When you’re traveling, it can be difficult to stay engaged with a regular fitness and nutrition routine. You may not have access to your ordinary gym or exercise equipment, and it can be pretty tricky to eat healthy depending on your circumstances.
Fortunately, if you’re concerned with these things, there are always creative ways to prioritize fitness, and usually, you won’t even have to inconvenience yourself much. In fact, you may even make the trip better by incorporating some of these ideas!
Wake Up With Push-Ups
This is probably the simplest thing you can do to maintain some level of physical fitness on a regular basis. Push-ups get your heart rate up a bit first thing in the morning, work your arms, chest, and core, and can even generally get you in a frame of mind to attack the day with health in mind.
Just a few years ago an article at a fairly major news outlet called the push-up the world’s greatest exercise, and it’s difficult to disagree. Even better, it might be the world’s most convenient. You can do it in a hotel room, in a tent, or anywhere else you might be.
Mix In Some Crunches
We’ll add this quickly because crunches are every bit as easy as push-ups in terms of convenience, and help to diversify the morning routine a little bit.
Crunches actually aren’t always the most effective exercises if your goal is define abs – or at least, they should be mixed into a broader routine – but again, if you’re going for convenience, it’s well worth mixing a few sets in.
Plan Meals In Advance
No matter what kind of trip you’re on, failure to plan meals often means you’ll end up just eating whatever’s available, which makes it more likely you’ll be less healthy.
If you’re going out hiking or backpacking, you’ll want to make sure you have a healthy stash of protein and nutrients rather than less healthy, saltier trail snacks. And if you’re on a more ordinary vacation, you’ll want to take some time to research local restaurants at your destination so that you can find well-reviewed, fun places that still offer fresh, real food.
If Hiking, Jog A Bit
If you’re on a long hike with a giant backpack on, this can be a little bit difficult to manage. Furthermore, if you’re on tricky terrain, jogging is probably a bad idea (you certainly don’t want to turn an ankle). But if you have some flatter areas to traverse, it’s a great idea to work in a little bit of jogging.
Intermittent fast and slow movement can keep your heart rate in the perfect zone for burning fat, so even mixing in a quarter of a mile every now and then will keep your body guessing and keep you in shape.
Climb A Bit
If possible, try to climb a little bit too. We’re actually just beginning to see climbing becoming a major workout trend through fitness machines and the like these days.
LeBron James, who remains so dominant in the NBA that he was a favorite to win Finals MVP despite going up against a historically great team this past summer, has begun to swear by them. And when a guy that good credits a single type of workout with his fitness level, people take notice.
Climbing machines are great, but if you’re out on this kind of trip you can enjoy the real thing, and basically, one-up the gym with nature.
Just as some high profile athletes are embracing climbing, many have long credited yoga with fitness. Indeed, just recently tennis great Maria Sharapova discussed her return to the U.S. Open after a long absence and talked about feeling healthy.
She’s one of many athletes to have talked about using yoga to keep her core strong, and everything stems from that! Furthermore, this is an easy type of workout to do on the go. You can buy a book of poses or download an app and do a routine about as easily as you can do those push-ups and crunches.
Take It Easy On The Drinking
Hopefully, if you’re going on a long hike or backpacking trip, this doesn’t need to be said. But even then, it can be tempting to indulge in a long night full of local brews when you reach a given camp. And if you’re on a more conventional vacation, drinking can be one of the main attractions depending on where you may be!
This isn’t to say you can’t drink at all – you should enjoy yourself – but going hard on heavy drinks is about the fastest way out there to gain calories. Try to limit things to a couple of interesting drinks here and there so that you don’t have too much ground to make up later.
Don’t Count Calories
I just talked about not gaining too many calories by drinking. But in general, don’t worry yourself with counting calories. It may sound productive, but it’s often a good way to stress yourself out and give up on a fitness routine too quickly, such that you wind up doing exactly what you set out not to do.
This is as true while traveling as at any other point.
Learn A Stash Of Body-Only Workouts
We covered push-ups and crunches already, as well as yoga, hiking, climbing, and jogging – that’s a lot of ways to keep your body active and fit while traveling. But if you’re really determined to maintain your fitness while on your journey, you may want to fit in a full stash of body-only workouts, which you can learn in advance through online tutorials, apps, and other tools.
This means things like squat thrusts, lunges, variations on push-ups and crunches, etc. There are a ton of ways to use your own body and nothing else to get a full body workout, and they can be lifesavers while you’re out and about.
Never Eat Two Bad Meals Straight
This is a little tip I’m borrowing from Nomadic Matt, an excellent travel site that wrote its own foolproof guide to staying in shape while traveling.
The basic logic is that sometimes when you’re traveling you’ll find yourself in a place known for a delicious meal that’s not particularly healthy.
Indulging in such a meal can be part of the experience – just make sure the meals before and after are particularly healthy, and you can minimize the damage!