There is nothing worse than going away for business or pleasure and coming back feeling like you’ve lost your fitness. It may seem like travel and keeping fit just don’t go together, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Of course, when we’re on holiday, the temptation is there to over-indulge and let the workouts slide. Even on business trips, drinks and dinner can take priority over muscle definition and nutrition plans. But what if we flip the script, and don’t automatically assume that travel means the end to any routine. Often, the change of scene and chance for relaxation away from the cares of home can help focus the mind and keep fitness on track.
Do more in less time
The best way to keep your fitness routine going while away from home is to maximise your workout time. You want to do as little as possible but get the most out of it. And this means full body weight resistant exercises.
Use your own plan, or get one online or from your trainer, and ensure you include lots of weighted exercises that use more than one muscle group at the same time. We’re looking at deadlifts, bench pressing, lunges of all kinds and, of course, squats. By working lots of muscle groups simultaneously, you’ll be burning more calories in a shorter amount of time.
Train less often
If you use the multiple muscle group approach outlined above, then you can get away with exercising fewer times while you’re away. If your normal training plan is six days a week, with a carefully constructed workout you can get away with two or three times a week while travelling.
This not only burns max calories and conditions your muscles efficiently, it also leaves you as much time as possible to do the fun stuff. No-one wants to be stuck in a gym for hours every day when they’re meant to be enjoying themselves!
The best kind of workout does need a gym, however. You’re going to need weights, a bench and a mat at the very least. Lots of hotels have their own equipment, and often offer a day or week pass for visitors.
Design your own workout
Another useful training style that works well when on holiday is high intensity interval training (HITT). You don’t necessarily have to use equipment and a workout can be as short as 20 minutes, with plenty of benefits. HITT gets your heartrate up fast as you undergo brief bursts of exercise interspersed with short, measured breaks. For example, combine press-ups, burpees, sprints and sit-ups training 45 seconds on, 45 seconds off for 15 rounds and you will most certainly feel the burn.
This intense kind of training means that your body can take up to 48 hours to return to its usual state. This means that even while your body is recovering, your metabolism is engaged and you’re burning more calories.
If you just can’t face the gym while you’re on holiday, or there isn’t one easily available, then a simple HITT workout could be just what you need. If you need to push the intensity even further, take an easy-to-pack, lightweight resistance band in your suitcase.
Keep your nutrition in line
As we all know, you can exercise as much as you like but a poor diet will ensure your fitness stalls. One of the most tempting ways to break your form is to eschew a nutritional eating plan while you’re travelling. It’s all about balance. We’re not saying, don’t try the local cuisine or treat yourself a few times, but keep your healthy regime going for the rest of the time.
You could try ordering a dish at a time and eating till you’re full before ordering another. This stops the easy to fall into trap of over ordering and feeling obliged to eat it all. Other tricks include sharing a main with your travelling companion, so you get a taste of the food without overindulging.
When it comes to drinking, don’t waste too many liquid calories either. Alcohol is the fastest way to bank those useless calories, and you’ll thank yourself later if you moderate your intake. Fill up on water and stay hydrated, just as you would at home. Staying hydrated is even more important if you are somewhere with a hot climate, and it also helps to control your appetite.
Last but not least – enjoy your travels! Make the most of your business trip or holiday destination and if you don’t pack in every workout don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s also time to have fun!
About Surya Gabriel Iacono
Surya G. Iacono is a fitness and wellness expert and blogger based in London, UK. Surya Iacono’s fitness blogs are aimed at keen gym-goers and exercise fans already well into their journey and looking for tips, tricks and ideas to take it to the next level.