by Paige H. Crowther
Traveling for the holidays—or work, weddings, fun vacations, etc.—can often lead to an interruption of your fitness routine… and that’s ok! Though it can be sometimes stressful to sacrifice a few days of your regular work-out schedule (especially when you’re on a roll!), we all must enjoy these opportunities and experience life to the fullest.
I thought about this quite a bit back in November 2011 after I returned from an outstanding 10-day trip to Argentina. My resources were somewhat limited in Buenos Aires and, though the weather was beautiful, I didn’t feel quite safe or familiar enough with the area to exercise outside alone. I did the best I could with what I had and successfully worked out 7 of 10 days on vacation! I’m here with a few tips and tricks, learned from experience, on how to fit fitness into your carry-on!
- If you pack them, you will sweat! PACK SOME GYM CLOTHES! Be optimistic! If you don’t even bring your gym gear, you are significantly decreasing your chances of working out! Stick with fitness clothes that you can wash in the sink and will dry over-night. They generally are lighter and easier to fit in your luggage, anyway! I got through 7 workouts with 3 tops and 2 bottoms (without offending too many people).
- Wake up early! This is especially helpful when traveling with a partner/group who doesn’t necessarily share in your enthusiasm for a good sweat fest while on vacation. If you’re up, at ‘em and done before his/her head leaves the pillow, you have fewer chances of being derailed from your healthy track!
- If given a choice of activities on your trip, go for the built-in calorie burners whenever possible! For example, we chose a day of horseback riding, zip lining and hiking over a day of wine tasting. Trust me, we had 10 days of incredible wine tasting in that country without going to a vineyard and I’m glad we got in a few hours of outdoor, calorie-burning activity!
- Be creative and use your resources. In many countries, gym-based fitness is not nearly as valued as it is in American culture (see photo of my Argentina “gym”!) and, as I mentioned, you may not always feel safe or comfortable going for a run outside. Does your hotel have a set of stairs? Do 10 sets of running stairs, 20 push-ups, 1 or 2 minute planks and 50 jumping jacks. Rinse/repeat x3-4!
- It only takes 30 minutes! Truly. Thirty minutes of sustained activity is plenty to jump-start your day and maintain your training throughout vacation until you’re back in your element at home! It’ll help your body and metabolism adjust to changes in diet you may experience while away and keep you fresh and motivated for your adventures!