So there are a million excuses for not working out. I’m sure many of us have used a great proportion of them in our lives and will use a lot more before were done but travelling need not be one of them.
When your on holiday its different, for me a holiday is a break from the monotony of your every day life, and although I will try to be active and eat relatively well half the time, I am not going to punish myself for not doing intensive workouts and eating badly the other half.
The problem with the holiday excuse is where does it stop? How many times have you heard ‘I’m getting into the holiday mode’ or ‘I’m still on another time zone inside’? Well these are, realistically, infeasible excuses. The holiday reasoning should be on the holiday, not around, in preparation for or whilst thinking/booking the holiday…Yes I have heard this one!
But what about duration of your ‘holiday’, at what point does holiday become trip, and how long does it have to be before you really should start working out?
Well, I have been travelling for several months now and I tell you, the sooner you start incorporating fitness into your ‘trip’ the easier it will be. Now when I say trip I mean anything longer than, well for me, a week. Some people may say 2 weeks BUT it certainly shouldn’t be longer than 2 weeks, unless your resting from injury of course, because 2 weeks is all it takes for atrophy AKA muscle wastage! 2 weeks is all it takes to start loosing all the good work you put in up until now.
There are a number of excuses you can use for not working out whilst travelling. The main one pointing out its a once in a lifetime trip, I don’t want to waste it working out, I can catch it up. OK, but what about all the muscle wastage? If you don’t keep something up, all the time you put in already was a waste, all the hard, sweaty, painful work! And what about the lovely holiday snaps, by the end of the trip do you really want to remember looking like a beached whale? Well OK maybe that’s excessive but you all know what I mean and what about the general well-being you get from looking after yourself, this will be incredibly beneficial for working out! Be on top form!
The next excuse is lack of time and equipment. Well this really is no excuse at all and can actually be beneficial. So the issues with time, never knowing when you will get a spare hour or how much time you will have…Well I have several ways to tackle this Firstly every morning as soon as I wake up I jump out of bed and do 10 minutes of something, usually the 5 Tibetan Rights, or a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (clips in previous posts), that way I know I have done something even if unforeseen forces mean I cant get a proper workout done later. Secondly, you learn to grab the moments whilst you can. You learn to plan ahead when you have time and have workout plans ready BUT also to be adaptable. Maybe you can’t grab the full hour so you learn to make it short and hardcore. The point is to grab the opportunity as soon as it arises and this is a great habit to get into. No putting it off until later, you are always ready to jump into your workout, no slacking, no excuses and this is a great skill to bring home and put into practise.
With regards to equipment, again adaptability is key! There are ALWAYS equipments you can use to workout, whether your doing strength, endurance, or growth! Its just a case of being smart, thinking outside the box, keeping your eyes open for items of use and not being afraid to give it a go.
Grab that big log and hug it for some goblet squats, use those metal poles or tree trunks for overhead presses or curls or dead lifts. Rocks make great weights and stuffing a rucksack with them is a great way to add weight for squats, lunges and walking! Use tables, chairs, any ledges you can use to elevate yourself to add extra work to bodyweight moves making them more hard work and pushing you into the growth category! Find a door frame or overhead bar somewhere you can pull up from, steps you can run up and down or use to do a step aerobics style workout. Find your nearest, steepest hill and work those legs, walk run, lunge, jump, skip, squat jump or crawl up it! And down again, coming down will use a different set of muscles! Throw yourself into any physical activity you are given! I have made use of wheelbarrowing dirt, shovelling sand, lifting and stacking big logs as well as smashing in fence posts and even helping demolish a wall! Whatever you get the chance to do, give it some welly and get the most out of it!
Saying all this, there are a few necessities I bring with me. Firstly a yoga mat, for obvious reasons. Its hard to yoga on a hard floor or to do a press-up with grit digging into your hands. Secondly a bring wrist bands. For me yoga is an important part of my workouts and when your somewhere hot, maybe there’s no air con or maybe your outside somewhere, sweat can literally ruin your grip, there’s nothing worse than slipping around trying to do a static pose. Thirdly I bring a stretchy band. This is not essential but its small, easily transportable and great for numerous moves, and for a full body workout or as part of a workout with other items. Lastly I always bring my weight lifting gloves. Brilliant for weights and also for all those unsavoury items you may be picking up to workout, saves your hands from splinters, cuts, and helps with grip.
I will also touch on diet. Now I know its the hardest part of keeping fit and especially when travelling so there, I just try to do I my best. I say to myself, as long as I have my 8 fruit and veg, my 100g of protein(weight gain), ensure I get good fats every day, keep my carb portions small and wholegrain where I can, try to limit junk foods to one small treat a day OR a full cheat day, then I am happy. Its not perfect. Obviously I am more strict at home but travelling makes it almost impossible, especially as I am travelling using helpx, meaning I am fed for my work. I don’t get to be picky and choose my meals, I use a few supplements and buy extra fruit, nuts and protein shakes to ensure I am getting the best foods I can whilst I’m here. This can also be beneficial though, this lack of control and being in someone else’s house means I can’ simple go get a biscuit or midnight snack…this is not my house, not my food so in a way it is helping me control my cravings!
Now it may seem hard to do all this but it really isn’t. Use it as a positive, use it as a goal, some thing to accomplish and just think, all the changes, the variations and the fact you have crated workouts yourself mean its never going to be boring, workouts will rarely be the same and they will be exciting, trying out new ideas you have come up with, it will be an adventure in itself! There are also numberous apps and online programs to help if your stuck for inspiration!
The skills you learn from workout out whilst travelling, the adaptability, the motivation to get it done when the opportunity arises, the readiness, the research you will do, and the way you learn to keep a workout interesting, using your initiative means you need never be stuck in a boring fitness regime again! Use this experience to keep it exciting even back home. Keep researching, keep trying new things, new places, keep pushing yourself, creatively, mentally, and physically!
So you see, travelling really needn’t be a hindrance to your fitness lifestyle, It could in fact be the boost you need too shake it up, see it in another light and find new ways which excite and motivate you! Share your experiences, help others from your experience and get satisfaction knowing not only have you helped yourself but improved your karma by helping others as well!
Everything positive I find, I share and its really gratifying and good for the soul, even if just one other person benefits from your experience!