It’s easy to forget about your fitness routine when you’re relaxing by the fire at Mount Buller, it’s even easier if you’re sipping margaritas on the beach of Cancún, but that doesn’t mean your hard earned gym gains have to fly out the window because you’re on vacation.
Life is all about balance, and with these five tips on how to keep fit while traveling, you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it too.
1. Ditch the wheels
There is no better way to explore a new town than by taking the streets by foot. So, forget the ride share and lace up those runners!
When you set out on a walk it’s about the journey, not the destination. You allow yourself to really take in your surroundings, and immerse yourself in the local culture. It’s the best way to discover unexpected places and reveal the hidden gems of the place you’re in.
From our personal experiences, we know some of our favourite travel memories have been at random restaurant we stumbled across, or in a quirky bar as we are finishing up a night on the town.
Not only does this elevate your travel experience, but your sneaking in some extra steps to keep yourself on track with your fitness goals (not to mention you can save a ton of money on transport)!
2. Remember, food is your friend
One of the best parts about traveling is indulging in all the amazing food, and we say go for it! Even if you’re trying to remain health-conscious whilst on holiday, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of Italy’s best gelato or a delicious pastry from the French patisserie. Just do it in moderation.
As we mentioned before, life’s about balance, and that’s especially true when it comes to food. Our suggestion when traveling is to follow the 80/20 rule.
Put simply, this means eating whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins 80 percent of the time, and eating whatever you want the remaining 20 percent. It’s about making smart food choices, but not restricting yourself from the foods you enjoy most.
Sticking to a balanced diet while traveling will have a huge impact on your health and fitness. Sure, eating one or two unhealthy meals isn’t going to make you stack the weight on, but 2-3-4 weeks of poor food choices could be a different story.
Centre most of your meals around the whole foods mentioned above and treat yourself every so often. Your body will thank you!
3. Train smarter (and harder)
If you’re planning to maintain some sort of exercise routine whilst traveling, we suggest high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT involves short bursts of maximum effort, over a 15- to 30-minute timeframe.
What’s great about HIIT is that can burn a large amount of calories in a short period of time. To put this into some perspective, you can burn roughly the same amount of calories in a 20-30 minute HIIT session as you can in a 50-60 minute steady state run. This method of training is way more practical for travel, as you can smash out a wicked sweat session in only a few minutes, freeing up the rest of your day for fun!
What’s also great about high intensity interval training is that you can combine strength training with cardio, workouts can involve little to no equipment, and it can be done anytime, anywhere (including your hotel room)!
Below we’ve provided an example of a holiday HIIT workout:
15 Minute HIIT workout – No Equipment:
Complete each exercise at maximal effort for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds rest. Complete 3 rounds of each exercise. Total workout time is 15 minutes.
Exercise 1: Jump squats
Exercise 2: Push ups
Exercise 3: Sit ups
Exercise 4: Alternating lunges
Exercise 5: Plank
If you do want to train with a bit of equipment we strongly recommend resistance bands. They are light weight, portable and will take up minimal room in your suitcase. They come in a range of weights and sizes and will help to increase the intensity of your workouts.
Another way to incorporate equipment into your workouts is to make use of your surroundings. Find a local park or playground and see what you can use. A park bench can become a step box. Monkey bars can be a pull-up bar. Get creative, stay fit, and keep exploring all at the same time.
4. Make fitness fun
There is no shortage of things to do when you’re traveling, so why not include physical activity into your itinerary. Go skiing through the Swiss alps, take a bike ride through Amsterdam, hike the Path of Gods on the Amalfi Coast. No matter what activity you chose, odds are you are going to have a ton of fun, see places you wouldn’t otherwise see, and you’ll keep fit whilst doing it. Win-win situation if you ask us!
5. H20 whenever you’re on the go
Water will be your best friend when traveling, because let’s be honest, as fun as it, traveling is also exhausting. When you aren’t adequately hydrated, your body will have to work harder to function, which leads to fatigue. This isn’t ideal when you’ve on vacation with a ton of activities planned. Staying hydrated will keep you energised, making sure you have enough fuel in the tank whilst you’re on the go.
Another benefit of keeping hydrated is that it can curb your appetite. This is because drinking water can increase our feeling of ‘fullness’, which suppresses huger and prevents overeating.
It’s important to note that water should not be used to replace food, however, when we’ve drunk enough water our body is less likely to confuse the feeling of thirst for hunger.