Posted on December 16 2019
The most common excuses people have for not working out is “lack of time”. The second most common excuses I here all the time as a fitness expert is “too much travel”. Being an online worldwide fitness educator and trainer, I myself nationally and internationally every two to three months and have never let this be an excuse for not staying fit. Though I believe it is about prioritizing your health, I will here share some tips and tricks that may help you stay on track.
Plan Ahead: Most people will have their travel itinerary in hand at least a few days ahead of your trip. You will know exactly where you are suppose to go/ stay etc. I personally love exploring new fitness studios in new cities but also know that I will probably get lazy to workout alone without my workout partner while travelling. This is why I look for fitness centers and studios around offering group classes such as bootcamps/ yoga/ core workouts etc. Most of these classes are scheduled early mornings or late evenings, works well with people who are travelling for business. This gives you time to finish your workout early morning and work all day. Most centers will also be more than willing to give free classes for a few days so you really don’t have to pay anything and get a free workout!
Group classes are also an excellent way to meet new people and make friends! Thus, if you are traveling for leisure and actually want to enjoy the way “locals do”, making friends here might help! The above picture was taken while I took a Stott’s Pilates class in Los Angeles!
Explore on Foot: If google maps shows the distance between your current location and destination is anything less than 30 minutes by walk, then walk. It is not only a great way to explore the streets and local café’s but you will get a good amount of physical activity in. I also keep a small pair of walking sandals in my purse so I can quickly change from my high heels anytime I want. Most men should not have this issue but if you are a women, a light wear ballet shoes or similar is a very good investment. When in transit, time yourself and walk around the airport. Even better if you can brisk walk. However it is essential that you time yourself so you do not cheat. Try and get about 60-90 minutes of talking per day. Most smartphones now have apps that will track your distance or number of steps you take per day. It is essential to keep track of this to motivate yourself.
Select Local over chain Restaurants: As tempting and familiar as Cheesecake Factory or McDonald’s might sound, your best bet would be to skip these. Most of the chain restaurants prepare food in bulk for weeks together and load them with preservatives and artificial flavors to keep them from going rancid. Because the restaurants are such large scale, the level of hygiene maintained in these places is also not up to the mark.
Besides, if you are going to a new country, why would you not try the local café’s and local cuisine of the place. I am a vegan and have rarely had any problems ordering food at the local café’s. Infact, small-scale family owned restaurants are more than willing to accommodate your dietary requirements and cook you something fresh. They often have their produce freshly picked for the day (or worse case one week ahead) since they do not expect large-scale business everyday. Families also are warm and welcoming and the food is prepared with love and cleanliness. They take pride in their cooking and cherish foreign customers. Besides you can always have a McD when you are back to your hometown! When will you get an opportunity to try something you will probably never try in your life again.
Try the 15 minutes Routine: Don’t have time for a 45 minutes class? No worries, wake up 15 minutes early and try this circuit you can do at your hotel room
*2 min spot jogs/ sprints
*1 min spot jumping jacks
*30 sec plank
*30 sec mountain climbers
*30 sec squat jumps
*30 min pushups
Repeat 3 rounds.
You can make it more challenging as you get stronger by adding in variations such as declined pushups/ box jumps (in this case bed jumps)/ moving plank etc. This routine covers most of the muscle fibers in your body and burns quite a lot of calories! If you are even more serious, do it as soon as you wake up and right before you go to bed, making it a 30 min full fledge workout. And no, 15 minutes is not too much time to ask out of yourself. Remember, fitness is a lifestyle and not to be practiced only for your convenience.
Dessert Check: Sure you are on a holiday and mostly have been dieting to get in shape for this very holiday, but that does not mean you treat your stomach like a waste basket. Have a check on how much desserts you have on your trip. I have a weakness for desserts and have to be very strict with myself when travelling. Especially being a vegan, I mostly never find vegan desserts in India and tend to binge eat them when travelling abroad. But what helped me was promising myself only one dessert per day and no more than that. This was, I was still enjoying what I miss out on when in town, but not overdoing it. One dessert means one dessert only, not trying one spoon here and there or sharing two with friends. Committing yourself and having accountability to yourself really helps! This is probably going to be the hardest but will also help you most keep a check on calories.
Start the day Right: When travelling you will mostly stay at hotels that will have breakfast included in your package. Go in for a bowl of fruits, fibrous carbs such as oats, baked beans on multi grain toast or mashed potatoes. Skip the canned juices, sugar loaded cereals or fried food. Starting your day right is essential to make sure you do not snack on junk later or binge eat on your next meal. I mostly start my breakfast with a big bowl of oats porridge with raisins, fresh cut fruits, protein powder and nuts on top. I would also pick up a cup of soy- milk or soy coffee later to get some extra protein in. Starting the day with proteins will also help boost metabolism and kill hunger pangs later through the day. Healthy breakfast is essential and vital to be had first thing in the morning. Do not keep a long gap between your wake up and breakfast time. Within 45 minutes is a good window.
Snack Smart: A good idea would be to carry some healthy snacks with you that are easy to pack and packed with energy. Homemade Quinoa bars, peanuts, sunflower seeds, trial mix, baked ragi chips etc are all great options. If you did not have time to cook, no worries. Stick to whole foods you will find around like tender coconut water, fruits, veggies etc. Avoid snaking on bakery products or anything that comes in packets (processed) such as biscuit’s and energy bars. It is absolutely important to have at least one snack between your breakfast and lunch, and one in between your lunch and dinner. Avoid smoking or having a coffee or tea. If you must, accompany it with something to eat. This was avoid spiking your cortisol levels, leading to belly fat and also ensure you do not binge eat for your next meal.
Make your travels a great opportunity to send a message to your sub conscious that no matter what the situation you will take care of your body. Remember, after the travel you will have to come back and start over. The worse part about fitness is having to start over again and again. You did not lose all the weigh and come soo far, to only some so far. Adopt fitness as your lifestyle and give yourself the freedom to cheat 20% only as long as you are true to your regimen 80% of the time.