My family has been traveling a lot lately. We have been in more states and more hotels in the last few weeks than we have in the last couple of years combined. All of this travel has made my regular fitness routine almost impossible. When at home I know when I will exercise, when I will have time for a run, what my usual running course is, and how I should be dressed. When we are in a new area every few days and trying to entertain 4 kids, it is hard to exercise. Luckily, all of this travel has also helped me come up with some tried and true tips to get your fitness in while on the road.
First, you don’t need a fancy gym to exercise. Something I have noticed is that not all hotels have great gyms (or gyms at all). That means that you have to get creative in how you exercise. While free weights and fitness bands can add some resistance to your workout, you don’t need them. Your body is capable of creating its own resistance. Towels are also great tools to help you stretch and add some resistance. You can also get a pretty good workout in a hotel room! Here are some fun moves that you can try next time you’re traveling.
Sit up with towel
Grab a hand towel out of the bathroom. Hold one end of the towel in each hand and stretch it out so its tight. Now, keeping the towel taunt, extend your arms straight out in front of you and do a sit up. Stay in control as you go up and down. If you want more of a challenge, at the top of your sit up twist to each side while keeping your arms extended.
Plank with rolling chair
Plant your feet firmly on the ground and place your hands, shoulder width apart, on the seat of a rolling chair. Make sure you are in the correct plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body making a straight line from the top of your head to where you are touching the ground. Slowly push your arms out in front of you and roll the chair out until it becomes difficult to hold yourself up and then slowly roll your arms back in. This is easiest to do on carpet so the chair can’t get moving too fast.
Lunges with rolling chair
Plant your front foot on the floor and your back foot on the seat of a rolling chair. While rolling the chair away from you with the back leg, do a lunge. Then slowly roll the chair back to the starting position. To make this move more challenging, hold a water bottle in each hand and do a bicep curl at the bottom of your lunge.
Second, if you get a chance to explore, use that as your cardio. You can speed walk through a mall or find a nice park to go for a run in. When my family was in Des Moines, we visited the Capital Building and ran up the giant set of stairs in front of the building. While in Phoenix, I ran down the canals in town. While in California, we hiked through a state park. The most important thing to do when you are in a new area is ask if where you are considering exercising is safe. The front desk at your hotel is a great resource and they can point you in the right direction.
One really important thing about fitness that tends to be overlooked is nutrition. When on vacation its easy to let your nutrition slip because you are eating out more. My family does lots of road trips and it is so easy to just throw a bunch of gas station snacks in the car to munch on while driving. We have found that preparing well in advance helps prevent unhealthy snacking. I always pack a cooler with fruit and cut up veggies to snack on throughout the drive. To help myself make healthy choices while dining out, I try to think about what a typical meal at home would be and order something as similar to that as possible. Restaurants tend to give large portion sizes so grab a to-go box rather than try to eat everything on your plate (just make sure your hotel room has a fridge to put it in). Another thing to remember is to eat until you are satisfied, not until you’re too full too function.
Vacations are fun and such a great way to bond as a family. You don’t have to let them throw off your fitness goals. Do you have any upcoming vacations?