-style circuits, all of which can be done in your hotel room with resources such as YouTube.
More ThanJust Exercise
As you can see, exercising with little or no facilities is very doable. However, another challenge of staying fit while travelling is maintaining a healthy diet. When everyone else is indulging, eating well is hard.
This where fitness technology and a smartphone can help. Calorie-counting apps such as MyFitnessPal and Lose It! are great for staying on track with your diet. Since you’re likely to be eating out often, you can browse popular restaurant menus within the apps, which can help you make better decisions on where and what to eat. You can also connect with friends via Facebook and your phone and email contacts for encouragement, but be sure to protect that information, especially when travelling.
If the lure of the buffet is hard to resist or you dread the thought of training on holiday, try a vacation to stay in shape. Camping, hiking, riding, cycling and even climbing trips are great ways to have fun and stay fit. They are also ideal for families, so you don’t have to choose between staying healthy and being with your family while also getting them involved.
Things to Remember
Staying in shape while travelling is far from impossible. Whether it’s for work or a vacation, a little planning and motivation make all the difference. A little research can tell you what facilities are available and if you need to pack some lightweight fitness gear. A smartphone with a few apps can help you to eat healthily and access a variety of online fitness resources. If staying fit is important to you and your family, it is something you can build into your travels, even adding a sense of discovery and adventure.
What are your favourite tips for staying fit while travelling? Share them in the comments below.
You can find more of Caroline here: Twitter