Travel workout; staying in shape when you travel. I spend a lot of my life on the road, and a lot of my life in Bangkok, Thailand where I’m based. When I’m in Bangkok, I work out a lot and try to get in good shape, eat well, train hard. Recently I undertook a transformation in Bangkok where I lived like a monk – cut out sugar, basic carbs, alcohol for a while and trained twice a day, and I felt great…
But when I’m on the road, it’s a different story. I plan to work out, hotel gyms, workouts in the room but it’s hard to stay motivated, and it’s hard to know what to do when you have 20 mins here or there. I asked my buddy Jeff, a trainer in Bangkok, who does a lot of online training, how I should keep it up when I’m on the road, so i’m not always going in and out of shape, so he drew me up a work-out below, check it out….
We’ve all been there, dropping our bags down in a freshly cleaned hotel room, exhausted from hours sometimes days of travel. The last thing on our minds while traveling is exercise. Hey, we’re on holiday right? Routine goes out the window and it’s time to relax, eat, party, sleep, and repeat.
Sure, we told ourselves “not this time”. I’m going to stick to my routine and eat healthy… for the most part.
Once our bags are down all bets are off. Exercise? Does a walk to the minibar count?
I hear it all too often. Good intentions gone awry.
What happens? Do we lose every last ounce of self-discipline when we travel? For some, sure, but the biggest problem is in our perception of working out and why we do it. We think of grueling hour-long sessions in the gym lifting weights or a long sweaty hour on an elliptical in hopes of reducing the numbers on the scale. It doesn’t have to be that way and here’s why.
1. Any activity where you move your body is physical activity.
This should almost go without saying but riding a bike, swimming, jogging, and just walking (beyond the minibar!) are great ways to get in exercise. Get out and explore the world around you! That’s why we travel in the first place right?
2. We aren’t looking to set any records.
Exercise while traveling doesn’t have to be intense (unless that’s your thing). All we’re looking to do is get the blood pumping and stick to our routines. Dropping kilos or packing on muscle should not be the objective, enjoying yourself should be.
3. Nutrition is the most important thing!
News flash: The research is in and exercise is not a good way to lose weight. I know, crazy right? It’s complicated, to say the least, but once your body adapts to exercise (think plateau) it becomes very difficult to lose weight by exercise alone. That’s why what you put in your mouth is the most important thing. This is where some self-control comes in handy.
Eating while traveling:
For me, food has to be one of the best parts of traveling. Here are some simple ways to expand your palate instead of your waistline.
1. Focus on fresh minimally processed foods. They’ll fill you up faster and keep your calorie count in check. Check out local markets for fresh produce and local delicacies. Don’t waste unnecessary calories on crappy hotel breakfasts. Go for muesli, sugar-free yogurts, and fresh fruits in the A.M.
2. Don’t be afraid to splurge! The best way is to do a little research about local dishes. Pick a few things ahead of time and make a list. Go ahead, eat an entire pizza in Naples, but hold off on the second helping of tiramisu. Better yet, share the first one! The rest of the time keep it simple and don’t feel guilty.
3. Go without food for a few hours. Got a big day of eating ahead? Try skipping breakfast. You’ll be fine, I promise. Daily intermittent fasting is a way of life for many people.
4. Stay hydrated. Our bodies will often confuse thirst with hunger. Keep a water bottle on hand and refill it often, especially if it’s hot!
The Travel WorkoutMix & Match Travel Routine
When it comes to exercise while traveling it’s best to have options. Here is a simple format that allows you to plug and play different exercises depending on space, equipment, and abilities.
For this routine, there are two tri-sets. Each tri-set consists of three exercises that are completed one after the other. Do all the sets for the three exercises before moving on to the next tri-set.
For example, complete 1A followed by 1B and finally 1C then repeat two more times. Rest one minute between tri-sets. Then Move on to the second tri-set. You should complete 12-15 repetitions for each exercise.
3 rounds for each tri-set @ 12-15 repetitions per exercise. Rest one minute between tri-set 1 and tri-set 2.
So you do tri-set 1 (1A, then 1B, then 1C, then 1A, 1B,1C again and 1A, 1B AND 1C again!) then move to tri-set 2 and do 2A, 2B and 2C then repeat 2 more times. The workout should take approximately 30 mins.
Travel Workout Exercise list
Modified Push-up – 00:33
Elevated Hands Push-up – 00:39
Push-up – 00:44
Elevated Feet Push-up – 00:50
Supermans – 01:10
Single-arm Bag Row – 01:14
Invert Row – 01:21
Jumping Pullup – 01:29
Glute Bridge – 01:49
Single-leg Glute Bridge – 01:54
Elevated Glute Bridge – 02:02
Single-leg Elevated Glute Bridge – 02:11
Single-leg Romanian Deadlift – 02:17
Bodyweight Squat – 02:36
Bag Squat – 02:43
Sumo Squat – 02:48
Alternating Lunge 02:55
Bag Slides – 03:17
Spiderman Plank – 03:24
Hollow Rocker – 03:33
Hanging Knee Raise – 03:40
Burpee – 03:47
Lateral Suicides – 03:56
Jeff blogs at JeffSmithFitness about all sorts of things from a travel workout like this one to home gym equipment reviews so be sure to check him out!
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