The first thing that probably comes to mind when you’re planning a vacation is “Time to relax…finally!” Followed up by “Do they have a gym? What am I going to eat?” As much fun it is to relax the reigns, when the novelty of going rogue is over, some of us are itching to get back into our routines.
It’s quite easy to do – just change your mindset.
I’ve found that most places I’ve traveled to, I can easily stay in my fitness/nutrition zone for cheap. So here are my top tips for you.
Most hotels that advertise “gym” have a teensy gym crammed full of cardio machines with a pile of dusty weights in the corner. But you can do a lot of damage armed with these sparse tools. Circuit training, intense focus and a pre-planned workout are THE formula to a great workout when equipment is minimal. Try higher reps per set or all out sprinting drills on the treadmill. Even a long stretching session with some warm-up exercises like air squats and jumping jacks can make you feel like a million bucks. And anyone who’s used a resistance band knows how sneaky evil they can be. Bodybuilding.com has a ton of resistant band exercises to choose from.
Check out the local community center. From FREE to a few dollars, most community centers have gyms and classes. For example, my local community center has high-end equipment that rivals most commercial gyms. Seattle’s community centers are free to the public, which is probably true in most metropolis areas.
Bodyweight workouts – Yes, I love my weights too. But a bodyweight workout can be that epic workout that left you crying. Don’t believe me? Watch Tee Major run through 44 old-school exercises – no weight required. For the rest of us, here are some simple bodyweight templates you can use (hotel/park friendly!):
- Reps and Sets – ex. pick 4 exercises you can do like squats with a pulse at the bottom, pushups, Bulgarian split squats with a hop, etc. Do 25 reps each for 4 rounds. Kinda like Crossfit, it only takes 10 minutes to kick your ass if you do it with intensity.
- Tabata – Discovered by a Japanese scientist, Tabata has been making people cry for over 20 years. It’s 8 rounds of 20 seconds on (actively working) and 10 seconds off (rest). Yes, this is 4 minutes. Do 2 cycles and you’ll be sorry for the giant eye roll you just had.
Want to make it harder? Use your “rest” time to hold your position. For example, doing air squats for 20 seconds then holding in a parallel squat position for 10 seconds. Bye Bye legs.
FACT: HIIT training was based off of this.
- The Best Bodyweight App EVER – “You are Your Own Gym” by Military Trainer Mark Lauren. Bought his book and quickly donated it after I downloaded this app for $5. Step-by-Step videos and customizable – https://marklauren.com/en/home
*If you’re traveling for 3+ weeks in the same spot, just get a 30-day gym membership already! GROUPON is saturated with these and I routinely find gyms better than my home gym for under $30 (with childcare!).
I DO NOT like eating out unless it’s for social or a “new experience” reason. It’s just too expensive and really not that much fun with a wiggly 6-year-old. Anyone with me on this? So just like at home, this one takes a little bit of planning…but not much.
First step – check to see how much more a hotel room is with a kitchenette. Usually it’s just $10-15 more and comes with an even bigger room! If I score one with a kitchenette, problem solved because I can do some light grocery shopping and just cook at usual.
No kitchenette? No problem. Most hotels have a refrigerator that works well for daily meals. Plan a trip to the grocery store. Follow the healthy FAT+PROTEIN+CARB rule. For example, all stores sell hardboiled eggs, avocado and berries. So, breakfast can be 3 hardboiled eggs, an avocado and some berries. Sound silly? It won’t when your wallet stays sane, you hunger is tamed, and you feel fantastic.
Here’s another example. Prewashed greens in a plastic container are commonly sold in the produce section by the salads. Grab one, a small bottle of olive oil (fantastic cheap/nutritious fuel), some canned salmon and some nuts of choice. Suddenly you have all the makings of a HUGE salad. Other examples are grass-fed beef jerky plus guacamole as a snack. Rotisserie chicken with a side of baby carrots, sliced cucumbers and Greek yogurt on the side. Get creative and make it happen.
I once had a conference in Vegas with the standard conference meals included. I always passed on these and followed the steps above. Without fail, after lunch everyone was red-eyed, head-bobbin and I felt energized enough to workout afterwards. Anyone relate to that post-lunch, “Oh my God I’m so tired – why can’t they just stop talking and let us go early” feeling? I hate that feeling.
Remember, we’re shooting for economical, healthy and easy. This isn’t 5-star restaurant meals. It’s you – staying healthy on the road for cheap. Restaurants and fast food choices are always there as a fallback if this doesn’t work for you.
Need help with your nutrition goals? Contact me for a free 15 chat. Let’s see if we’re a good fit. [email protected] or www.JanineHenkel.com