Love to travel. But hate to pack and unpack. So, when I hit the road, I go as light as possible. It makes things so much easier when I’m away from home. Whether it be a trip to Europe, or across the country, for vacation or for work, I’m going with a single carry-on bag and maybe a backpack. That’s it. That’s all.
And the first thing that always goes in my bag … well, after the tighty whities? My gym shoes and some shorts. Boom.
It’s all about finding time to make fitness work when I’m away from home. But, I totally get it. It’s not easy sticking to a plan and staying in shape when you’ve got bounce around the globe. But, with a little bit of planning, some focus and a little bit of
Here are a few tips for becoming a Road Warrior and staying in shape away from home:
Find some weights … then, use them – a lot of hotels and resorts have gyms. No, they usually aren’t state-of-the-art, but they do pack enough punch to get the job done. You should be able to get a decent workout in by focusing on the big muscles through compound movements using dumbbells like squats, deadlifts and presses. No gym or no weights? Not a problem, bodyweight exercises can get the job done, too.
Fitting in fitness whenever possible – sometimes, the schedule is just jam-packed with craziness and a 40-minute workout is not possible. I used to spend time at events that required getting up early and staying up late. The solution was spreading my workout throughout the day. Crank out a set or two of pushups and squats between meals, upon waking up and before bed. It’s not the best, but it is movement and something is better than nothing. Here’s a bonus: if traveling on a long flight to your destination, crank out some squats in the aisle or even the bathroom every hour or so to improve blood flow and burn a few extra calories.
Take a hike – trains, planes and automobiles: when we are on the road, we tend to spend a lot of time on our rear ends. Try to break that up by getting up and walking more. Use the stairs whenever possible. Spend some time seeing the sights by foot. Schedule some time with nature by checking out some hiking trails. Every little bit counts when we are away from our normal comfort zone.
Start the day off right – it’s no secret that kicking things off with a nutritious meal promotes healthier habits throughout the day. So, whenever that first meal may be, make it high in protein and fiber. Stick with eggs and fruit at breakfast and salads with chicken or steak at lunch. Try to avoid the carb-loaded options like pancakes and bagels.
OR … just skip a meal altogether – seriously, it’s not going to hurt. It might even help. There’s a lot of research into the world of intermittent fasting, or virtually taking a break from eating for intervals of time – it could be one meal, 10 hours or even a full day (24 hours). No, it will not slow your metabolism into a halt. It might actually aid in your battle against fat by helping to create the caloric deficit we need in order to drop some pounds. This is particularly helpful on travel days (there is nothing healthy waiting for you at the airport).
Plan ahead – we all know that traveling usually leads to one or two of those big meals (whether with co-workers or travel mates) where you just know the calories will be handed out like it’s a giveaway, so we need to plan accordingly. Look, we can all indulge from time-to-time (no one is saying you have to be lame). But, try to make sure your week leading up the big meal is perfect nutritionally. I like to check out the menus ahead of time to plan out what I’m going to order.
Reduce the damages – when at the big meals, avoid consuming the bread and chips and try to stay away from the appetizers, too. You really think that after getting full off of bread, chips or the fried calamari that you will eat less of your real entrée when it comes? Didn’t think so. Order a salad or steamed vegetables to go along with your meal (the fiber will get you fuller, quicker) and try to stay away from the desserts if at all possible. Or, just know that the calories from the desserts or appetizers add up … so, if you must, try to go for one or another. Not both.
We all hit the road from time-to-time, some trips for business and some trips for pleasure. When we are away from home, we face plenty of nutritional and fitness obstacles and potential pitfalls.
But, taking a vacation from work doesn’t necessarily have to mean taking a vacation from your nutrition and fitness goals. Likewise, hitting the road for work doesn’t necessarily mean we have to hit the snack machine and avoid the gym, either.