Don’t let excuses get in the way.
It’s always possible to get in some workouts while abroad. In fact, training in a new environment may help boost your mental stamina, introduce you to new and enjoyable physical activities, embed more creativity and variety in your workouts and blessedly offset the negative effect of eating outdoors.
Here are a few tips that have helped me stay in shape while traveling:
- Book in hotel that has some decent workout facilities (e.g. gym, running track, and/or swimming pool). Otherwise, tag nearby gyms and parks.
- Make sure to include workouts in your travel itinerary, preferably first thing in the morning. If training is a priority for you, you can surely plug in 30-60 minutes a day to work out!
- Pack some light equipment and training clothes. Travel-friendly training equipment include: jump rope, TRX, resistance bands and swimming goggles.
- Go fast and hard using just your body weight. Even if you don’t pack a single fitness tool, you can get good workout doing a bodyweight HIT session.
- Physically move through tourist attractions whenever possible: walk, cycle, hike and run while you take in the beautiful scenery.
- Have your travel buddies join you for a fun group workout.
- Challenge yourself to try new physically-taxing activities: surfing, paddle boarding, climbing, open water swims even and night diving.
- Don’t deprive yourself of trying new foods but control your portions and try to eat healthier meals whenever possible.
- Never go more than two days in a row without working out. Otherwise you’ll find it harder to get back into the swing of things when you get back home.
Here is a workout you can do right in your hotel room.
- Five Tabata cycles + 90 second recovery between each. Each cycle consists of 8X (20 second of work, and 10 second off/recovery). Challenge yourself to push as hard as possible during the 20 seconds.
- Five-minute warm up (pulse-raising movements such as jumping jacks, high kicks, or even running through the hallway a few times).
- Max burpees (or modified burpees) – try to keep the same amount of reps for every 20 seconds.
- Superman rocks (or hold) – make sure you really squeeze your gluteus and legs together.
- Squat jumps – drop down into a squat and a high jump. Try to maintain the rep scheme throughout the whole Tabata cycle.
- Plank hold shoulder taps – keep your core and torso centered, with straight alignment from your head to your toe.
- Russian twists using a water or even shampoo bottle – make sure you go through the full range of motion with the twists, and drop your chest to tap deeper into local core muscles.
- Five-minute cool down (leg, arm and back stretches).
Some of my recommended travel destinations for a fantastically fit trip:
- Climb Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
- Climb Mount Kenya (Kenya)
- Surf in Sri Lanka
- Join a diving expedition in Komodo and hike with Komodo dragons (Indonesia)
- Run the Paris Marathon (France)