'Tis the season to be traveling! Because summer brings about holiday, and holiday brings about traveling, it's an absolute treat to go make the best of it. However, folks concerned with fitness, heavy lifting and muscle building, will always have to worry about losing muscle, gaining fat and overall weight.
Can we still travel without over-killing ourselves in the gym when we return? Yes, we can! While it is not at all ideal to go to a gym at your new destination when you are supposed to be relaxing and experiencing new things, there are still things you can do in order to keep your muscles trained and prevent any sort of weight gain. All that it takes is awareness.
Sure, you can pack a couple of dumbbells with you, but that would be a bit crazy if you're flying somewhere and had to pay for extra pounds in your luggage. It's easier to just pack a jump rope and hope that you'll have the time and space to skip during your holiday. But let's take a look at a few tips and tricks you can use to stay healthy during your time off.
Mind Your Eating
Being somewhere other than home for a longer time usually implies a lot of going out to restaurants, quick deliveries, street food and supermarket snacks. And not always are you in luck to be surrounded by super healthy restaurants and organic snacks.
The lack of your workout routine coupled with a surplus of calories can be quite a bad and harmful combination. One thing you could do is to simply count your calories to make sure you control your intake.
The most important part of your diet, just like when you train, is protein. So make sure you take your daily dose of protein. Make sure that all your meals have it and that you get 1g of protein for each pound of your body weight.
Make the same choices as you would when you are home and training on a regular. Choose the healthy version over the junk version, and when you go shopping, get the same ol' Greek yogurt, almonds, low-fat cheese, fruit and veggies to snack on. If you'll be staying at a hotel, just take advantage of the breakfast they offer and again, count (or at least approximate) the calorie intake and choose the healthiest versions of everything they offer.
If you'll be doing a lot of sight-seeing, or spend a lot of time hiking or at the beach, make sure you decrease your meal frequency if there are no healthy options at hand. You can use this to practice a little bit of intermittent fasting, as it is mighty convenient to do so in such circumstances. However, make sure that when meal time hits, you don't gorge on junk food and overeat.
Bodyweight Work Out
If you'll be staying at a hotel that provides a gym, definitely take advantage of that and go to the gym as you normally would. However, if you will be working out in the summer Sun, make sure you stay safe and follow our advice for training in the heat!
Going to the seaside? Then use the sea to work out and swim, play volleyball, or run on the beach. It can be quite fun and efficient. If you're going out camping in the mountains or wooded areas, take long hikes and try to add a bit of HIIT to that. Take advantage of the dirt and go for a jog, as dirt roads are not as tough on your knees and joints as concrete ones. But, if you’ll be staying at a hotel or accommodation, then work out in your room using bodyweight exercises.
Do a few circuits of bodyweight exercises. Try doing 2 and if you are able to, go for 3. Warm-up before you start, to get your heart rate pumping and get your muscles ready for training. You can do a couple of stretches, run in place, jog up and down the stairs etc.
(5-10 x failure)
- Lie flat on the floor facing downwards, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Assume this as your starting position.
- Push yourself of the floor by extending your arms and body straight.
- Bend your arms and lower your body to the floor.
Resistance band: drape an exercise band across your back and loop the ends through your thumbs. Contract your glutes and abs, and perform the push-up as described above.
(5-10 x failure)
- Stand up with your arms extended forward.
- Bend your hips back and allow your knees to bend forward as you squat down. Keep your back straight and make sure that your knees are pointing in the same direction as your feet.
- Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Extend your knees and hips until your legs are straight.
Resistance band: Stand on the band in the starting position. Hold the handles of the band in each hand and bring them over each shoulder. Chest up, abs tight and perform the squat as described above.
Single Leg Hip Bridge
(5-10 x failure)
- Lying flat on the floor, place one leg straight and bend the other one, but make sure your foot is flat on the floor. Place your arms on the side of your hips.
- Extend the hip of the bent leg and raise your body. Keep the leg extended and your hip straight.
- Lower your body back in the starting position keeping your leg extended and hip straight.
- Do the same on the other side and repeat!
Resistance band: Tie the band around your legs, above your knees. Lie on the floor in the starting position, but keeping both feet flat on the floor with knees bent into a 90 degrees angle. Lift your hips while contracting your glutes. Make sure your shoulders, knees and hips are aligned at all times.
(25 x failure)
- Stand with feet together, slightly bent knees and keep your arms to the sides.
- Jump while rising your arms and separating your legs to each side. Try to land on your forefeet with legs apart and arms meeting over your head.
- Jump back to the starting position by bringing your legs together and lowering your arms and land on your forefeet again.
Resistance band: Stand on the band in the starting position. Hold the band's handles in each hand. Jump by extending your arms up and only slightly to the sides (if you are able to, since the band resists the momentum).
Rest in between circuits for about 60 seconds. However, if this seems like a mere warm-up to you, you can increase the number of reps and even add a little bit of assistance to it in the form of an exercise band. This is extremely convenient and easy to carry around, so if you want a little bit of a challenge when you are on holiday, you can simply carry it in your luggage.
If you eat clean even on holiday, you will not gain weight. Of course, you deserve a little treat and if traveling to foreign places, it’ll be a shame not to enjoy new and exotic dishes and foods. And that is exactly why you need to also pack some bodyweight exercises with you.
Make sure you control your calorie intake, and try not to indulge in too much alcohol and late night partying. But if you do these exercises, maybe even pack a resistance band with you, you’ll be surprised by how healthy and energizing your holiday will turn out. Enjoy and have fun! So, where are you going this summer holiday? Let us know!