There is no denying the fact that I am addicted to adventuring around the world. No matter how crazy life gets, you can bet Matt and I are traveling somewhere new at least once a month. Trying to set in your workout and nutrition plan outside of your comfortable home is tough, even as a personal trainer! Will I have a gym close by? Will I lose everything if I take some time off? Am I being rude if I step away from the group for an hour workout? These are all questions I face while traveling and am sure many of you do as well. On that note, here are my Top 5 best ways to stay fit while I’m away from my weight stack and treadmill J.
Resistant Bands- These colorful bands are easy to pack, lightweight and extremely convenient. These can be used almost anywhere; your hotel room, outside parks, or even in an airplane during long flights (yes, I have taken my resistant band out for bicep curls while sitting in the exit isle on an 8hr flight!). I usually just take my one Medium to Heavy red resistant band and use it for all exercises. My suggestion with these is to add in more reps and less sets, for example 20reps of 2-3 sets or AMRAP (as many reps as possible), in order to keep tension on the muscle and maximize muscle fatigue during each exercise. Below is a great link to check out examples of resistant band exercises for you to try. If you do not own a resistance band, there is also a link to where you can buy one for under $20 on Amazon.
Exercise examples: http://greatist.com/fitness/resistance-band-exercises
Couches, Beds, and Chairs- Whether I am staying in a hotel or in a vacation rental, I always use the furniture to add in some inclined and decline bodyweight exercises. From push-ups to Bulgarian squats to tricep dips, you can increase the intensity of an exercise just by alternating gravity. In a short as 15mins, you can kick start your cardio vascular system and burn loads of calories while also adding in a variety of resistant training exercises to keep your hard earned lean muscle mass. See the link here for some examples of some furniture exercises you can use anywhere you go!
Plyometrics- These are cardio blast killers! Plyometrics are amazing full body exercises that really get your heart rate up and pumping! I usually work these into my travel routine when I am short on time and am looking for a quick 10-15minute killer cardio workout. I like to do plyometrics in a circuit training style usually consisting of 3 exercises, each done for 45seconds with a 15 seconds break in between. I repeat this circuit 3-4x, depending on how tough the exercises are or how much time I have to complete my workout. So pump up the music and get your body moving! Here is a link for some great plyometric full body exercises to try. Just note that some of these are very difficult, so you may have to cut your time in order to complete them.
Plyometric Exercises: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20488631_2,00.html
The Tea-Pot Kettle Bell- This is one I recently made up while I was in my vacation rental in Hawai’i and it worked out very well! I had no gym available and was looking to pump up my booty before heading out to the beach in my tini bikini. Our rental had a teapot, so I went ahead and filled the pot with water and taped the top spout. That’s it! A free 10lb kettle pot made into a kettle bell in less than 2 minutes! Although it wasn’t at the max weight I was use too, it worked! My swing was still smooth and leak free! I even used it for single arm bicep curls and some overhead squats. I don’t have any links to show you how to use the teapot since I definitely made it up on my own, but here is a link of kettle bell exercises to help assist you in your teapot kettle bell exercises. Let me know if the leak free kettle bell worked for you too J
Kettle Bell Exercises: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/arms/express/kettlebell-workout/?page=1
TRX/Suspension Training- This little bag is full of fitness fun! TRX and other types of suspension training truly take bodyweight exercises to the next level. In just one small bag, you can create over 100 different workouts from full body to isolated resistant training exercises. If your budget is a little higher and you have more space available to take when traveling, this is definitely your all-in-one traveling gym. Although TRX is a great product, I have found it to be a bit pricey (usually $199-$249) so I went for the WOSS military suspension trainer, which is only $32 on Amazon! It works just the same for ¼ of the cost! See below for a link to purchase as well as another link with examples of exercises.
Suspension Training Exercises: http://bodylev.wikispaces.com/All+TRX+Exercises
Amazon link to WOSS suspension trainer: http://www.amazon.com/WOSS-3000-Equalizer-Suspension-Trainer/dp/B005CV8LBW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1381789958&sr=8-2&keywords=woss+suspension+trainer
Of course, there are so other many ways for you to get in a sweat session while your away but these are just a few quick go to workouts. Whether you heading out for a long walk, nature hike, or fun run, make sure that you’re having fun! If you work hard when you’re at home and need a break, take it! Don’t worry about losing what you worked so hard for; you would have to take off 4 weeks or more for your body to begin to lose that muscle mass. Go book a massage, take a nap, or lay out by the pool. Whatever you need to do, do it! Your mind and body will thank you for the rest and relaxation. And trust me, you’ll come back even stronger and fitter than before J
I would love to know what some of your tricks are as well! Feel free to share some of your cool fit tips and ideas here. Together, we can all keep each other on track and fit for life!