Please note that I am not a licensed trainer. I am simply sharing workouts based on my own experiences and that I enjoy. Please consult with your doctor about any medical issues or concerns before starting a new exercising program.
Growing up my father, who works for a branch of the US Department of State (although he’s retiring in a couple months – congrats Dad!), traveled a lot. I mean a lot! And crazier than that my parents, a lovely young couple with two little ones (I wasn’t born yet), moved from California where they both grew up to Washington D.C. Gasp! Crazy, right?!
Well, back then before the lovely Internet, the world just wasn’t as global. Unless you were in the military, leaving your family to move cross country and then to have a job that required a lot of travel was simply unheard of. Now, though, it seems travel is just a way of life for many, whether it’s for your job, vacation, or because of now distant relatives. Yes, I know quite a few people who still live, work, and play in the same area they grew up in, but now that seems almost unheard of. Nearly everyone I know travels, and travels a lot!
As a frequent traveler myself, I try to fit in as much fitness as I possibly can, so when I return I haven’t lost all my strength. Unless I’m truly on vacation, which, for me, is really a time to relax and have fun, I’ll schedule time to fit in a workout. But I know how difficult that can be, especially if you have children and even more especially if you eat out, drink, and/or stay out late every night.
So here are a few tips on how to just get it done!
1. stick to a schedule
As difficult as it can sometimes be, if I plan a schedule before I board that plane, I’m more likely to get my travel workouts in. So while you’re planning your daily activities – shopping, sightseeing, or the like – schedule those workouts as well. And as terrible as it is to hear, mornings are best. By the afternoon, no matter the reason for my travel, I’m usually exhausted and need that time to either relax or prep for my evening activities. So I always arrange for my workouts to happen first thing. If I’m in bed by 11pm and wake up at 7am, that’s still 8 hours of sleep. It still gives me plenty of time to get showered, dressed and be out the door for breakfast , sightseeing, or whatever by 9am. See easy, peasy!
2. don’t try to be superman
Unless you’re training for something specific, like a race, you don’t need much time to workout; heck, you’re on vacation! Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise is all you need to keep your body active and maintain the work you do at home. And if you try any of the CrossFit workouts below, twenty minutes will be plenty!
3. workout indoors
Working out indoors can be the best place to get in those 20 minutes, especially if the weather is cold/rainy and you don’t want to travel with a ton of exercise clothes. Indoor exercising may be even more helpful if you have children. Although most hotels now have gyms, even if it’s just a couple cardio machines and a few weights, all you really need is a small space in your hotel room to get the job done. Pop on the TV to keep the kids entertained and get in those burpees! They’ll either be completely occupied by the TV (and snack/toys in case you need it), or they’ll be completely entertained by your exercising;) And if they’re still sleeping, well, even better!
4. get local
The whole point of traveling is to explore new places, right? Well, sign up with a local running group, which you can usually find easily through running stores or organizations (here are a few places to look: MapMyRun.com, Road Runners Club of America, Lululemon even publicizes exercising events through their stores). You could also join a gym. Most places, including CrossFit, have short-term passes that you can buy. Getting local is a great way to explore the area, meet a few people, and it’s easy motivation to keep your workouts going.
5. tweet about it
Ahhh, don’t you just love twitter? For all those naysayers out there, twitter (or any social media) can be incredibly useful. Turn to your favorite Internet status post-it site and seek out an exercise partner or group. One traveling consultant even bribes people to join him for a run by offering to buy them a beer! I love it! Now, that’s motivation and a fantastic way to meet new people (DISCLAIMER: Please take the proper precautions and be safe. Exercise groups may be best if you are brand new to an area or not an expert in Tai Kwon Do).
6. walk everywhere
And if the above just won’t work for you, then walk everywhere! Forget public transportation and walk. It’s a great way to burn calories and see the sites! While visiting Paris, my husband and I once walked from the Notre Dame Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower. It took us an hour, but it was an incredible walk!
Here are a few for your next trip!
Now, there’s no excuse. This workout can be done right in your hotel room, and there’s no equipment needed! Thank you Justin Klein for this hotel body-weight workout. Check out the short 1 minute video on how to do the moves.
Even if you’re not a CrossFitter, the workouts above can be done by anyone. Very little equipment is needed, maybe just a watch/timer. For the Tabata workouts, I downloaded an app onto my phone – Tabata Free – which is an easy way to keep track of your time. I’ve only listed a few workouts, but there are tons more where they came from, so check ’em out!
Staircase workouts are the best because they can be done on any staircase anywhere! Strength trainer Jordan Syatt pulled together the above two high intensity interval workouts, which will be fantastic for your next trip. So get out there and hit those steps! (DISCLAIMER: Please take the proper safety precautions when using stairwells.)
How do you fit your workouts in when you travel? Any tips you can offer?