As an online personal trainer, I find it a professional challenge that when my clients have an occasion to travel they find a way to work out successfully. Out of their routine, most of them find it difficult to get in their workouts while on the road away from the gym or their home equipment I don’t know how many times I’ve asked during that first conversation we have after a week away from each other how many workouts they have completed of the 3 or 4 they had planned and the answer is zero. It’s frustrating to me because as a trainer I wanted my clients to succeed, and frustrating for the client because they weren’t doing what they knew they wanted to do while they were gone. We’ve set up an aerobics online program, a solid weight training diet, and the recipe for success only works if it’s followed. Over the years, I found that certain key things are important to keep in mind while traveling that will make successfully completed workouts actually happen.
Before anything, you have to ask yourself, do I want to work out while I’m on this trip? Nobody says you have to, and sometimes it is appropriate to take some time off during travel to rest your body if you have been working out hard during the several previous months. Are your workouts going to be a priority? If the answer is yes, I do want to work out, then read on.
The first thing that makes the workouts happen is, if you do your workouts in a gym, to find a gym in the area. Most hotels that cater to business travelers either have some sort of fitness center onsite or can easily refer a guest to a health club nearby. I have rarely traveled anywhere even if I’m staying with family and friends that I am not able to find a place to workout in the local yellow pages. These places always will have a guest rate for the day or in some cases a discounted guest rate for a multi-visit stay. I have never not found this with any health club I have looked up while traveling.
If there is not going to be a gym available or you use home equipment, then make sure to bring your stuff or decide if taking some simple equipment will work. A light resistance and medium to heavy resistance exercise band or tube, and an inflatable exercise ball that can fit into a suitcase will give you almost every kind of exercise option that you would find in a health club.
The second thing is to know your schedule and plan accordingly. When are you going to do the workouts on the road? The business schedule while on the road is frequently different than at home, so if you can plan the times you are able to workout right along with your business meetings. PLAN YOUR WORKOUTS! If you’ve already decided that your workouts are a priority, then they will require the same amount of planning that they other details on your trip will.
The third item is to be realistic. Things happen that aren’t planned while traveling that can affect whether or not your workout will actually go according to what you want and at the time you want. This is probably the area that trips travelers up the most, and here’s why: most people have an all or nothing approach to their fitness. They feel if they messed up a little, they’ve messed up the whole thing, so they end up blowing off all the rest of the exercise they had planned. The key to remember is that anything you do while you are gone is better than doing nothing. Don’t beat yourself up over not doing it perfectly. Just be glad you were able to get done what you got done.
The fourth item is to get back to basics. It takes far less work to maintain fitness than it does to build it, so one key thing to remember while traveling is that you can maintain your fitness while you are gone by doing just the basic components of your workouts. For example, if you are used to doing 15 different machines at your regular gym and the fitness center at the hotel only has some dumbbells and a couple of machines, just doing what you know you can with what is available will do far more for you than you realize, because your body is at least being given the opportunity to workout rather than do nothing. Or even using the exercise bands in your hotel room can give you enough that you haven’t lost anything. Also, if you are used to an hour of cardiovascular exercise and you only have the time for 20 minutes, the twenty minutes that you do perform 3 days a week will keep your fitness at the level is was at for over a week.
The final thing to do to be successful in your fitness while traveling is to ASK YOUR TRAINER FOR HELP. Don’t go on the trip without reviewing what your goals are and having the solutions already in place before you go. Talk to your trainer about the things listed here and they can go over with you exactly what your trip could look like and set up some workout ideas that are realistic for you to accomplish while you are gone.
With all of these things in place, you will find that your chances for success are much greater and you will find that your workouts are actually accomplished the way you had intended them to. We wish you good fitness in your future.