It shouldn’t be difficult to live a healthy lifestyle.
It shouldn’t, but it certainly can be.
The internet is filled with conflicting advice, new diets are constantly emerging that promise to get you ripped in 6 weeks, and certain foods are branded as evil while others are labelled as ‘superfoods’.
It can be so overwhelming that some people never even get started, while others fail to make any real progress for years on end.
But there are people out there who want to change that.
There are people who are dedicated to helping you get in amazing shape without your life revolving around extreme workouts and restrictive diets. Everything they share is grounded in experience and science, and in their respective fields they are thought of as some of the most forward-thinking individuals in the industry.
Ranging from competitive powerlifters to some of the top athletic coaches in the world, and from influential bloggers to nutritional experts, they are continually working to change the fitness industry for the better.
I’ve learned a great deal from reading their blogs and articles over the years, and thought it would be a great idea to ask them all for their take on healthy travel. I reached out and asked:
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to people who want to improve their health and physique while travelling?
Between them they have covered specific exercises, motivation, prioritisation, nutrition and how to enjoy your trip without neglecting your health.
I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be able to feature them on Travel Strong, and I’m extremely grateful they took the time out of their crazy schedules to do this.
So without further ado, here are their answers:
My plan was to train 4x per week no matter what – it didn’t matter if it was body weight only or in the gym. You won’t always be able to control the situation, but you can plan to make the most of your circumstances. If you can pack a TRX, it’s one of the best options you have if you happen to be gym-less.
As for our nutrition in Thailand, fresh fruit and vegetables were on every corner, so getting my nutrients wasn’t a problem.
Do some research before you go, and prepare for your workouts to be minimalistic at least until you get settled, and/or can find a gym.
After these simple moves, often we feel a bit back to normal. Training on the road is tough, so I recommend this:
- 10 Pushups
- 20 Pelvic Tilts
- 10 Unweighted Goblet Squats
- Mini-Band Lateral Walk to the Wall and Back
- 9 Pushups
- 20 Pelvic Tilts
- 9 Unweighted Goblet Squats
- Mini-Band Lateral Walk
Continue on down dropping a rep off the Push Up and Goblet Squats (8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1), but always do 20 tilts.
You can do this in any motel room and you don’t have to worry about equipment at all.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to live at the all-you-can-eat-buffet the entire time, or that you shouldn’t make an effort to move around just a little bit (even if it’s to move from one side of the pool to the next).
I know when I travel I like to stay at resorts or hotels that have a gym. Of course, this can be hit or miss as some resort’s definition of a gym is a pair of mis-matched dumbbells, a treadmill, a few mats, and a rubber duckey.
For the most part, hotels and resorts recognize that a fair portion of their visitors live a healthy and active lifestyle and most make a concerted effort to provide a reasonably well-stocked gym. If this is the case, great! While you probably won’t be able to deadlift heavy, it stands to reason you will be able move around a little bit.
And even if they don’t have a gym, who’s to say that you can’t do other “active” things: sprint on the beach, play tennis, go hiking, swim, etc.
The point is this: I like to treat vacation as vacation. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t perform your 5/3/1 training session at the spa. Most likely it will be the best thing for your body to take a few days off. However, I understand that that is a tough pill to swallow for many people – myself included. I have to move around in some fashion. So try to make plans to stay at a hotel or resort that has access to a gym; or at the very least, try to think outside the box and understand that exercise doesn’t ALWAYS have to be in the gym.
Nowadays when I travel I make the most of the opportunity and take advantage of new adventures. For example, I make it a priority to be active in fun ways instead of seeking out a gym. This may include kayaking, hiking, swimming and snorkeling, or any other activity that presents itself. I’m also a huge foodie, so I try things I can’t get at home.
This relaxed approach has not only allowed me to enjoy my travel excursions to a higher degree, but it also greatly reduced my stress. Life is meant to be enjoyed, so keep the stress to a minimum and simply have a ton of fun.
The rules of nutrition to not change when you are traveling – Eat responsibly, you know when you are overdoing it and when you’ve had to much – don’t let traveling be an excuse to ignore these feelings.
2. Chances are, you’ll go out to eat and consume a ton of calories. So make sure you walk around and stay busy to counteract the caloric surplus. If you know you’re going to eat huge or go to a buffet, just eat 2 meals for the day or so, rather than sticking to 3-5 meals. This can help prevent the massive weight gain normally associated with traveling.
If I could give you just 1 tip to help you achieve your goals, it’d be this:
Keep. It. Simple.
Forget expensive supplements, complex training programs, and extreme diets. They’re a waste of time and will do nothing for you.
Keep it simple and remember these 3 things:
1) When in doubt…lean meats & veggies is your go-to meal option.
2) When in doubt…find a local playground. They’ve got everything you need for a killer bodyweight workout.
3) When in doubt…go on a nice, long walk. Few things are as relaxing, enjoyable, and healthy as a sweet stroll in a new place.
What To Take Away From This
If you’re set on improving your health and physique, you need to make it a priority when you travel. But it’s also important to understand that you’re not going to be able to follow the same routine you do at home.
You’re not always going to be able to find a gym with all the equipment you need.
You’re not always going to be able to perfectly balance your nutrient intake.
And you’re almost definitely not going to be able to take any supplements or your post-workout shake.
What you do at home is what you do at home. When you’re on the road you need to find a way to stay fit and healthy while enjoying your trip. Taken from the above advice, here are some ideas:
- Walk. A lot.
- Eat fresh, nutritious food wherever possible.
- Find a way to be active. Whether that means tracking down a gym, finding a park to do bodyweight exercises in, packing a TRX, doing a hotel room workout (like Dan suggested), running, beach sprints, cycling, kayaking, playing tennis, swimming, whatever; make a commitment to your health.
It’s up to you find something that fits in with your travel plans, and more importantly, something you enjoy.