There are two types of travel; vacation (yay!!) and business trips. And when it comes to your fitness efforts, both are equally capable of throwing a sizable wrench into your well oiled machine. Going on vacation is a great way to unwind and, let’s be honest, indulge in all the vices we’ve denied ourselves in preparation for it. But after all the blood, sweat and tears we’ve put into our training for weeks preceding the trip, it would be a shame to let it all go to waste. After just two, workout free weeks, your aerobic fitness and muscle strength can decline as much as 15%. That’s certainly enough to notice a difference on your first day back in the gym. It takes double the time to regain what you lose, and no one wants that.
Business trips don’t usually provide the same opportunities for rest and relaxation. After a long day of travel and trying your hardest not to look bored (or fall asleep!) during some of the longest meetings in the history of meetings, you may not be too keen on hitting the gym versus collapsing on your hotel bed–especially if you have another fun filled day of meetings the next day. Resist the urge to skip your workout! Even if it’s brief, squeezing one in gets meeting-induced brain cobwebs cleared out and sludge blood moving free again!
“But how, HOW I say, does one stay true to their workout when temptation runs rampant?”Glad you asked, with some prior planning you can make things pretty simple. Here are a few of our top travel-planning tips to help you stay on track while you’re away. Damage control is the name of the game when forced to take time off from your regular routine.
Book the right hotel
We’re becoming a more health conscious society and hotels have started to catch on offering more fitness minded amenities. When you’re searching for a vacation or business trip hotel, skim through the amenities list to see if they include a pool or small workout room; it really helps make training on vacation or business trip a breeze. You don’t need anything particularly fancy– a pool will do just fine! The great thing about staying in a hotel with a gym is that you can workout first thing in the morning. This maximizes your chances of getting your workout in before back-to-back meetings (or too many beers by the pool) rule it out. If you absolutely cannot find a hotel with a pool or a small gym, consider bringing an exercise band. They’re lightweight, don’t take up much room, inexpensive and incredibly versatile. Setup an appointment with one of our personal trainers for a travel sized exercise band fitness routine.
Research the area
Before you depart, do a little research on the area you’ll be visiting so you know where to find the best restaurants, biking/jogging/walking trails, health food stores and juice bars. Naturally this is a little easier when visiting countries like Australia and the USA as many of the brands will be recognizable and easy to assess for quality. When traveling to less well-known countries there are great online resources available to help. I always take my protein powder with me to ensure I will get the proper protein while away.
Never underestimate the value of a brisk walk or steady cycle for keeping your overall health and fitness in order; steady-state cardio of this kind is also great for fat burning. It’s also a wonderful way to explore the local area and discover hidden gems this way.
OK, now down to the workouts. While on any trip away from home you won’t want to spend too long in the gym, so before you head out for your trip take the time to schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. They’ll set you up with a fantastic 15 –30 minute workout so you can capitalize your results in a small amount of time. Let one of our trainers help you come up with a workout plan for your next trip!Get your own personalized plan!
Tell us in the comments how you fit in a workout while traveling.
By Christy Beckmann, Member Services Representative at Elite Sports Clubs-West Brookfield