Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, maintaining the healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to form can be a big ask away from home. And while you might deserve a break from your intense training regime, you shouldn’t let your vacation leave you with a souvenir of weight gain and regrets.
Fortunately, with a little planning, you can enjoy your trip while maintaining your current weight and fitness levels.
Whatever your plans, here are the best tips for staying fit when traveling or on vacation.
While your travels may be a welcome break in routine, don’t let that be an excuse to skip a workout. Before leaving home, find out what fitness opportunities your accommodation offers. While most will have a pool, others may offer tennis, walking paths, bike rentals and full gyms. Then, pack the appropriate gear and schedule your workout at the beginning of the day because it’s too easy to make excuses for yourself when you’re tired at the end of a long one.
1. The majority of hotels have gyms available to guests, but most people seem unaware of this or just don’t bother to use them. The best time to go training is first thing in the morning. This is because it gets the job over and done with, wakes you up and serves as motivation to make better choices throughout the rest of the day.
2. No gym? No problem. You can easily put together a short bodyweight or high-intensity interval training cardio circuit for your small space. Use moves like lunges, push-ups, bodyweight squats and chair-dips. Remember, even a 20-minute workout will yield some benefit, while a zero-minute workout won’t.
3. If your hotel has a pool, which most do, then this is the perfect opportunity to get in a full-body resistance and cardio workout. There’s a reason swimmers are in phenomenal shape – propelling yourself forward against water is hard work. One way to structure a routine is 15-20 minutes of one hard lap with two slower, recovery laps. This way you’re getting your cardio in and your muscles get a run for their money at the same time. You’ll be surprised at how pumped you’ll look afterwards.
4. If you’re on a beach location, then make sure you make the most of the water-sports activities. Whether it’s paddle-boarding, snorkelling, rowing, scuba diving – there’s literally no end to the fun sports you can do while getting your heart rate up at the same time.
Just a few hours in an airport terminal or convenience store can easily turn into a few thousand unwanted calories. In fact, people who travel for business for two weeks or more a month are more likely to be obese and have poorer health than those who travel less often, found research in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. That’s because the majority of your food options will be empty calories that are rife with sugars and carbohydrates and spike blood levels of insulin – a hormone that causes your body to store fat – leaving you unsatisfied and hungry for more.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! According to a study at Purdue University, Indiana, our minds too often confuse the signals for hunger and thirst. Your regular hydration routine is at risk when you’re on the move. Obviously, you can’t take a huge bottle of water through security – and after you get through, you’ll pay a small fortune just to buy a drink – so, take your own empty bottle and fill up at water fountains.
2. Just because you’re away from your supplement stack, it doesn’t mean you can’t get your protein fix. It doesn’t just have to be consumed post-workout, either. According to The Endocrine Society, having whey for breakfast is far better than other proteins for weight loss, satiety and fending off diabetes. Pour a high-quality protein into a small Tupperware for ease of transportation. For instance, MHP’s Super Premium Whey Protein delivers 25g of hydrolyzed-driven protein in just one scoop. It also boasts 5.6g of naturally occurring BCAAs to boost protein synthesis, including 2.8g of the anabolic trigger leucine and 4.3g of glutamine and glutamic acid.
3. Airports don’t exactly pride themselves on the healthy options they place in their food courts, and we all know you’re going to overpay to help suppress the travelers’ munchies. Take a bag of nuts, protein bars, or beef jerky to tide you over to meals.
4. Convenience stores are the perfect place to say, “Oh, well,” and buy a candy bar because you’re starving. Don’t do it. Plan ahead and, just like the airport, pack some snacks. If you do a little bit of searching before your trip, you can find healthier restaurants along your route.
5. If you have to resort to fast-food chains, make educated decisions about what you order. Skip the high-calorie condiments (ranch, mayo), stick to leaner meats (grilled chicken, turkey) and drink plenty of water to combat the higher salt levels these foods have.
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