We all know how much of a challenge staying fit while travelling on the road can be, specially if we travel often. Despite the fact most people love to change place and scenery, sticking to a routine is usually a great way to stay in shape, not only physically but mentally as well. Therefore, what we should do before we set off on our next trip, whether it’s for business or pleasure, is to have a checklist and a schedule for our activities. Just like eating and sleeping are part of our daily routines, exercising must also be a habit that we don’t skip despite the location or the season we are in.
Although summer is the holiday season when people tend to travel more, the truth is summer caters for more movement and outdoor activities, and people are more concerned about keeping a bikini body. However, according to some surveys, more than 70% of people travel during winter holidays. That means, almost every one of them will gain weight and will not participate in any physical activity! Let’s face it, heading down with family and friends, partying and eating all kinds of delicious holiday foods, makes exercising become the last thing we think about!
True story, but you know what else is true? Regretting that we didn’t create a little time to stay in shape. Getting rid of those extra pounds can be a true torture, especially when dealing with a slow metabolism…
Regardless of the time of year, not having access to a gym or the healthy foods that we usually consume, is generally the main challenge when we are away from home. Here are a few tips that will help you improve your fitness level while travelling; they are easy to handle, affordable and can be done anyone at any location and time.
Fitness Apps That Guide Your Workouts
Body weight exercises are a great way of staying toned when you cannot access a gym. If you are unsure of where to start, you can download a free fitness app to guide you and tailor the workout to your needs and restrictions. There are tons of exercises and levels for every type of workout you choose. Here are some recommendations:
- Skimble’s Workout Trainer offers users thousands of free workouts along with timed step-by-step audio and video instructions to help you get into shape.
- FitStar adapts its exercise routines to match your physical capability and acts as your personal digital trainer. You can set up your workout goals and duration and the app creates a customised workout for you. You can rate each workout, and the app will adjust the next one depending on your evaluation.
- Sworkit: Choose the type of exercise you want to do; yoga, cardio, stretch, pilates or strength, and you will get another customised routine. Each workout is different, making sure that you stay alert and don’t get bored.
You can also check out our “Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere!”. Don’t forget to take your headphones and download some upbeat podcasts or tunes to accompany your workout or run! Alternatively, you can try this app to stream your gym jams:
- FIT Radio: a music-streaming app that specialises in DJ-created mixes that maintain a consistent beat.
Pack Light and Easily-Portable Equipment
There are plenty choices when it comes to gadgets to enhance our workouts. They can be very light and cheap and you can buy them online and get them delivered wherever you are! Our favourite items are resistance rubber bands for strength training and a jumping rope for a more cardio option.
Skipping is a great way of lymphasising and combining these two gadgets which will both maintain your cardiovascular health and keep your body toned.
Additionally you may take TRX suspension straps, although these may be trickier to train with since you need a resistant spot to hang them on. None of these gadgets will take up any substantial space in your luggage, but they will definitely enhance your workout anywhere, even in your hotel room or balcony!
Running or Power-Walking
If you’re more into running or jogging, then exercising in this way, for lets say, half an hour in the morning will keep your metabolism and energy levels high. Make sure you pack your gym gear, and if you aren’t a runner, don’t worry; you can still power-walk (walking at a fast, steady pace).
We recommend exercising in the morning so you enjoy the benefits of your workout throughout the day and get that feeling of having already accomplished something from an early hour. However, you can choose any time that suits you, but its important to schedule it at least the day before so that you don’t get caught up with the more urgent or immediate demands.
So how to plan for it? You can research online for a suitable place to run, whether its around the city, on a coast walk or in a park. There are free apps that help you track your route and performance. You can also use a heart rate monitor or a fitness watch which can be help you monitor your performance and set new goals.
- MapMyRun: This app is the leader in online running routes and is a great pick for navigating a new destination. You can load routes completed by other runners nearby and follow a trail on the screen – this is great when running in new locations so that you don’t end up taking a nasty path out and back.
- RunKeeper: Get inspired from expert coaches or by connecting to your social network and sharing with your circle of friends.
- Runner’s World Go: This provides you with motivation, expert advice and tracking tools to help you meet your goals, regardless of your level.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is an excellent option if you are under a tight time schedule. This kind of training involves some very intense and usually fast exercises, so our body gives its 100% effort to handle all speed and resistance at the same time. Rests between sets of exercises are very short, to keep your heart rate constantly up. This way, in as little as 10 minutes, your body may be as tired as a whole hour spent on a treadmill. In conclusion, you will increase blood flow and metabolism, and burn calories much faster, so there is really no excuse to not find such a short time slot in your day!
Try our “9 Minute HIIT Workout” or download the 7 Minute Workout App which guides users through a 7 minute workout, as well as more advanced routines of different intensity and duration, accompanied with short videos.
Don’t Forget to Take Your Supplements
Last but not least, supplements. It is very easy to mess up our diets while travelling because we eat what is available, and often don’t have access to the ingredients we want or the means to cook a nutritious meal. When our bodies are deprived from a balanced range of macronutrients such as proteins, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, we experience loss of muscle mass (due to a deficiency in protein intake), fat gain, low energy level and other symptoms such as dull skin. It is important to take some additional vitamins such as:
- Omega 3 fish oil
- Protein powder
- Magnesium and zinc
- Multivitamin with high dose of B and D vitamins
You do not need to take many bottles of pills, you can pack the ones you need for the duration of your trip into a travel case kit. Moreover, you can find most of these in a multivitamin complex with incorporated minerals too.