How to Stay Fit While Traveling: Part 1

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THE 5 RULES OF TRAINING ON THE ROAD

Traveling can get be a huge obstacle for anyone on a shreddedness journey. Regardless of what your fitness goals are, it’s hard to stay in shape while on the road.

When your mind is in relax and rest mode of vacation or distracted by a business trip – the last thing you think about is getting in a few pushups and pulls ups.

But in order to keep your fitness goals progressing, it’s always good to get a little training done while traveling. Sure, we push hard in the gym before our vacations so we can having a smokin’ bod in all of our pictures, but we don’t want to return home a flabby piece of lard.

Here are 5 rules on how to stay in shape while traveling to make sure you return home just as shredded as you left.

Plus a free download of 25 workouts that don’t require a gym.  Just in case you need some ideas, click below to download!

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RULE 1: HAVE A PLAN

Sometimes planning is for suckers. Who wants to live life off an itinerary? For me, vacation means it’s time to relax and go with the flow. To do what I want without work, emails or anything calling my name and tying me down. BUT, to stay fit while on vacation, even the wisest of folks need to do a little planning. 

Before you leave for your trip, know what kind of training plan you want to follow. If you’re a gym rat and know you won’t feel complete until you lift some iron, then pick a hotel that’s got more than just a few dumbbells so light that Barbie could lift ‘em. But if all the hotels in your budget are lacking on their state of the art fitness centers, do a little of the Googling and find a gym close to your hotel. Before you even leave for the trip, contact the gym and prepay for a week (or take them up on a free trial). That way, when you arrive, you already have your spot to get a good sweat on.

Now that you’ve got the spot and the equipment, you also need to plan when you’ll be working out and how often.   And be realistic. If you’re going to the beach for a 7 day trip, are you really going to hit the gym all 7 days? Heck no.

Set a realistic goal for yourself. Not many people actually train every single day of vacation. And as soon as you skip that second workout you planned, it becomes tempting to skip the rest.

Instead, keep your workouts realistic and manageable – something like every other day of the trip.

 

RULE 2: BRING SOME GEAR

Traveling with some fitness gear not only sets you up to stick to your workout goals, but it also makes you feel like a total gym junkie. I mean, sure, most folks bring their workout clothes and some kicks. But only true gym junkies bring equipment.

Now of course, I’m not saying to throw some dumbbells in your luggage.  But here are two things to bring with you that are easy to travel with: a resistance band and a lacrosse ball.

The resistance band: Not only is it lightweight and can pack into any suitcase, but you can do plenty of exercises with it depending on what size you bring.

Monster walks up and down the airport terminal? Sure why not.

Banded good mornings to start your good mornings?

You can even wrap it around a tree and do some resisted high knees and lateral jumps if your really into your training. But overall, easy to pack and easy to add some variety to your traveling training.

Now the lacrosse ball is probably a better investment than the resistance band if you only want to bring one thing. No, there aren’t tons of exercises you can do with this, but its better for your mobility.   Our favorite mobility guru, Kevin Starrett, gives some examples of how to use this nifty little ball to work your back, shoulders and pecks – even if your stranded in a cramped airplane seat.

 

RULE 3: OR DON’T BRING ANY GEAR 

Okay, I realize most folks aren’t too thrilled about packing training tools in their luggage (or they don’t have any room left for one more thing).  Good thing it’s not absolutely necessary anyway to stay fit while traveling.

You can get in a solid training session with just body weight training. Instead of trying to get swoll on vacation, focus on just maintain what ya got already.  No one ever complained about losing muscles by doing hundreds of push ups. Not to mention you don’t even need a hotel gym. Get down to business in your hotel room. Put your feet on the bed for some decline pushups or Bulgarian split squats.

But sometimes those rooms are a bit cramped. So instead of forcing it, go outside. You’re traveling somewhere new and may as well enjoy the scenery. Sure, you could go for a run along the beach or jogging trails. But you could also hit up a park and do some pulls ups on a tree branch. Or find a stadium and run some stairs.

You can literally workout anywhere without any equipment. You just have to plan to make it happen (read Rule 1 for that).

 

RULE 4: GET ADVENTUROUS

Nowadays, you can find a kickass workouts nearly anywhere you go. And it doesn’t have to a boring park workout you could do back in your hometown.   If you’re near the beach, go learn how to surf. If you’re in the mountains, go skiing or hiking. Try rock climbing. Go swimming. Make your tourist adventures part of your training.

And if you’re serious about staying in shape (and making progress) while on vacation, turn your entire vacation into a workout. There are vacation packages for weeklong training programs if you really want. Now, I’m more about enjoying the place I’m at and figuring out how to build in a workout, so you probably won’t find me on one of those. But I sure as heck will be hiking up Machu Pichu and surfing in Costa Rica some day. And definitely counting those as workouts.

  Hiking Machu Pichu for how to stay fit

RULE 5: JUST ENJOY LIFE

If you’re headed out for vacation, maybe you just need to enjoy it. To focus more on living life rather than building muscle. It’s easy to get caught up in your plans and your goals that you forget to enjoy what’s in front of you. It’s not going to kill you to take a week off of training. If you’re staying active, walking around checkin’ out the touristy stuff and taking care of your body, then you’ll be fine in the long run. Remember to enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

If you want some tips on how to workout while traveling, download the Metcon Madness on the Road Guide for 25 workouts you can do anywhere. From the hotel room to the local park, we’ve got a workout for you.

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And tuned for Part 2 of Staying Fit While Traveling:  THE 5 RULES OF EATING ON THE ROAD. Because it’s not just about the training, it’s also about the food.


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