Whether you're traveling for work or pleasure, going somewhere new or well-trodden, getting on a plane/train/bus/boat pushes you out of your comfort zone and into new experiences. While this is often exhilarating, it can also cause a major disrupt in your wellness plan and a daily workout usually takes a backseat.
Luckily, I've found a few easy ways to fit exercise in when I'm traveling.
A few tips:
- Travel with an exercise band. It folds up to almost nothing so it won't take up room in your bag, and you can use it practically anywhere for a great workout (see below).
- Try to do yoga or a some stretching while you wait for a plane. Sure, it might look a little silly but I promise your body will thank you hours later when you're cramped into a tiny airline seat.
- Wear sneakers when you can. That way, you can walk anywhere you want without the temptation of jumping in a cab. An added bonus is that you'll have the chance to explore whatever city or town you're in, getting to know the place way better than if you were whizzing by in a car or concentrating on not tripping in uncomfortable shoes.
- Schedule your workouts. Even if it's just a 20 minute session, it's important to schedule the time or it won't happen.
- Get ample sleep. Working out is a whole lot less likely when you're tired.
- Stay hydrated. Just like lack of sleep inhibits exercise quality, so does dehydration. Carry a reusable water bottle throughout the day so you always have water on hand.
If you're not in a situation where you can walk from place to place, check out your hotel gym and do a quick workout there. Otherwise, here are a few simple ways to exercise without interfering with your schedule (or having to resort to downward dog in the middle of an airplane aisle). No equipment needed!
Fast workouts you can do anywhere:
- Squats, push-ups, sit-ups and planks: Perform each exercise for 20 seconds as fast as possible. Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat for eight rounds total. The goal is to do the same amount of reps each round, so don't start strong with 20 push-ups and finish with just two.
- Yoga Sun Salutations: Lift both arms overhead and gently fold forward at your hips to place both hands on the ground. Step back to plank, bend elbows and slowly lower yourself down to the floor. Gently lift your chest off the mat, then shift your hips up and back into down dog. Walk or hop your feet up to your hands and repeat the entire sequence 10 times.
- 30-second cardio burst: Perform 30 seconds of squat jumps, rest for 15 seconds. Perform 30 seconds of jumping jacks, rest for 15 seconds. Perform 30 seconds of high knees, rest for 15 seconds. Repeat the entire series five times.
Photo courtesy of the author