As many of you know, I am currently on a business trip in the beautiful island country of Mauritius. For those of you thinking, where the f#@k is that? Look in the area of the Seychelles and you’ll be in the ballpark. It’s a tiny little island way off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Beautiful white sandy beaches and plenty of excuses to get way off track when it comes to health and fitness. Sampling the local cuisine and skipping exercise in lieu of laying on the beach are all far too easy to do. But instead of going into this trip setting myself up for failure or worse, having no plan whatsoever, I decided I wouldn’t let any number of distractions derail me from my intentions. Instead I planned specifically how I would handle the next 4-5 days outside the creature comforts of home.
What might that look like you may ask? For one, moving at least a little everyday is one area I want to address and already one I can check off today’s list. I arrived at the hotel a little past noon and instead of going to the pool or the beach and eating lunch, I ate a protein bar (yes, brought some with me so I would be able to get a healthy dose of protein and carbs when food was not readily accessible)and headed to the hotel gym. Now, I had no idea what to expect of the hotel gym. I’ve seen everything from the fanciest of hotel gyms to the rattiest of hole in the wall weight rooms, not really even worthy of being called a gym. So with that said, I try to keep an open mind and work with what is given to me. And while the gym at my hotel is definitely not the nicest of facilities, I was pleased to find a decent set of dumbbells and some cardio equipment. Basically just enough to let me get through a weight workout, followed by a little interval session on the treadmill.
Today’s workout looked something like this:
1a. Plank – 60s hold
1b. Bird Dog – 15s hold each side x2
Repeat without rest
2a. Goblet Squat x12
2b. Three-point dumbbell row x12/each side
Rest and repeat
3a. Step-up x12/each side
3b. Push-up x12
Rest and repeat
Intervals: Hill runs (6 x 60s on/120s off)
Felt great to move after being trapped on a plane for the better part of 30 hours! And even with the jetlag and crazy humidity here, I weathered through and felt great afterward.
Working out while traveling really comes down to mind over matter and putting in the effort to make it part of your day. Make it a routine and you can stick to it.
My routine for the next 4 days looks a little something like this:
Yoga and Sauna
Weight Train and Intervals or Yoga
Again, this just comes down to learning what’s available to you when traveling, making a plan and executing that plan. If you leave too much up to spontaneity, there’s a good chance movement will fall off, leaving you with lots of eating and inactivity. I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of going home and not feeling like the trip set me back or feeling like I should have made better choices.Here’s the thing about choices, they are yours to make and no one else. They are also yours to break if you choose. And lets be honest, you could go on a trip with the best intentions, but once the rubber hits the road, you have a problem with follow-through. We’ve all been there. It’s life. You can’t plan for the unexpected, but you can do your best to set intentions that you plan on following through with.
As far as diet while I am here, I am not setting a whole bunch of rules (I rarely do when traveling), as they often set you up for feelings of guilt when you give into temptation. The only thing I try to do is eat as close to how I do when I am at home. Which means making sure I get plenty of protein and veggies and trying to consume most of my carb-rich meals around my activity. Pretty simple and not very restrictive is the way I like to go. You should feel like you can travel and enjoy the local cuisine without guilt and without deprivation. Only you know if you earned that piece of chocolate cake after your meal;)
With that said I thought I would leave you this week with some actionable steps you can take when traveling to ensure you stay on track.
1. Pack healthy snacks you like to eat rather than relying on the unknown.
2. Pack workout clothes and shoes (even if you are not a gym person). Get out and explore the area as much as you can, exploration can be fun and a workout at the same time!
3. Plan your days as best you can and slot in time for movement (the best plan is the one that is simple and puts the least amount of pressure on you when traveling).
4. Get restful sleep! When on vacation this may be a bit easier, but even if on business travel, try and make a point to get enough sleep. It’s going to give you that little extra motivation to make good choices while you are away from home, as it will help you feel healthy and energized.
5. Enjoy your meals, but don’t use travel as an excuse to eat WAY differently than you do at home. There is always room for indulgence, just make sure it’s not something that is the polar opposite from how you usually operate.
6. Drink plenty of water. We have a tendency to arrive at our destination dehydrated. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve spent long hours on a plane trapped in what feels like a 12×12 box, not drinking water because we didn’t want to get up to pee every 30 mins. Whatever the case, make sure you stay properly hydrated while traveling. This one point can have implications on the points addressed above.
7. Destress to the best of your ability. We always want to go go go when we travel, especially if feeling time-compressed. But don’t rush around so much you can’t actually enjoy the journey. Take time everyday to relax in whatever way works for you. For me, the act of writing and reading is something I find very relaxing, thus why this much delayed blog post is being written right now.
Bottom-line, traveling does not mean you have to let go or take a vacation from your health and fitness goals. It actually gives you a great opportunity to build a little more discipline and prepare you for the times you have to adjust and live outside your normal element. It can actually be quite liberating if you let it. Next time you have to travel for business or pleasure take a moment to reflect on your plans while traveling and set intentions to be better prepared to handle the unexpected and to follow a plan even when temptation to wing it pulls you strongly. Not only will your body thank you, but YOU will thank you for putting YOU ahead of other things.
Strong in travel,
#strongerme #forwardmomentum #fitnessfoodie #travelfit