Health and fitness are about what you do constantly, not occasionally.
Keeping to a regular fitness regiment and healthy eating are easy to do at home, but hell to do when you’re on the road. Limited food options and sparse fitness centers make staying in shape a challenge for long periods of travel time. There’s something comforting in our routines.
A few summers ago, we spent a summer in Italy, Belgium and Croatia. Between the Italian food and Belgian beer, I gained (no shit) 15 pounds in 7 weeks. My ‘fat’ pants became my tight pants and I spent 3 months working it off. Chalk it up to Italy having some of the best food in the world, and to waving it off with an “I’m on holiday“, but still it’s easier just to keep it off.
Staying fit during long term travel with limited gym options is hard, but at the ripe age of 42, I’ve managed to get in the best shape of my life despite working full time. Here are some tips:
1.) Find a Consistent Time
I usually wake up at 4:15 am to do my 30 minute cardio routine, but on the road will probably sleep in till 6ish. I like the morning is nice as it’s generally cooler and you have a nice rush of endorphins to start your day. I also like the personal time of waking up early as my girls are still asleep and find peace in the solitude.
2.) Surround Yourself with People that Inspire You
Jillian Michaels said a way to motivate you to exercise is to surround yourself in media that inspires you to get fit. Add fitness gurus to your social media feed with pictures and workout tips.
3.) Eat Well
You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet and when traveling to foreign places it’s easy to indulge in its culinary delights. Some things I’ve learned over time that mitigate the calories
- Have your ‘Cheat Meals’ early. Have your ‘big meal’ out for lunch or breakfast (if you’re staying at a high end hotel) but more modest meals for dinner.
- Eat Smaller Portions. If you’re staying at an AirBnB or place with a fridge, save leftovers for heat up meals the next day. It will save you money too.
4.) Find a Routine You Enjoy
Finding a routine is often the hardest one because there will be limitations on space. If your hotel has a gym, great, but if you’re staying in an AirBnB or smaller hotel, you may be relegated to the outdoor patio, roof or balcony. Here are some platforms that I’ve used over the years that I like:
- Shaun T– I’ve been exercising to Shaun T for nearly a decade. I started with this T-25 series but have been using Insanity Max 30 lately which has helped me improve my upper body strength. What I like most is the ‘timer’ at the bottom of the screen that shows you time duration left of an exercise and workout as a whole.
- Jillian Michaels– I’ve done fitness with Jillian also on an off over the years and she really stresses good eating as well.
- Yoga With Adrienne– I usually do yoga for 5-10 minutes in the morning before cardio and again in the evening which saves my knees and back. Adrienne has a free youtube channel with over 400 videos and a a soothing voice.
- Pinterest– Pinterest just went public with their IPO last week and I think it’s one of the most underutilized social media/reader platforms out there. It curates articles based on your search history, so you are constantly seeing new things as your searches change over time. I have half a dozen boards devoted to crock-pot recipes, to healthy eating. I have a board devoted to back stretches and travel workouts that you can follow here.
There is no shortage of fitness regiments to find in cyberspace. Typically, I like free platforms, but ones requiring a monthly subscription may motivate you to visit and commit to creating a healthy lifestyle.