Whether it is for business or pleasure, at some point in our lives we will have times when we will be travelling; throwing us out of our daily routine, and making it very easy to leave exercise by the wayside. If we allow our travel plans to derail our exercise routine, it is very possible that our progress toward our health and wellness goals will hit a lull.
It may take some creativity and extra effort, but if our goals are important enough to us then it is imperative that we learn how to answer this question: How do I keep up with exercise while I travel?
There are many things you can try, but here are four things that done together can help you stay on track with exercise while traveling.
Determine your schedule: Before you leave on your trip, it will be important that you figure out what your schedule will be like and find WHEN you think will be the best time for you to get exercise in. Can you find a time to do it every day? If not every day, can you make a plan to be consistent with every other day? Would it be easiest to wake up a little earlier to get it out of the way in the morning before any distractions come up? Or maybe it will have to be a different time every day? One of the worst things we can do, is not ask ourselves these questions beforehand. It will take a conscious effort, but we will be more successful in maintaining the consistency of our exercise if we think of ideas about when we will exercise ahead of time.
Research what options you have available: When we travel, one thing that makes it easy to miss exercise is not knowing WHAT to do for exercise. Deciding what to do for exercise while travelling is actually easier than you may think, but will require some work. An easy first step is doing some research on the place you will be staying. Does your hotel have a gym? If so, what type of equipment does it include? You may need to call the hotel to ask. While on the phone with the hotel you could also ask them if they know of safe running routes. Get online and do some research on the area. Are there any parks or schools nearby that may have a stadium or track available for running? If you’re lacking in equipment or a place to run, there are plenty of bodyweight exercises that can be done right inside your hotel room. You can find videos online and create a playlist of different ones to try while you are away. You may have to accept that the exercise you do while you travel may be different from what you do regularly, but getting something in will always be better than not doing anything at all.
Commit to doing it: Any commitment you make requires a plan of action. By determining when to exercise and what to do for exercise you have already started this process. Now you must figure out the best way for you to remember to do it. Once again, you won’t be in your normal routine, so it will be even easier for the activities of the day to distract you from this commitment. Tell those you are travelling with what your plans for exercise are each day, and maybe even see if you can get others to commit to doing it with you. Put a reminder in your phone, or set an alarm for when you plan on doing it each day. Put your exercise clothes out on display as a visual reminder when you wake up or for every time you walk into your room. Figure out what will work best for your situation and allow that to help keep you accountable.
Be active: Try to find ways to be active on the days that you do not have time for exercise. If you’re on a business trip, this may mean taking a walk during a lunch break. If you’re on vacation, you can plan activities like a scenic bike tour or day at an amusement park; anything that will keep you moving. You will also want to think about your travel days. Rather than sitting in an airport terminal during a long layover, you can walk around from terminal to terminal or if you are on a long road trip, you can do mini work outs (jumping jacks, curbside calf raises, squats, high knees, etc.) every time you stop for a break. Any additional physical activity you do while travelling can only benefit your progress with your health goals.
When it comes down to it, preparation is key with any new habit you are trying to build. So it should be no surprise that in order to keep up with exercise while you travel, preparation is needed. Taking these necessary steps will help you stay consistent with exercise and make it even easier for you to get right back to your routine when you return home.