If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
* Working out away from home is way easier than you thought
* Having a plan is half the battle
* There’s no excuse for not staying fit while traveling
The sane majority of society will treat a business trip or vacation like a retreat from everyday life; free of the familiar demands like staying fit and sticking to your diet. Then there’s the crazy motivated minority who refuse to surrender any physical progress. If you are someone who is in the gym often, you know what kind of toll it can take on your energy when you don’t get that heart-throbbing pump your body is so comfortable with. Long vacations, road trips and business trips will kill your workout momentum and put a sudden end to your diet if you’re not adequately prepared.
Don’t panic. No matter what your traveling conditions are, we’ve found easy tricks and tips to make fitness a more manageable priority. So find your running shoes and athletic shorts, cause they’re making the trip too.
This one will be the first and easiest one to let go of when you find yourself in a hotel by a McDonalds or whizzing by a Dairy Queen on the highway. Make it easier on yourself to have restraint and pack healthier options like oatmeal, bananas or packets of tuna. All three of these foods won’t need to be refrigerated and are easy to prepare.
When you’ve already got food you’ve paid for in the car or back at the hotel room, it’s hard to logically justify buying something else that is less nutritious for you anyway. Filling up for breakfast with your own healthy snacks will also help you save some coin in the long run since you’re not buying all of your food out at restaurants. However, when you do go out for lunch or dinner, make healthy decisions. Most menus nowadays have a section with lower calorie options where you can find foods that will align with better with your dietary goals. Eat plenty of greens and proteins and don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Maintaining your diet while on vacation is half the battle.
2. Increase Output, Decrease Time Required
When you’re on vacation you don’t want to spend all your time running or doing push-ups just to satisfy your gym itch. In order to make more time for yourself, just increase the intensity of your workouts so that you won’t have to do them as long. For example, if you like to go on runs, find a hill to run up and down rather than running on a flat surface for a couple miles. This will make your heart rate climb to its target level much faster and yield more results in a shorter period of time. Same idea can be applied to push-ups or lunges by adding weight. Put your book bag or luggage on your back and do less reps. Pick up one of these best-selling smartwatches or a fitness tracker to set daily goals and monitor your progress.
3. Deck of Cards
On of my personal favorites is doing a deck of cards workout. Obviously you will need to pack a deck of cards for this.
Assign each suit an exercise. For example, make Diamonds push-ups, Hearts air squats, Spades sit-ups and Clubs burpees. Shuffle the deck and set it on the floor. Draw each card and perform the number of reps shown. Jacks are 11, Queens are 12, Kings are 13 and Aces are 15. If you want to really push it, make the Joker cards some type of sprint or aerobic activity. This workout can be done virtually anywhere so again, logically, if you bring the deck of cards you’ll have a hard time justifying not working out. Holding yourself accountable is key.
4. Jump Rope
Did you know that jumping rope will burn more calories per minute then running or swimming? Well you do now. Jumping rope is a low-impact workout that can be performed by all ages. A jump rope will not take up much space in your bag and you can do it inside or outside.
Try to jump rope for 1-2 minutes at a time and perform multiple sets. I like to do planks in between sets in order to increase intensity and shorten my workout time. Waking up to a good jump rope session will make you more alert and clear-headed than any cup of coffee could ever imagine doing.
5. Hotel Life
If you have the luxury of staying in a hotel, then they likely have a small gym. Great, so use it. This is obviously the most convenient way to stay in shape as you don’t need to pack any extra equipment or leave the building to get your sweat on. But let me highlight some of the other sweet things about staying in a hotel that allows you to have fun and stay fit that you may have not realized.
For starters, the pool is a great place to get some aerobic activity. That doesn’t mean you have to go swim laps by yourself, unless of course you are alone. Can’t help you there. If you have company, it’s easy to jump in and get your aerobic exercise by just goofing off or creating your own game in the pool. Lastly, if you’re in a hotel, it’s likely that you’re in a location that will offer parks or hiking or even a shopping mall nearby. Go explore the area and see the sights, but walk everywhere you go. You don’t even have to focus on raising your heart rate if you use your legs to get around all day. The same way you can choose to do a high intensity workout for a short period of time, you can do a low intensity movement for a long period of time and achieve the same results.