15 Dec 10 Ways to Beat Holiday Travel Challenges & Stay Fit

The challenge is this. You travel and your workouts suffer.

What’s the solution?  You prepare in advance, I mean that’s all it really comes down to.  It’s the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure this time of year, it can totally derail a healthy fitness regimen.  Even some of the most die-hard exercisers find it difficult to stick with a workout program when away from home.

Yes, we all have great intentions. We even pack our workout attire. Unfortunately, that gear never makes it out of the suitcase until they’re back home.  Ever done that?  I’ve been guilty of that before myself…in the past, but not now.

Travel from home doesn’t have to result in an interruption or complete abandonment of your healthy lifestyle habits. You can still fit in exercise time when away from home, regardless of whether you find yourself in a warm or a cold climate. Even if bad weather forces you into seclusion in your hotel room, there are fantastic exercises you can complete without a single piece of equipment.  That’s the beauty of bodyweight exercises and don’t think that it’s easy.  If you do bodyweight training the right way, you’ll find it’s extremely effective and challenging.

How do you do it successfully? Here are some tips to help you stay fit while traveling and avoid coming home feeling “out of shape” and will allow you to stick to your regimen, no matter what.

1. Be realistic. You probably won’t be able to fit in all of your normal weekly workouts (depending on how long your away) and that’s okay. Shoot for completing at least 50% of your normal regimen.  Enough to keep you in the routine and not de-rail your fitness regimen.

2. Plan ahead. Before leaving town, find out what type of workout facilities your hotel accommodations will provide or if there is a nearby park, gym, or fitness center, if that’s part of your plan.  And, if not, pack your own equipment (see below) or plan your body weight training program, in advance.

3. Scope out the local gyms to see what they have to offer. If you are staying somewhere that doesn’t provide a workout area, then inquire at the nearby local fitness centers for their rates.  Almost every local gym near a hotel offers great day rates to workout.  Again, if that is part of your plan.

4. Implement The “No Fail” Method: Pack a resistance band, superband, or TRX system in your suitcase. The band takes up very little space, yet can provide you with an entire upper and lower body workout routine.  This is the easiest way to “bring the gym” with you.  On the road, any of these are great options to do in your hotel room or at someone’s house.

5. Don’t deprive yourself, but try your best to eat well. You can enjoy some special meals without going overboard. Eat in moderation. And consider to ask the restaurants to prepare your favorite dishes with the most healthy ingredients. The truth is, just because you’re traveling, it doesn’t mean you have an excuse to eat bad and indulge. Be smart about it.

6. Be creative. Find unique, fun ways to exercise instead of doing the same routine you do when you are at home or at the gym. Try something new like sprinting, hiking, hill running, basketball or other sport or different activity you can do. Effective workouts aren’t limited to the traditional exercises.  While you’re away, it may be a great opportunity to try something new. Movement is exercise, so find new ways to move more.

7. Try out your travel routine at least once at home (something to consider). A new workout that you’ve never done before will require more time and preparation. This type of frustration just makes for an easy excuse to skip the workout. Knowing the workout beforehand will make it much easier.  So, if you’re going to do the bands or body weight exercises and haven’t done so before, give it a whirl at home at least once.

8. Prepare snacks. This is critical. If your journey includes a lot of time in the car or plane, be sure to pack some healthy snacks so you aren’t forced to eat at all the fast food when you get hungry and you have no alternative. Keep some healthy snacks such as almonds, fruit, or low sugar protein bars with you to eat in a pinch.

9. Have the right mindset.  Know that you are going to have self discipline and dedication, even with the travel to exercise and eat well, even if it’s not as good as when your at home.  And remember, something is better than nothing.

10. Bring the appropriate attire. Don’t forget to pack the right workout attire that fits your destination’s climate and the workout that you’ll be doing while you’re away.

In a pinch, here’s a quick, simple circuit workout that only requires a resistance band and can be done anywhere. Complete at least one set of 10-15 reps of each exercise and do 3-5 circuits.

  • Light jog in place (60 second warm-up)
  • Crunches
  • Planks (30-60 holds)
  • Biceps Curls
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Lat Pulldown or Rows
  • Front/Side Shoulder Raises
  • Push ups
  • Squats
  • Bridges in supine
  • Burpees

This is a good, basic full body workout you can do in your hotel room, when you are in a time crunch. Simple and effective. Remember, something is better than NOTHING.  Keep active, keep moving, and keep Fit!!

Now, I’m half way through the 31 Days of Smart Fitness, posting new content every day this Month.

This is actually a great time to get started or to keep pushing yourself to finish the year strong and get ready to set up a great new year of getting fit and achieving the results you want. Don’t wait for the New Year, start now, keep moving, and finish the year strong!

Train & Eat Smart this time of year!  I’ll be back tomorrow.  ~Scott

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