Last week I wrote about travel and diet. I started with writing about our diet while we travel because it's the most immediate place for us to make positive choices. We make many more food choices than we do about exercise (or sleep) choices in a typical day.
I want to take the next step this week by asking: What is the best way to maintain fitness with a good exercise routine while you’re traveling?
It’s the start that stops most people. Generally, we are quick to make excuses to not get in a good sweat while traveling. We’ll use reasons that have to do with time, space, place, sleep, work, energy, being alone, and alternative activities (such as wanting to explore a new city)...and the list goes on.
I’d like to flip those excuses on their head. I’d like to make them positives—reasonsto exercise instead of avoiding it!
Truthfully, it’s far more important how you talk to yourself and how you’re explaining to yourself what is going on around you, than what isactually going on. Perspective matters!
As I said with choosing to eat properly, you need to choose to make good exercise choices before you even leave as well! Commit to them. Commit to being just as diligent as you were at home.
Tell yourself that it’s perfect that you get a chance to be in another city, another gym, on another sleep schedule, or trying different exercises. Make the shake-up fun. Enjoy the idea of surprising your body with some new actions before you even leave your home. Change your perspective.
Understand your schedule as well as possible, and find gaps.
It’s really important when you travel to make the most of the windows of time you have. Even a ten-minute window to do a push-up or a sit-up routine can be gold! (I’ll tell you my favorite at the end of this section!)
To maintain fitness levels, you do need to eat well and sleep properly. However, when it comes to your actual exercise, it doesn’t take much! Sure it depends how long your trip is, but you can maintain great fitness without great effort or time.
You can also kill at least two birds with one stone. If you are in a new city, you want to see, and you’re trying to choose between exploring and working out for 30 minutes, choose both as one activity! Go on a jog around the city, making use of the parks you pass by (or do pull ups, push ups, squat jumps, or box jumps). Have a fun destination like a unique smoothie shop.
This isn’t a blog on actual workout routines because there have been books on books written about routines. You just need to let yourself get creative. Sweat a little bit, and get the endorphins flowing!
Plus, it’s always better to see a place on your feet instead of in a car.
This is how you maximize your time!
This is a push-ups/sit-ups pyramid: you’ll do three different kinds of push-ups repeatedly and you’ll do three different kinds of abs repeatedly:
Your heart will be racing.
If you’re feeling super beastly, you can take it all the way back up to 21!
This is pliable. You can turn this into a pull-up/ab routine at a park. Or you could do a squat jumps/abs routine, etc. wherever you choose.
These routines involve only your body weight, so you can have fun with shaping it around areas of your focus you’d like!
I love consistency as much as you, I promise: the consistency of knowing the trainer, the gym, and the time it takes to get there and back, the time to get showered, knowing which parts of the body you’re going to focus on, etc. All these help with consistency.
But embrace this truth: you’re not going to have the same set of circumstances that you’d have at home. Fortunately, that’s a good thing for you! It’s important to change it up on your body.
Even if your in love with a corporate gym and you get to walk into a very similar experience in a different part of the world, it’s still different on your body.
As I’ve traveled the world, I’ve learned that being consistent with exercise means leaving room for spontaneity. If you do, I can almost guarantee you will meet a new friend; maybe a whole new community that can guide you through your days in that new place.
Is anyone surprised I’m finishing this way? Staying fit is more fun when it’s done with others. Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid. Jump into a gym your destination city and meet new people.
Introduce yourself to others in the smoothie shop. Ask questions about their favorite places to go in town. They will likely have opinions, and strong ones at that!
This has been one of my favorite parts of travel. Many of the friends I have made during travel were around exercise or health. I believe it’s because gyms and food are usually a place that “break the ice” for you!
These friends don’t just go through a class with you, or see you exercising around the city as they are, but they actually invite you to dinner and drinks! They encourage you to see the best parts of their city that top tourist guides can’t tell you about.
Finally, I’m willing to bet through these relationships you’ll have some connection to the business you’re there for anyways! I’m not kidding. I love it when I get to know people and through just a couple connections they’re linked with the people you already know. Queue the “six degrees of separation.”
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I hope you guys have had as much fun reading this as I’ve had writing it. I also hope you have great thoughts of adventure in your head. I’ve loved reminiscing about some of my favorite moments and people around the world.
I wish I could share all my stories from random park workouts and run-ins at funny places around the world with fascinating people. The stories would fill more than one book, that’s for sure!
In closing, go write a good book with the life you live everyday! I hope you have wonderful adventures! Remember that you’re never alone, and you can choose to choose wisely even before you go :)