Summer is here and that means it’s usually time to travel, vacation and take some time to see the world. So I have been getting asked about how people can stay fit and healthy on the road while they travel. I had the opportunity to put myself through this test recently when I took a mini trip down to San Diego for a weekend. I found that it was not only fun to discover creative ways to stay fit but I actually realized that I was being even more active than I was during my regular schedule.
Exercise on the Road
I like to exercise, so I like to find the time during my travels to exercise when I can. Getting a good, quick workout in also allows me to mentally relax when I want to have a cheat meal while on vacation. Besides, it wouldn’t be a vacation without some indulgences. Luckily for me, my fiance feels the same way so we are able to workout together. There are several things you can do to get a quick workout in.
1. Hit the hotel fitness center. Most hotels have a fitness center in the hotel. If your not sure you can always plan ahead and see if the hotel has one before you book it. This is one of the things I look for when I book a hotel. They are typically very small but usually will have some dumbbells and a couple machines, and a pull up bar. My fellow P90Xers will know that this is plenty to get a solid workout in. You can easily make a quick intense workout up on the fly or bring your workout sheet from P90X and do a full routine from a gym.
2. Bring your workout DVDs and workout in the room. My fiance brought her portable DVD player with us on the trip and brought TurboFire. She also brought a resistance band. She took it down to the hotel gym with me but she could have easily worked out in the hotel room. Don’t have a portable DVD player? Bring your laptop or buy the P90X app when it comes out later this summer. The easiest way to travel with P90X, Insanity, or TurboFire is to bring them with you and pop them into a DVD Player. For P90X, bring a resistance band. Even if you normally don’t use bands you will be surprised how well they will work. The new P90X2 will have a modifier using only bands for each workout. That means you will be able to take P90X2 on the road with you and do every workout with the resistance bands…how cool is that?
3. Be Creative with your Cardio. If you only have 20-30 mins because you’re with your family or you have a meeting you have to be at, then that’s all you need. Bring your running shoes and get creative. Go outside and run, jump, crawl, sprint, what ever! A great way to get a quick workout in is to do a HIIT workout, or High Intensity Interval Training. Warm up for 2-3 mins, then go all out for 30 secs, rest for 1 min and repeat 8-10 times. Do a quick cool down and you have a great 20-30 min workout. For example, my fiance and I were looking out of the hotel window and noticed a very long/high stairs across the street at the convention center (see picture). I suggested that it might be fun to do a workout on those things. So that next morning we went out and created a workout on the fly. We did a quick 2 min jog to warm up. We then did a “Suicide Drills” type of workout by going up 1 fight of stairs then back down, going up 2 flights then back down, then 3 and so on. When we got to top we just reversed it. 25 mins later we were done.
4. Plan activities that are based around being active. Ok I know, you want to relax and hang by the pool. That is fine but what about planning an activity that involves being active with you and your family? Rent some bikes and go on a bike ride around the area, learn to surf if your around a beach, paddle board or kyack if your around a bay or lake. Tennis courts near by? Rent some rackets and go play tennis. There are many activities you can do that involve being active around hotels. Even just taking a long walk around the area is plenty. The more active you are the more fit you will be on your trip. Besides, this is why we workout isn’t it? So we can be active in our everyday lives! Go swim, snorkel, bike, play! For example: My finance and I went and rented bikes and rode for about an hour checking out the area and seeing the sites. The next day we rented paddle boards and paddled around mission bay.
We all want to relax on vacation but being active can be just as fun. I was able to workout, lay by the pool, go for a bike ride, walk around town, paddle board all within a couple of days. Because I was so active I didn’t care if I ate some cheat meals. I came back from the weekend weighting less than when I left. Funny how that works. You can be active on the road, just take the time and plan ahead a little. Go have fun!
I will be posting about nutrition while on vacation in the coming weeks.
Do you like to be active while on your trips or do you like to do as little as possible? Do you think these ideas above would work for you?
Good stuff here-- vacations can make things crazy but a little planning goes a long way. I gotta be honest... next time I'm in San Diego, I'm hitting those stairs.
@Dan: Haha, I would love to hear about the stairs. I think we did it 3 times all together...again it was 1 flight up then back down the 2 flights then back down. The ended up sprinting the full length after the last one then doing a sprint on the ones next to it as well. Overall it was 26 mins with a 3 min warm up. Planning helps a ton too.