Whether it’s a vacation, work trip or destination wedding, summer travel and fitness sometimes fight each other like kids in the car.
Perhaps you’re stuck in a cramped airplane seat. Maybe you’re in a hotel room, suffering from jet lag. Or maybe, the buffets and booze are calling – threatening to undo any gains you’ve made.
Here’s where a little planning and creativity come in handy. With a few fitness hacks for summertime travelers, you can stay on track while taking that trip:
Create an “anywhere exercise” routine. Even if you’re a bodybuilder without your weights, specialized equipment or favorite gym, body resistance exercises can go a long way. Go for the tried-and-true sit ups, Burpees, pushups, crunches and planks, or check out Greatist.com’s 50 Bodyweight Moves You Can Do Anywhere. If you’ve got a bench or step nearby, do some triceps dips. Resistance bands, which won’t add more bulk to your luggage, can help you improve your flexibility and tone.
Drink smarter, not harder. Alcohol seems to be everywhere at summer events, vacations or even work trips involving cocktails with clients. In addition to packing on tons of extra calories, drinking can leave you dehydrated or hung over – not a great state to be in before a workout.
One trick? Limit the size of your drink – to about 8 oz. – and the number of drinks to one, if possible. Another smart idea - limit your consumption to one shot per drink (multi-shot cocktails are often full of sugar and calories). And watch the mixers – they’re often sugary juices or syrups that pile on the carbs. Also, use seltzer or soda water instead of tonic water, which adds a whopping 30.5 grams of sodium and carbs per fluid ounce. For a low-carb sweetener, try a twist of citrus. For added fiber, add a whole piece of fresh fruit.
Don’t forget about water and nutrition. Even if you’re not drinking alcohol, travel can leave you dehydrated or without the proper nutrients for an optimal workout. If you regularly take supplements, keep on taking them, with the idea that everything now needs to travel well. If you’re using protein or other powders and want to add them to bottled water or a shaker bottle while in transit, use a portable measuring scoop and funnel device like The Scoopie to prevent messes and wasted product. Drink water throughout your trip as well, and definitely avoid alcohol before workouts.
Take the stairs. Can’t work up the motivation for your usual fitness routine on vacation? Incorporate exercise into everyday activities. Park farther away. Skip the hotel elevator. Carry your own luggage. Put your kids on your shoulders as you walk around.
Do fun, physical local activities. Even if you’re on a business trip, many local activities are fun and fitness-friendly. Go to some nightclubs and dance the night away. Participate in a local run, biking or walking tour. Rent a bike and check out the scenery.
Avoid temptation by planning ahead. Use “request upon arrival” hotel services to have pre-ordered, healthy food brought to your room after check-in. Or make sure you have a healthy, satisfying snack – such as a handful of nuts, on you when you get there, so you’re not starving and tempted by all the fat bombs on the hotel menu. If you’re going to be out for the day, pack your own nutritious snacks and plenty of water.