Fitting Fitness into your Travel and Vacation Plans
There are several ways to approach travel and vacation. Some is based on personal preference and some based on what your body and mind need. This time can be used either to give you a recovery week (i.e. you have built training in the weeks before and need a planned rest break) or just a maintenance week.
A good place to start is to look at how close a goal event is and based on that decide what do you need? If it is a big family vacation you are planning, you could intentionally building your training with the vacation as a recovery week. Taking a week off of focused training is a great chance to recover physically and mentally and take out any stress of feeling obligated to hit miles for the week.
On the other hand, vacationing in a new location can be a great motivator to exercise. Think about all there is to explore by hiking, swimming, running, cycling etc. These are all great ways to boost fitness and even have friends or family join you with the idea that a maintenance week will let your fitness build. Remember, consistent training is key to progressing.
Fitness on vacation all depends on what options you have available, the type of trip you are on and the expectations from family and friends. Some activities you might want to do may not be feasible depending on temperature, location or if they take a lot of time away from family and friends. Often the goal on vacation is to get away and relax or spend quality time with family so we don’t want working out to become stressful. If trying to fit in your “normal” workouts is too stressful, try to change your expectations and plan for shorter workouts when you can. Look at this as a chance to explore your fitness options in a new location and have fun fitting in whatever workouts you can. Change of activity is often good for our bodies.
For business travel, we have found it can either be easier to fit in some shorter workouts or it can be super challenging to fit in any at all. Sometimes without the usual tasks of day to day (walking the dog, driving to work, making lunches, etc) people find there is more time to go for a short run or hit the hotel gym. Other times, the schedule is so packed with meetings and all day activities as well as happy hours and dinners that finding a moment to yourself is almost impossible. Remember that taking even a few minutes for yourself (even if you are mentally tired) to do some kind of movement/workout can help you maintain fitness while giving you a mental break.
If you are very close to an event, try maintaining a similar training routine just cutting back training time however much you need. If you have 30 minutes, use that 30 minutes! If it’s 15 minutes, use it! Be careful not to hammer out short workouts because you can. Keep the intensity of your workouts appropriate. Make sure you talk to your coach about the best approach to making it all work.
EYES ON THE PRIZE
What is the background conversation in your head about your upcoming travel? Approaching travel and vacation with the idea that it can either enhance or maintain your fitness (and sanity) can save you, IF you create a plan to make it work. This mindset is crucial!
Outline what type of workouts you think you will be able to accomplish and where they might fit in. Then once on your trip, work towards fulfilling your plan. Keep in mind you will need to be flexible! Sometimes fitting in workouts isn’t the biggest challenge. Fitting in quality sleep and quality food can be the bigger challenge.
We know it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking I am on vacation and can eat/drink anything and everything. Yes, enjoy yourself! But, remind yourself about when you feel your best - sensible eating and getting in consistent workouts.
Planning on a short workout in the morning? What eating and drinking is appropriate the day and evening before so you are able to have a satisfying workout? You can still enjoy yourself but moderate your intake. Keeping some consistency with your routine at home can help you sleep better, feel better and maybe even make you more enjoyable to travel with.
YOU HAVE OPTIONS
PLAN IT OUT
Are you someone who gets stuck in that trap of if you don’t have time for a full workout you bag it all? Remember, something is better than nothing! Get in what you can.
The best tip we can give you is to do something in the morning! It can be much easier to get something in before the crazy of the day begins. Those morning workouts will also help you make better choices during the day about what you eat and how much you move. They can also help make up for a little over indulgence the night before.
Breaking up your normal workout routine can sometimes enhance your fitness. The body responds to different stimulus. Who knows? Maybe this break and new type of exercise is just what you need to help you reach that next goal. Try exploring by hiking or finding as many flights of stairs as you can. Try a rowing workout instead of a treadmill if you are stuck inside. Drop into a yoga or pilates class. Research your options for where you are staying and what is nearby. Get out of your own box and try something new and fun!
Recently client Leslie E was vacationing and deliberately planned a rest day near a particular lake. This lake had a path and trails around it conducive to getting in runs. Way to go, Leslie!
Along with exercise make sure you plan to fuel your workouts and find those fruits and vegetables that are sometimes hard to find when traveling, drink water and take movement breaks whenever you can.
We hope this gives you a few things to think about and will help you learn how to keep fitness a part of your routine even when you are away from home or the things you are used to.
Get creative, play, and have fun!