IT’S THE HOLIDAY SEASON!
Between people scrambling to make the most of their remaining annual leave and all the travel deals being flashed in our faces everywhere, it’s easy to forget about keeping up our fitness progress and press that big PAUSE button on fitness.
In this exists a spectrum of people behaviour.
The anxious, I’m going to lose all my gains mode of thinking
I’m determined to keep all my gains and progress
and let’s-go-to-the-gym-everyday mode
Really though, what determines how much “gains” you “lose” regarding your fitness and conditioning are two things:
1. How long your consistent training schedule is disrupted
2. What you do during that length of time
We have choices we can make regarding these two points.
Sometimes, if it’s for work or a family trip, we might not have so much say about how long we are away for – but most certainly we can make decisions about what we do for ourselves during this period.
It’s all about choices. Choose what is under your control. As for what isn’t, do your best to bring what you can under your sphere of influence.
If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, then it’s time to make it easy for you to keep on track. For example, if you prefer working out in gyms, locate nearby accessible gyms and stay within walking distance. Check that their hours and rates fit your schedule and budget. If you prefer going to parks, locate yourself near those. Scout them out beforehand to know their opening hours, jogging routes and available “equipment” you can use (such as benches, railings).
What about timing?
Are you a morning person? Then it’s time to set that alarm and commit to waking up and getting that workout done. It’s much easier to finish a training session early in the day before ad-hoc and unpredictable plans come in to disrupt your workout schedule. Night owls don’t worry, do them at night if that’s what floats your boat!
No equipment? What about small equipment?
Fret not, bodyweight exercises are plenty enough to keep you occupied! What also works for me is to bring a resistance band along with me during my trips. That way, I can (1) workout anywhere, (2) have more variety with available workouts than just bodyweight and (3) see the band and receive a physical reminder to get up and do something!
Unsure about resistance band exercises? I like some of the ones shown here by Redefining Strength.
Another way I get it done is enroll my travel buddy into either
(1) joining me or
(2) playing a role in keeping me on track!
This can look like getting that person to remind me to wake up and start, or when I haven’t done it yet, or not to eat too much because we have a workout coming up, etc. This ALWAYS helps. Adjusting your SOCIAL environment makes a big difference in your level of success.
Furthermore, workouts can be simple and easy and still be SUPER effective. Plan these beforehand and you will have one less obstacle in your way.
I have a few go-to workouts that get me (1) started and warm, and then (2) effectively working and keeping my muscles stimulated.
Here’s my travel workout global template:
First, a 5 minute non-stop routine.
Then, main supersets consisting of whole body exercises as much as possible.
Lastly, a flow or complex of exercises as a finisher.
The following is an example of something I did for myself in Berlin, Germany:
(in succession for 5 minutes non-stop)
10 plank walkouts
20 fast jumping jacks
(3 sets per superset, 45-60s rest in between sets)
1a. Push ups, 10x
1b. Banded bentover rows, 15x
2a. Squat and press luggage, 15x
2b. Side lunges, 15x / leg
3a. Forward and reverse lunges, 10x / leg
3b. Plank single leg knee tucks, alternating, 45s
(burst of speed finisher)
Side to side shuffle with 2 burpees at each end, 32x burpees total
I hope this has given you some ideas of what you can do for yourself! Let me know if you’ve any thoughts or questions!
1. Control what you can
- How long your training is disrupted
- When you do your replacement workouts
2. Set up for success
- Enroll your social environment
- Plan ahead your timing and your simple/effective workouts program to be doable no matter where you are and what you have
- Set up reminders and make it easy for yourself
Start making one for your own travel plans!