Do you travel? Either for work or pleasure. If so, have you ever found this to be a challenge in maintaining the results you’ve achieved in the gym?
If so, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon to feel that as soon as we travel we will lose everything that to leads to success with our health and fitness.
We won’t have access to our gym. Our coach won’t be there. We may not be able to access our program (not a problem for OPP clients). We won’t have access to our kitchen. We won’t have our training partner.
The list goes on.
There are a number of things that are different when we travel. That doesn’t mean we can’t maintain, or possibly even progress, our results while away.
Below are 7 Ways to Use Travel to Get Better Results.
- Take Advantage of the Climate – If you live in Kelowna in the winter than you’re aware we can sometimes go days without seeing the sun. With some low cloud cover and being surrounded by the valley mountains it can become quite gray. In more temperate clients this can be a great opportunity to soak up some long missed vitamin D. This is an important element for bone health that we get from the sun. Vitamin D may also play a role in muscular strength helping you to hit that PB in the deadlift.
- Up Your Nutritional Game – One of the best things about travel is experiencing new things. Maybe there is a different language where you’ll be. Foods that are commonly imported for us might be native to your travel destination. Healthier eating could simply involve fresher, local foods that we typically don’t have access to. Research your destination ahead of time to find out which fruits, vegetables and fish are produced where you’ll be. Then make sure to take advantage of these nutrients.
- Schedule Change – When we think travel and clocks we typically think jet lag. instead think of this as a chance to put the alarm clock away. Sleep and rise according to the sun. When Alexandra and I were on a cruise last year with the girls we were staying in a room with them. While we could have sectioned off the room to watch a movie once the girls were asleep, instead we simply adopted their schedule. So we were going to bed by 8 pm and then waking up once rested. I remember rolling over by 6 am and heading to the gym for a workout. It feels so good to focus on your sleep and not rely on your alarm.
- Food While in Transit – If you’ve ever been in an airport you’re probably aware that there are limited healthy food options. And in bigger centers you can find healthier restaurants but a couple of problems arise. The first is that I don’t really like paying $22 for a sandwich and bowl of soup. Secondly, if the food is that nutritious and tasty than typically the word gets out. And when you have a quick connection you can’t afford to spend 20 minutes in line for a meal to go. In this case I’ll look at intermittent fasting as an option. I’ll either eat a big breakfast before boarding or wait until I reach my destination to eat. While on the flight I’ll bring a refillable water bowl and some packets of BCAAs and B vitamins. This keeps me hydrated and topped up until I arrive.
- No Commute Or Desk Time – On vacation your posture should improve. You aren’t spending time in the vehicle commuting each day. And there aren’t hours at desk in school or working at the computer. Take advantage of being free of the shackles of your car or desk to stand and move more. If you don’t need a vehicle opt for pubic transportation. This ensures you will get in some walking to the bus or metro as well as back to your accommodation. Your hips, core and back will thank you for it.
- Pump Up the Parasympathetic – Have you ever had a panic attack? Or have you ever felt overwhelmed and wondered if the end was in sight? Did you wonder how long you keep up the hectic pace? You knew it wasn’t good for your health yet you kept at it. Maybe it was because you couldn’t see a way out? Maybe it was because the alternative i.e. change, was just too scary? In any event we know that going hard all the time isn’t good for our health. We can’t always be in flight or fight mode. We need to have times when we rest and digest. This includes stepping away from the work, putting the phone down and connecting with the ones who matter to us. It means doing what we enjoy and being a kid again. What puts a smile on your face? Not only is it OK to dial it back and have some fun it actually helps us achieve a fat loss goal.
- You Can’t Bring Your Gym – This is a big one for most people. They have their routine. They have their training partner. They have their weights and favourite pieces of equipment. All of the things that have helped them achieve the resultswon’t be available. And it’s all going to be taken away from them for a period of time. What should you do? As with researching the foods local to where you’ll be, see if you can find out what the area is known for activity-wise? Do they have a local cycling club? Maybe they have Park Run? Can you go and take a class? Maybe try surfing. Besides doing what the locals do you can also focus on what you need. If you’re someone that never stretches maybe you use the time to improve your mobility? Or if you’re always in the habit of going for longer runs maybe you plan to do some sprints, stairs and other high intensity intervals. Maybe you have an injury that always flares up from time to time. And you know what you should do but never get around to doing your mobility, core or corrective exercises. Now would be the perfect time to address your weak links.
Travel doesn’t have to be a reason to lose all your hard earned results. Instead this should be a time to not only maintain but potentially make gains in other areas. The key is to do a little research ahead of time and to have a plan.