Fitness While Traveling
It’s summer which means there are vacations, trips to see family and friends, and weekend jaunts here and there. It can also mean big dinners, lots of treats, less sleep, and drinks. If you have travel coming up this summer, you may be wondering what you can do to stay fit.
Let’s first talk about your goals. Some people have specific training goals that they want to maintain or shoot for that will occur around the time of their vacation. Other people just want to enjoy their vacation, and will try to fit in some exercise when they can.
For example, someone who is training for a weightlifting meet that takes place a month after a family vacation is going to have much different goals during the course of their trip than someone who is in their off-season and has a little more flexibility in their training. Some people use their vacation to do nothing but sit around and relax. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, here are a few tips for you:
- Evaluate Where You Are– What season of life are you in? Are you currently training hard-core for a marathon? Are you in the off-season, and focusing more on cross training? Have you been working hard on your body composition? Take a look at where you are in your training cycle, and go into your trip knowing what you plan to do. Maybe you are going to take walks everyday, ride a beach cruiser around, or just lay around by the pool! It is ok to take time to just relax and spend time with family/friends. Maybe you don’t care about working out while on vacation- you know what? That’s perfectly ok!
- Plan Ahead – If your training requires you to continue on vacation, plan out the training tools you will need, and when you can fit your training sessions in. You might have to get up early, get in a late night workout, or travel somewhere to find a gym, etc. If you plan on doing nothing, that’s cool too. Wil and I have both experienced continuous training while on vacation. He has driven an hour away to a weightlifting gym to train at because of a big upcoming competition, and I’ve traveled with triathlon bikes, and running gear to continue my training for races. Do we do this every time we travel? No. But when we have trips that occur around races/competition, we plan ahead.
- Just Move– If you aren’t training for anything in particular, but you want to stay active, you can easily move on a daily basis. Take a walk, go for a hike, swim in the ocean or a pool, play beach volleyball or soccer, head to a park and do some body-weight exercises, do some bodyweight movements in your hotel room, or rent a bike and explore the town you are traveling in. Some movement is better than no movement! Wil, my youngest sister Autumn, Jack, and I went to Europe for 2 weeks when Jack was about 12 weeks old. We didn’t go to a gym once, but we felt great on the trip because we walked, and walked, and walked. We also took turns carrying around a 13+ pound child which was a workout in itself!
- Be Flexible– We all know how travel goes. You get delayed or your plans change, you only get 5 hours of sleep due to travel, your kids are up all night because they’re in a strange place–so many things can impede our plans. Be flexible, and give yourself grace. If you can’t get your workouts in while you’re gone, just make sure you get back on track when you’re back in town. After all, the most important thing is spending time doing whatever it is you are doing on that vacation or trip. If you can only get a couple sessions in, or can only walk everyday, that’s great! Do your best.
We hope you are having a great summer, and can use some of these tips to help you as you travel these next couple of months. Enjoy!