The dos and don’ts of working out while away
Routines are a fundamental key to success. And consistency is a pillar of good health. This much, we know. Then again, so is balance. But when you’re traveling, it’s normal to feel like your fitness can get a bit out of whack - new experiences occupy your time, and there are indulgent meals and late nights out. What you don’t want is to return home feeling like you’ve taken four or five big steps back on your goals. Hoping to find a way to enjoy our travels while staying motivated, we asked some experts for advice. They all agreed: Like so many things when it comes to your health, it’s about making smart choices. Here’s what they suggest to prioritize your fitness while on the road.
Do Your Homework
Are you expecting a gym at your hotel? Even if one is listed as an amenity, COVID restrictions could mean that the gym is limited or closed entirely. Call ahead before you book to make sure. If they don’t offer one, perhaps the concierge can arrange for equipment to be brought to your room or recommend a local option to suit your preferred workout. Your hotel may have access to complementary passes, or you could call the gym directly and request a day pass.
Utilize Your Mornings
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling for work or pleasure, most of your days away have a way of filling up fast—squeezing out even the best intentions to workout. Set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier than you normally would to utilize the early morning for your fitness. Get outside and enjoy the sunrise to make the most of it. If you keep the intensity high, you really don’t need much more than 15 minutes to challenge your body and burn some calories. And by getting it out of the way first thing, you can then go about your day, feeling satisfied that you’ve already done something positive for your health.
Make Your Calendar Work for You
If you fear that you won’t have the dedication to prioritize your fitness, let technology provide some subtle encouragement. Add a workout session to your calendar, set up a text reminder or book a class to hold you accountable. Just having something pop up on your phone will help you stick to your plans.
Pack Your Own Gym
As we all know after the past year, we can get plenty of our fitness goals accomplished while locked within a small space. Bring some of your favorite at-home training gear to help you get in a workout when it’s most convenient for you. A jump rope, resistance bands or a TRX system are some examples that are efficient, lightweight and easy to pack.
Treat Yourself, Don’t Overindulge
Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, when you’re away from home, you’re often presented with nutritional minefields. Say you’re ordering off the hotel’s room service menu, or your room comes with a complimentary breakfast. There are smart ways to navigate this. According to the team at Nerd Fitness, you want to load up on proper fuel: Protein like eggs, sausage and bacon (this will satiate you and keep you feeling full until your next meal) as well as fruit (plenty of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants). They also advise that you can - and should - treat yourself with “bad” meals. Just plan accordingly. If you can eat clean for breakfast or lunch to prepare for an indulgent meal, you’ll spare yourself the guilt and extra time “making up for it.”
Give Yourself a Break
This is a vacation, after all. Make an effort, sure, but if you go a day or two (or three) without exercising, don’t sweat it. And sometimes, the break can do your body good. Even the best athletes in the world take vacations and ease off their training regimen ever so slightly. The rest can also give your body time to recover and your muscles the ability to repair and build tissue. If you think you might slack once you get to your destination, push yourself in the days before your trip to kickstart that recovery upon arrival.