Sorry, summer travel is no excuse.
Whether you are a road warrior on back-to-back business trips or a leisure traveler taking advantage of your annual vacation days, there are plenty of ways to stick to your diet and fitness goals while on the road (or even if you just don’t have time to make it to the gym), according to Los Angeles personal trainer Nick Hounslow:
1. PACK UP YOUR HOME GYM
No, do not tote along barbells. Instead, tuck a jump rope and elastic resistance bands into your luggage. “You can get in cardio and strength training with lunges, squats, bicep curls and more.”
2. EAT BEFORE YOU FLY...
“You have a lot more healthy menu choices on the ground than in the air,” says Hounslow. “So skip the salty foods and long meal service in-flight so you can get more sleep on the plane.”
3. MAKE YOUR HOTEL ROOM YOUR GYM
“Hotel rooms have everything you need, including floor space, to get a fat-burning workout with just four or five full-body exercises including planks, push-ups, dips and crunches.”
4. COFFEE MAKER AS EGG MAKER
Not only will setting the timer on a coffee maker in your room help you ensure that you get up, but you can use it to heat water and make oatmeal (bring your own packets) or even hard-boil eggs instead of ordering less-healthful choices from room service.
5. GET A WORKOUT IN EARLY
“With time changes, it might be a struggle,” says Hounslow, “but you are much more likely to exercise in the morning when you have more control over your schedule and you haven’t gotten tired out from an entire day of working or sightseeing. So get up a half-hour early and make this your workout time.”
6. SAY ‘NO’ TO THE MINI-BAR
Hotel mini-bars tend to be stocked with unhealthful snacks and lots of liquor. Avoid temptation by asking the hotel to empty it out before your arrival. You can buy wholesome snacks and drinks at a local store when you arrive.
7. STAY ACCOUNTABLE
“Whether you’re traveling with coworkers or family, set goals for each other, make plans to meet in the gym, and find ways to hold each other accountable for maintaining a fitness routine while on the road.”
8. ACT LIKE A LOCAL
Hounslow suggests renting an apartment instead of booking a hotel when possible. “That way, you have your own kitchen and much more control over your diet.”
9. DON’T FREAK OUT
“Your road workouts won’t be the same as those at home,” says Hounslow, “so accept that. Whether they are shorter, more intense, on different equipment … use it as an opportunity to change things up.”
10. WALK, WALK, WALK
“Walking is proven to be just as effective for cardio as intense activities like running,” says Hounslow. Incorporate as much walking into your trip as possible, even if that is walking to your meetings or to dinner out instead of taking a taxi, or even just between terminals in the airport instead of taking a shuttle.
11. ASK THE CONCIERGE
Several major hotel chains have brand-wide fitness initiatives. Fairmont hotels provides guests with loaner (fresh, of course) workout clothes and shoes so they don’t have to pack their own; Omni hotels offers complimentary “Get Fit Kits” with kettle bells, contour weights and foam rollers; while Kimpton hotels supply every guest room with a yoga mat.
12. PLAN ACTIVE SIDE TRIPS
Leisure travelers have their choice of tours these days, so why not explore a destination by bike, or take time out for a horseback ride or snorkeling excursion that gives you a workout too?
13. AVOID ALCOHOL
Sad, but true: Alcohol interferes with sleep cycles and metabolism, and can load on the calories, so avoid it when possible.
14. BUT IF YOU DO DRINK...
Go clear, says Hounslow: “Stick with cocktails based on clear liquors like vodka or tequila, which has a low glycemic index since it’s made from agave, and avoid sugary mixes.”