When I was in San Diego the week before last, I exercised a lot less than normal. I went on two runs (one of which was only about a mile up and back the beach), I did some pushups, and I called it good. It was wonderful, and I don’t regret it one bit.
I also don’t regret the chips and salsa, margaritas, and wine tasting shenanigans that transpired.
This is a huge change from my normal vacation habits. On virtually every trip I took after the age of 13, I would get incredibly anxious about making sure I was able to work out enough. If circumstances prohibited me from working out, I became a major Grumplestiltskin. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore.
Now that I have a much healthier (read: “less obsessive”) attitude about exercise, and a far better understanding of physiology, I am not worried about skipping a week of normal workouts. As much as I love my training, I know that my hard work won’t be undone by a week off. I ended up being relatively active on this vacation anyway, with exploring the city on foot, swimming around in the pool, walking to dinner, riding a surrey in Coronado. At the same time, travel isn’t something that often interrupts my training schedule. There are plenty of people who travel often enough that it’s not practical for them to completely abandon exercise every time they hit the road. This is especially the case for those who are on the road for business or similar situations where their itinerary doesn’t involve much physical activity. Working out while traveling can be tricky, though – you don’t always have guaranteed fitness amenities, and unless you have a private jet, your packing space is limited. For those of you who need to break a sweat while jet-setting, here are some ideas for workouts that will work when you’re on the road.
Resistance training is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Many people turn to weights and/or cables for resistance training. But if you won’t have access to a fitness facility, resistance bands take up hardly any suitcase space and can be a great way to still get in some good resistance training. You’ll want to use higher reps in order to achieve the same muscular fatigue that you would with heavy weights. I like doing shoulder presses, chest flyes, rear delt flyes, rows, curls, and tricep extensions with a resistance band. Throw in a bit of ab work and some bodyweight lunges, squat jumps, etc. and you’ve got a full body workout!
Speaking of bodyweight moves, your body is the most portable fitness equipment of all! Try one of these 10-minute circuits to break a sweat when you’re short on time, space, or equipment. If you have a jump rope (portable) or chalk/tape (portable) or a kettlebell (if your hotel gym has one), you’re good to go. It’s also easy to make up your own bodyweight circuit by stringing together traditional bodyweight movements like pushups, squats, chin-ups/pull-ups, lunches, crunches, planks, jumping jacks, etc.
Obviously, DVDs are very portable. If you have some fitness DVD’s that you enjoy, then by all means, bring them (and use them) on the road. But even if you don’t, you can take advantage of all the workouts that you can stream for free with an Amazon Prime membership! Since leaving my job at the gym (and, consequently, losing my gym membership there), having my running sidelined by some joint issues, and a general case of DGAF-ing, I’ve started looking for new ways to get a little conditioning in. To my surprise, the fitness DVD’s on Amazon Prime have been a decent success. So far I’ve tried several of Jillian Michaels’ (more cardio based) and a couple of the Ballet Beautiful workouts (more strength based). Don’t forget, there’s always YouTube, which is where I’ve found some of my favorite yoga practices.
The Just-Enjoy-Your-Damn-Vacation Workout
Whenever possible, forget formal workouts and just take advantage of whatever city you happen to be staying in! Take a walking tour, go for a hike, snorkel, surf, rent a SUP, swim, snowshoe, ski, go out dancing, ride a bike, roll around in the sand…have fun!
Go on adventures.
Eat some tacos.
Don’t worry about it.
And just enjoy your damn vacation.