Whether for your demanding job or for a relaxing vacation, traveling usually does not bode well for trying to maintain a consistent workout routine that will help you keep the weight off -- let alone get in great shape. Hotel gyms are small, and have minimal equipment available aside from a few small dumbbells and a treadmill or two. Meals are sporadic, often served in larger portions, and less healthy than what you normally can cook and prepare at home.
But in this article, I'm going to give you 3 simple things you can do to make sure you continue making great progress towards your toning and weight loss goals... even when you're on the road!
1. Pack healthy snacks in your suitcase! When we're traveling away from home and less familiar with your surroundings, we tend to fall prey to the "eat whatever's convenient" mentality. Hence if you don't bring your own healthy snacks, you'll likely have trouble finding something handy to eat between meals that isn't straight out of the hotel vending machine...which makes the optimal healthy eating schedule (small meals every 3-4 hours) quite difficult to maintain. In turn, the lack of healthy snacking leads to over-indulging on huge restaurant portions or free hotel buffets when mealtime finally arrives -- a perfect recipe for packing on the pounds pretty quickly.
To avoid this pitfall, think ahead about how many days you'll be gone at a time, and pack some healthy snacks accordingly -- things like raisins, dried fruits, protein bars, and mixed nuts are all easy to portion in ziplock bags and pack in your suitcase without taking up much room or worrying about spillage or spoiling.
And of course, if you're going to be staying in the same place for a longer period of time, it's worth calling the hotel ahead of time to see if they have refrigerators in the rooms. This will allow you to take a quick trip to the grocery store to buy other perishable snacks like fruit, yogurt, and fresh snack-size veggies when you arrive.
2. Make time to workout! I don't care if the hotel gym sucks. I don't care if the resort gym only has 2 lb dumbbells and treadmills. You truly don't need anything except for YOU to squeeze a quick workout in. Try one of the following simple workouts... any of which can easily be done in your hotel room with absolutely no equipment, and in under 20 minutes:
- Workout #1: 5 times through, as fast as you can: 15 push-ups, 20 standing squats (no weight, but squat down to AT LEAST the point where your thighs are parallel with the ground), 25 sit-ups
- Workout #2: "Tabata" style workout of: 1 minute of standing squats, 1 minute of burpees, 30 second plank hold, 30 seconds rest. Do this 5 times through.
- Workout #3: 40 jumping jacks, 30 burpees, 20 standing squats, 10 push-ups, 20 standing squats, 30 burpees, 40 jumping jacks
- Workout #4: As fast as you can: 10 burpees, 50 pushups, 50 leg-lowers (lay flat on your back, and keeping your legs straight lift your legs up and lower them back down towards the ground... but don't let your feet rest on the ground between reps!), 50 jump-squats, 50 sit-ups, 10 burpees
- Workout #5: This awesome (and fun!) 10-minute workout
3. Drink LOTS of water! It hydrates your organs and muscles, keeps your metabolism going strong, keeps your body regular, prevents nasty bloating, and is all-around your body's best friend.
And yet, ever notice how you always seem to end up more constipated, bloated, sluggish, with more frequent skin breakouts when you're traveling? Well, back to the whole "convenience" thing, sufficient fresh drinking water is also much harder to find when you're stuck in a hotel room. For, unless you want to cough up $4 for that small bottle of water they put in your room... or risk the filth you might consume by drinking water from the hotel sink faucet (please do not do this!!), it can be difficult to drink enough water every day.
Once again, to avoid this nasty diet-wrecking situation, you just need to think ahead! While traveling, if you're going to be on an airplane, buy a bottle of water after you get through security checkpoints -- you do NOT want to drink the water they serve on the planes...it's only slightly better than toilet water.
Additionally, be sure to pack an empty reusable water bottle in your suitcase, and fill it with fresh ice water at every opportunity: at restaurant meals (ask the waiter/waitress for an extra glass of ice water so you can fill your bottle to-go), coffee shops, you get the idea! You should also make sure to buy a jug of bottled water at the store when you arrive (even gas stations have big bottles of water!) so you can keep a fresh supply of drinking water in your hotel room at all times.
If you follow these tips, you'll not only avoid the 3 most common diet and workout pitfalls that people face when traveling... but you'll return home from your trips looking and feeling great!
To get a highly effective toning workout and nutrition program that you can incorporate easily into your busy schedule, check out my complete 14-week program below!