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I don’t know about you, but traveling tends to throw me off balance. After a long flight or a change of time zone, I can be tired, have a headache and have gastrointestinal problems for a week. There are only a few things that help – sleeping, staying hydrated and sticking to my exercise routine if I can. (I try not to treat my body like hot trash on vacation, but I refuse to give up good food and drink.)
However, it can be difficult to exercise because there is not always an accessible gym at a given destination. There are baggage size and weight requirements, either due to the airline you’re using, space in the trunk of the car, or simply your upper body strength limitations. You can’t do much with your body weight alone if you can’t or won’t take all your exercise equipment with you.
According to an Expedia poll, 53% of Americans (including myself) find it “very or somewhat important” to exercise while traveling. It may look different for everyone, but may require supplies. Although I like to walk as much as possible, walking alone isn’t always right for me.
“I really like this concept of 10,000 steps a day, and I really think it’s worth something,” said Holly Perkins, certified strength and conditioning expert and author of Lift to lose weight. “Now here’s the thing. It really is a kind of low intensity activity. You’re not really increasing your heart rate, you’re not really straining your musculoskeletal system. So I don’t consider it a workout, but I do think it has value in terms of overall health. And every time I do that, I find that I feel better when I come back from the past.
If you’re lucky enough to be on a beach, walking or jogging in the sand will give you more bang for your buck from a fitness perspective, although Perkins isn’t the biggest fan of barefoot running. . She recommends more of an interval walk/jog in these scenarios.
“Let’s say you walk for two minutes, run for 30 seconds or one minute on the beach,” she said. “That would be fine.”
How to train while traveling
Perkins has her travel exercise routine up to a T, and she knows what to do when space is limited.
All you have to do is pick five exercises (like squats, lunges, crunches, mountain climbers, burpees, planks, or whatever), do two sets of 10 for each, then any type of cardio workout for five minutes. Repeat this two more times, so three rounds in total.
“People usually tend to pick their favorite exercises, or the ones they know best, but pick five exercises at random,” she said. “And then any type of cardio application, like jumping rope. It could even be jumping jacks. It could be walking. It could be jogging in a small space.
She finds that people are more likely to do a workout if it’s exercises they already know or love, so it won’t feel as intimidating. For the cardio component, although you don’t need any equipment, a jump rope is one of his favorite tools for traveling.
Anything that gets you up and moving on vacation is better than nothing, Perkins says, but this kind of simple routine can challenge your body enough to get your heart rate up and reap real benefits.
There are also plenty of other exercise equipment that can help with bodyweight workouts that are small and light enough to travel with. If you’re looking for a little extra help or motivation to stay active while you travel, all of this portable gear is easily packable.