Tips for Staying Fit While You're Traveling

Kevin Rail TrainerAbout the Author: Kevin Rail is an internationally known and sought after fitness coach featured in the documentary films, Fasting and The Motivation Factor. He specializes in functional training, core training, three-dimensional movement, motivation and restorative arts. He has a B.S. in sport management/fitness and wellness and is certified through ACSM, NASM and ACE.

Summer means vacation trips are added to work travel schedules. Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to put your fitness regimen on hold. It just means you have to find a way to stay in shape while you are away. It only takes a few days to break good habits. So even though you might be taking a weekend getaway, don’t think for a second that you are immune to fallout. It should always be your main intention to instill patterns that you can follow for the long haul.

Here are some tips that can keep you dialed in to your workout routine.

Stock up on Tools

You are only as successful as your preparation allows you to be. The time before you hit the road is just as important as the journey itself. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Fail to plan and you can plan to fail?” It’s true. Plan ahead and get some accessories to move around while you are gone. You can accomplish this with a few resistance tubes, a sandbell or two and some resistance bands.

These particular tools are small and compact. Heavier weights start getting a bit sizeable. But you don’t need anything super heavy when you’re traveling. Since these items take up little space, you can easily slide them under the seat of your car. Or you can put them in a suitcase or backpack. You can crank out some drills while waiting for your connecting flight at your terminal. Plus, a nice weighty sandbell in a backpack adds some good resistance and increases your workout intensity.

If you’re feeling energetic, take a few laps around the terminal aisles at the airport and find yourself a good set of stairs to walk up and down a few times.

Put the Tools to Good Use

Yes, the idea is to put your tools to good use. The worst-case scenario is you do not use them at all. The best-case scenario is you use them daily. Pay strict attention to your form. If something feels weird or wonky, stop and reassess what you are doing. Make the necessary adjustments and perform the drill correctly.

Don’t Forget Your Body

Your body will be with you wherever you go, so you might as well put it to good use. There are limitless exercises you can do with your bodyweight alone. Add in the tools, and you are left with zero excuses.

If you have a wall, you can use it to park your heels on and do handstand pushups, or just handstands alone. And if they are too intense, you can do conventional pushups. Dips, squats, lunges, step-ups, bicycle crunches, mountain climbers and dozens of plank variations require nothing but the weight of your body and a chair.

Exercise While You Sit

Whether driving or flying, you’re likely seated for a long period of time. Take advantage of this by doing isometric exercises. Simply put, contract a specific muscle and hold it for an extended period of time. An example of this is a biceps curl. When you are driving, your arms are already in the perfect position to do them. Simply keep your elbows bent and squeeze your biceps as hard as you can for 20 to 30 seconds. Release, take a quick rest and repeat. If you do five or six of these in a row, you’ll be shocked at how fatigued your biceps are.

Time Release Your Exercises

If you don’t have a solid hour to devote to a workout­—don’t sweat it. And even when you’re posted up at your location, you also might be busy and not have a ton of continuous time to train. That’s when you need to get creative and time-release your exercises. You can work out in five-minute bursts throughout the day and still gain benefits that each exercise has to offer.

Honor Your Diet

All the exercise in the world won’t add up to anything if you don’t watch what you eat. Although this might be hard while traveling, it’s also vitally important. Think in terms of balance. If you have a steak and margarita, at least have a generous helping of salad and steamed vegetables too.