Monday, April 14, 2014


By show of hands, how many of you go on vacation with every intention of working out but find that once you arrive at your destination, your workout clothes never even make it out of the suitcase?  Come on, put your hands up...we've all done it.  I'm seriously committed to my fitness routine but even my motivation is tested when I'm travelling. The key to staying on track, however, is planning.  When you plan ahead, you can avoid the major pitfalls associated with a fitness relapse.  

I traveled quite a bit last year and each trip posed a different fitness challenge.  Last spring, I spent two weeks in Florida and since I drove there (two full days of driving...with two small the only adult in the car...can I get some credit here?), I was able to bring a lot of my fitness equipment.  Even better was the fact that the house we stayed in had a loft that became the perfect spot for me to workout in each morning without the worry of waking anyone up.  These conveniences made it easy to stick to my fitness routine.

Over the summer, we took the kids to Germany and since we couldn't drive across the Atlantic Ocean with my barbell and ankle weights, I had to plan accordingly.  A resistance band and Cathe Friedrich's Travel Fit DVD were the perfect travel companions.  A resistance band almost always comes with me when I travel but since a band is not the same as a 25-lb dumbbell, I had to plan ahead.  I spent the two weeks leading up to our trip in an intense strength routine of heavy weights and High Intensity Interval Training.  By doing this, my body was ready for a break and a workout with a band provided some "active recovery".  

We also travel to Michigan and North Carolina regularly and I have to plan ahead for space issues since neither home we stay in has the space necessary to do my regular workout routines.  But whether you travel for work, for pleasure, with kids, or without them, we all face various fitness challenges when on the road.  Stay motivated and stay on track with these helpful tips:

1. In case I didn't mention it enough above, PLAN AHEAD!  Investigate your hotel and find out if they have a fitness center.  If yes, what's in it?  Or find a gym nearby that offers guest passes.  If you will be staying in a house, find out what space is available.  If you're meeting up with friends or family, find out if they have any fitness equipment that they can lend to you.

2. Invest in a travel-size DVD player.  If you have children, you probably already have one of these (they are great for keeping road trips peaceful).  I use our travel DVD player every morning for my workouts, even at home.  Depending on the workout I am doing, I can place it anywhere in the room and I can use it throughout the house (like when my workouts are relocated to the kids' playroom when we have overnight guests who stay in our guest room...which also happens to be in our basement...which also happens to be my gym).

3. Find a staircase!  This can be done no matter where you travel.  Look around...there are steps everywhere.  Start climbing them!

4. Learn some bodyweight exercises.  These are great because they don't require any equipment and you can do them anywhere!  Push-ups, planks, jumping jacks, squat digs, etc.  The list is endless!  If you have a hard time completing a bodyweight circuit on your own, check out some fitness DVD's and find a workout that doesn't require any equipment.

5.  Use TRX.  I have TRX straps hanging on my laundry room door.  I bought the set last year and I was really excited to get started.  I set up the straps and I downloaded some of the workouts that came with the purchase.  But I have a confession.  As of today, I have not done one TRX workout!  It's not that I don't want to use them, it's just that I've been totally committed to my current workout routine.  Regardless, I digress.  The reason I recommend TRX even though I haven't used the straps is because it doesn't take a genius to see that TRX is perfect for travelling.  It comes in a small bag that you can take with you where you go.  I've spoken to several doctors who say that TRX is the only piece of workout equipment that they recommend.  It easily attaches to any door...ready, set, go!

I'll admit that travelling can be a convenient excuse not to workout, but don't let it be!  If you stay focused and on-track, your body will thank you.  We all know how hard it is to "jump back on the horse" after we've taken some time off from our exercise routines.  Avoid that relapse altogether by following the tips I outlined above.  Safe travels!


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