If you are like most people, you find it much easier to sustain your workouts when you are at home and in your regular routine. Then…travel happens. We’ve all been there! We begin our vacation or work trip with the best of intentions, swearing that we are going to “stick to the plan” no matter what!

Then you get a look at the hotel “gym!” (usually a sad and lonely room with some outdated equipment that reeks of chlorine from the pool in the next room. If you are lucky, you might get a couple of dumbbells but usually it is some weird multi machine and a couple of old, noisy cardio machines from the late 90’s. Want a better way to stay in shape while on the road? Check out these 5 tips for keeping fit while traveling!

1. Skip the gym and get in some fun outdoor activity!

For thousands of years, people moved and worked their bodies without the gym. Skip that depressing hole in the wall all together and elect to do a fun local activities instead. Just some of the things you can do include walking, hiking, climbing, jogging barefoot on the beach, swimming, surfing, mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, or even parasailing. It always confuses me when I see someone pounding out the miles on a hotel treadmill instead of playing frisbee or catch with their kids on the beach! The gym will live without you for a week, go out and use those muscles you have been building!

2. Don’t eat and drink like a crazy person!

We all know how important proper nutrition is to our fitness and wellness goals, so don’t use vacation or travel as an excuse to make poor decisions. Of course it is ok to try to things and even indulge a bit on vacation, but do so within reason. This goes double for excess alcohol consumption! Enjoy responsibly and you will be ready to tackle the next day and avoid a bunch of empty calories!

3. Have a plan!

Most successful people have a plan and stick to it! Try to pre-plan fun, physical outdoor activities. Have a plan for how much desert or alcohol you will consume. I really like this tip on alcohol consumption from Joel Sanders of Exos: Joel says, “Drink the first, sip the second, refuse the third!”

4. A few exercises can go a long way with timed circuits.

All you need is a stopwatch or your cell phone and to know just a few exercises!

First, decide how much time you have (15-20 minutes is plenty if you are working hard!) Let’s say that you have 15 minutes to work out. That means you will do 15 intervals starting at the top of each minute. You can do 3 exercises 5 times each, or 5 exercises 3 times each. Try to alternate upper body, lower body, core, and cardio exercises.

Start your intervals at 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Need it to be harder? Try 40 seconds work with 20 seconds rest. Easier? 20 seconds work followed by 40 seconds of rest.

Use any exercises you like – jump rope, push-ups, bodyweight squats (weighted if you get lucky and they have a dumbell!), lunges, running in place, mountain climbers, burpees, bear crawl, or plank variations or any 3-5 exercises you know!

5. Work with an expert fitness coach.

Hire an expert fitness coach (like me!) and ask them for a travel plan that compliments your regular program! Many of us don’t think twice when taking our car to the mechanic, but never hire a professional to help us with our fitness. Like my favorite fitness speaker Warren Buffet once said, “You will likely own many cars in your lifetime, but you only get one body and one mind.”

The body is a complicated and beautiful machine and fitness professionals have dedicated years of study to determine the best principals to meet you where you are and progress you safely and deliberately toward your goals! You can always tell a good fitness program by how well they assess before designing an exercise plan. Assessments are usually part of the sales process and of no cost to the client. Try a few pros out and find a good fit! Ask questions and strive to get 1% better every day.

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Coach Craig Householder is a FRCms mobility specialist and fat-loss expert who has been helping busy people to move, feel, and look their best for over a decade. His fitness program and gym, Heroes in Training (H.I.T. Pittsburgh Fitness), utilizes cutting edge exercise, nutrition, and behavioral science to help people to get better at the things that are important to them! H.I.T. is located at 4805 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224. Call (412) 444-5523 or check out us out on the web at hitpittsburgh.com.