What comes to mind when you think ‘travel’? Truth is, no matter whether you are heading away for gruelling work or holiday pleasure, travelling can be challenging for the body. As we step out of our daily routines, we enter new spaces and timezones which require us to adapt, which at times can be unsettling and stressful.
I love going away on holidays, but I equally love working out everyday. Getting my heart rate up, sweating and pushing myself to the limit. These are all daily necessities for me, just like eating or sleeping, so much so that if I don’t get my ‘fit fix’ I feel like something is missing or wrong – call me crazy but it is true!
As an instructor I need to stay active, as for me fitness is a lifestyle, not something that you switch on and off. So when I am away from home, I have to adapt in many ways to fit this into my new environment. Over the years I have developed a few travel habits to help me stay on top of my game. Truth is, I actually get a kick out of trying to find ways to move, even in the tightest and smallest of places.
So here some of my top travel tips, which i hope you find useful and can be applied next time you have to jet off.
Let’s start before you actually leave your house, planning is everything!
1 – Pack smart, even for cabin luggage – fitting everything in your hand luggage can be a challenge, however you don’t need to go overboard. Pack one kit and think of light breathable fabrics, as they will not take too much space and they dry quickly – synthetics and lycra are your best option. Consider wearing your trainers on the day you travel to save some space in your bag.
2 – Do your homework – check your hotel or B&B for facilities, outdoor areas and surroundings, you will be surprised what you can find! Be open to trying new things or simply be prepared in case you need to pack something you might have not thought of. Look up outdoor gyms, parks, bike hire, tennis or swimming. Some hotel gyms offer group exercise classes and they might require booking.
3 – Check the weather – if you will be taking your workout outdoors or outside the hotel walls, it is important to check whether you can get away with some light layers or if you need something more.
4 – Don’t stop at the gym! – if your hotel or B&B does not have a gym don’t worry. Look around you, be creative and use your environment. The truth is that we don’t need too much to be active, a couple of square metres and body weight will suffice. Start by looking at the space you have available and think what small changes you can make to create some space, sometimes it is as easy as moving a chair or a table to create your perfect workout space. Furniture also makes great workout props; think chairs, stools, cushions, towels and books.
5 – I got space, now what?! – Take a moment to see how much space and what you have to play with. Think basic moves: squats, lunges, burpees, sit-ups, crunches, planks, dips, press-ups, star jumps. Now you must be thinking how many, how long do I move for? Well that’s easy peasy! Choose 4 exercises, do one and count the reps you can do until you feel the burn. When you get to that point, add a couple more reps to get your ‘max’, then do the same with all 4 exercises without stopping. Once you finish the 4 exercises take a 30 second rest and start again, completing the same number of max reps and exercises in the same order and aim to do 3 to 4 rounds. Voila!
6 – Sweaty mess – take your shoes off and walk straight into the shower! Save yourself some time and wash your kit as you shower. If this is a bit strange then leave them soaking in the sink while you shower using the toiletries provided. When you are out of the shower and you are done with your towel, lay your wet clothes flat and straight on top of the towel. Now roll until they are all covered and you have a towel roll, stand and walk slowly over the towel roll to absorb the excess water. The final step is to hang your kit on a hanger and find a spot, preferably outside of the bathroom and wardrobe, so they are dry and ready for the next day. Genius right?!
Now remember to stay hydrated, eat well and get plenty of sleep.
I hope this has been helpful and you can apply it on your next trip!
If you have other travel tips you’d like to share, I would love to hear them.