Working in the fitness industry, you see the same patterns over and over every year. When January arrives, the gym is packed with motivated individuals who are hitting it hard for those New Years Resolutions. Then February arrives, these same individuals begin to lose sight of their goals because they are either overwhelmed, unsuccessful, or too busy to maintain the unrealistic schedule they have created for themselves. Then March arrives and panic sets in! Spring break is here! Summer is around the corner! OMG! Vacations start in a few short weeks and we are preparing to travel to warmer, much less clothed areas of the world.
This is the time of year as a personal trainer my schedule becomes packed with people looking to get that beach ready body. They spend all this time getting healthy and fit so they can feel confident in that “oh so tiny bikini or speedo”, only to throw it away with the unhealthy and lazy habits that vacation brings. Lets be real, people use vacation as an excuse to throw that hard work out the window, just for a week of indulgence. Sure! Maybe you deserve that week of indulgence! But before you go nuts with margaritas and all you can eat buffets, think about this…
The average weight gain for a two-week vacation is 8 lbs.! EIGHT POUNDS!
Do you know how long it would take you to burn off EIGHT POUNDS in the gym!?
47 HOURS! 47 HOURS of your life in the gym!
Do you want to go for a 47 hour run? I sure don’t!
I am not here to tell you not to treat yourself while on vacation, because you should absolutely enjoy the experience! You’re in a new place and you earned it, but there are ways to enjoy and still stay fit and active.
Realistically, travelling is a fantastic way to work on your health and fitness goals. First, you will be far less sedentary than at home, especially if you work in an office (unless you are a crazy badass construction worker who plans on laying on the beach all day barely moving, you may be the exception). Second, you are more than likely going to be in beautiful weather, often better than at home (especially if you are escaping Portland right now!) and you will have more free time to enjoy the warm climate.
If you are a taking a road trip…play a game with your family to stay active!
Every time you hit a rest stop choose one exercise to do in the parking lot next to your car. Start with 50 reps, and then hit some laps around your car (Chinese fire drill anyone?). Whoever finishes first gets to take away 10 reps of that exercise at the next stop! Whoever finishes the trip with the least amount of reps wins! Guess what? You win! Instead of spending time scanning the aisles for the Twinkies and Chex Mix you are staying active. Not to mention your kids will use up their energy pass out in the car, granting you a break from, “Are we there yet?”
Once you have arrived at your vacation spot, there are tons of easy ways to sneak in activity. Walk to the nearest attraction instead of driving, rent bikes, swim, hike or dance in your hotel room. All of these keep you up and moving! And remember you don’t have to go ALL the time. Fill your itinerary with active, fun and relaxing activities!
If you are someone who wants more intentional movement (an actual workout)…
Here is a quick and easy 5-minute hotel workout circuit!
The purpose of this circuit is to recruit as many muscles as possible, so you can burn the maximum amount of calories with the least amount of time possible. After all, the goal is to get back to your vacation, right?
Every exercise was chosen because of the many layers they have for options or challenges. These can also be performed without any equipment! However if you pack resistance bands or hip circles then you can add a challenge to the exercises. My travel go-tos are listed here! I love that they are portable and take up little space or weight in my suitcase. This girl needs room for fabulous outfits and sexy shoes NOT dumbbells and yoga balls!
Complete each exercise in the circuit for 1 MINUTE for as many rounds as you have time for. Get in at least THREE! Then, you are ready to hit the pool!
- Squat to Press
If you want to use weights, grab water bottles (or maybe your smallest kiddo) and press them overhead!
Option: Take the pushup to your knees or place your hands on a couch or bed. Challenge: Turn the pushups into a close grip tricep pushup or place your feet on bed or couch for a more intense angle
- Tricep Dip with Leg Raise
Complete 30 seconds with one leg up and then alternate sides
- Jumping Jacks, Burpees, Side Steps
Choose one cardio-based movement, depending on your level of fitness. The goal here is to elevate your heart rate!
Option: Place hands on a couch or bed or take the plank to your knees. Challenge: High to low plank to get shoulders involved, alternating leg lifts to activate glutes or plank jacks for a more metabolic movement.
See how easy and painless travel fitness can be? This year, ditch the excuses and come back from your vacations still feeling fit and fabulous, not bloated and sluggish!