You can travel for vacation/work this summer and still not miss a workout. What if you could also manage to get in the best shape of your life at the same time? This time of year, many people ask some variation of the following questions:
“Coach Cory, I’ve been working out consistently all year, but not I’m getting ready to go on my summer vacation. I don’t want to lose all the hard work I’ve put in these past months.” OR “Coach Cory, I travel a lot for work and that makes it hard to workout and stay on a healthy program like yours.”
In other venues in the past, I’ve written about healthy living on the road. I think it’s time to revisit this topic again. Working professionals who travel a lot and people traveling on extended vacations share the same challenges when trying to stay fit.
First off, YES, it is absolutely possible to make great progress while traveling. I have one client who managed to lose 30 pounds in his first year working with me, while at the same time traveling for work. He was on the road for 2 weeks every month that year!
So whether you are a road warrior or just a travel junkie, if you spend more time in an airport than at home or the office, my Bodies That Work System for Optimum Living can work for you, too!
Locating Your “Gym”
When I travel, I almost never use the hotel gym. Want to know why? Because most hotel gyms are poor excuses for a gym. At most you’ll have a few machines like treadmills and/or ellipticals, and usually no work-out machines. I don’t like weight machines anyway. When I’m not at my studio, the Fitness Gallery, I work out anywhere else I can. When on the road traveling, there are a few key options when it comes to training. You may have to do your best MacGyver impression and improvise. It doesn’t matter which you choose, just pick one:
- Find an Actual Gym. With a quick Google search, you can quickly and easily find any and all gyms near where you’re staying. If you’re in any North American city of good size, I guarantee there is a commercial gym or local gym that will have actual equipment (like free weights and equipment for doing pull-ups/chin-ups). Call them up before you leave home to find out how much a week’s membership costs. Also ask if they have equipment like what you need for your strength training program. It also is a good idea to find out if they offer any free trials. Admittedly, this is the most expensive option, but if you have room in your budget, this is the most ideal option. It’s a lot easier to stick with your regular program when you can replicate your home workout situation.
- Find a Playground. If you travel the world, you’re more likely to find parks and playground. Google can help you locate these. Bring up Google Maps of the area where you’ll be staying, and look for any green squares on the map. If you don’t have a strength program designed for parks and playgrounds, I can hook you up with one that still meets your personal requirements. Don’t just pick something off a generic website. In most cases, those are designed for athletes and are overkill for most people. Essentially, all you need is something to hang from for your “pull” movements, then everything else can be done with just your body weight. This is is where your resistance bands can come in handy.
- Use the Hotel Gym. When planning your trips, if there are no suitable gyms or parks near your hotel, contact the hotel or check them out online and see if they have their own gym. Find out what equipment they have if any and what condition it is in. If the hotel has even just a “workout space” you can still cover the basics and/or build your own custom workout. It may not be 100% like what you are used to, but ANYTHING is better than nothing and you can usually get close if you’re creative.
- Do a Hotel Room Workout. The biggest “excuse” I hear from people is, “I’m so busy, I can’t even leave my hotel room?” Here’s my response… Whether you think you’re too busy, your hotel’s gym sucks, or there are no parks, playgrounds, or gyms near you, then do a hotel room workout! Get out your resistance band(s) and I know you can do squats or lunges, push-ups, or even use the desk for rows. I can provide you with a 10 or 20 minute workout that is an efficient full body workout and you don’t even have to leave your hotel room!
- Gas Station/Rest Area Workout. When on a road trip, just pull over. You can get a good stretch and a workout using the side of your car, even while filling up your gas tank. Try jumping jacks or jump rope for 1 minute, lunges, push-ups, bodyweight squats, and plank. You can do them for time, or for reps.
I’ve just tossed ALL excuses for not exercising while traveling right out the window! Using any of the above 5 options above, there really is NO reason why you can’t complete a workout, even while traveling.
If that STILL wasn’t enough, know this… exercise is important not just to build muscle, make you stronger, and keep you healthier, but it also ensures you burn the calories you consume, turning them into lean tissue and not just stored as fat. Your nutrition program is close to 80% of your results, whether you’re trying to lose weight or get bigger and stronger. Exercise also improves our mood and our self-confidence, two things that are important if we’re meeting with clients.
Just like that, ALL barriers between you and a healthy lifestyle while on the road have been conquered!