Travel workout

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Flex those muscles during your holiday.

Going for a long holiday can sometimes disrupt our exercise routine; especially a new one that we have painstakingly started. For those who seldom exercise and who have taken the plunge to sweat it out at all cost, all is well until an event or something comes crashing in to break the momentum. It could be anything. Sudden travel plans for work for example. Once that momentum is broken, we may find it difficult to take up the effort again.

It’s not that we think naught of exercise and its benefits. But that it takes a whole lot of motivation and effort to get the body moving, with the amount of distraction and more appealing things to do these days. Thus, we should avoid breaking the momentum if we could.

Most people break it during the holidays; if the holiday is just a short break like three or four days, it is still manageable. The most you could do is to have a more strenuous routine the day or two before you leave; and you can pick up the usual routine once you’re back. But if the holiday is a long stretch, such as weeks or months, then you’d better get the body moving there for it sure wouldn’t get past the couch when it reaches local shores.

Working out during travel is hardly an attractive thing to do. Imagine the number of things to do while you’re in a foreign city: sightseeing, shopping, eating, drinking etc. Hardly any time left to squeeze in a knee lunge, you’d think. If your travel itinerary does not involve getting up in the wee hours to get to another city because the tour bus needs to beat the peak traffic or a lot of walking tours – activities that would likely get you to lose some pounds (hooray) – you’re most probably packing it on from all that indulgent foods you’re stuffing yourself. These are also the times you’re most probable to put on weight and when you’re most forgiving about it.

If you’ve been working out for some time, you’d probably know that when it comes to exercise, a little of it amounts to something. Thirty minutes a day of recommended exercise can be broken down into three segments. Thus, 10 minutes at any point of time can add up to your required dose of daily exercise. Doesn’t sound too difficult right? Let’s take a look at what you can do to make your body buff even amid your travel.

First, pack it all in

You need to ensure that you have the workout gear such as shoes and clothes as well as exercise equipment in the first place. One of the most mobile exercise inventions is of course the resistance bands. They are lightweight and mobile; you can toss it in a small corner in the suitcase and practically forget that it is there. But forget not its existence when you reach the destination. It is so convenient that you can whip it out of your hand-carry during your long haul flight and work to stretch those muscles.

If you’re not much of a gym rat, this is the perfect equipment that ensures you get some strengthening done in the comfort of your hotel room. A band is effective in that it can work almost all your muscle groups. For some cardiovascular punch, pack in a jumping rope. If you have jumped rope before, you’d know how intense it could be.

Use your body weight

Forget to pack equipment? Use your body weight for body strengthening exercise. Push-ups, knee lunges, squats are all body weight exercises that require no equipment. Burpees and jumping jacks are good enough to get your heart rate moving, enough to burn the extra calories you’ve stuffed in from the dim sum during morning yum cha.

A hotel with exercise amenities

Check out where you’ll be staying so that you’d know in advance the state and condition of the gym and pool facilities. Some hotels have large Olympic sized pools whereas others, the smaller budget-sized hotels, may have pools that are more for leisurely sunbathing. If you’re a swimmer, you’d find it more pleasurable to engage in the same activity when abroad. Similarly, if you’re a gym rat, you’d be pleased to know that the hotel you’re staying in is fully equipped with the latest gym equipment.

Check-out the fitness classes

If your hotel is near the shopping mall, you might be able to find out where the fitness studios are; and if you’re a Planet fitness member, you might also like to check out the facilities of overseas outlets. Find out the schedules and if you can join the fitness classes for a session or two at a fee.

Opt for walking tours

Sign up for walking tours at the foreign destination and break some sweat. Get some mobility in your travel itinerary instead of opting for those “luxury” tours where you don’t have to walk an inch. Explore the tours proposed by travel resources such as Lonely Planet if you’re game enough. These are of course recommended for those relatively safe cities you’re visiting. To be sure, always check with the hotel staff first. Bring water and some snacks if you’re planning on the walking tour. And of course, don’t forget your camera too.

Schedule in walking

Shopping is in fact a great form of exercise. Imagine the amount of time we spend on standing and walking. We never feel tired when we see things we like. How about scheduling in some walking even more? Instead of taking a cab to your destination whether for shopping or dinner, why not walk instead? Of course, this would be more manageable if the city you’re in have amenities relatively close to each other. Instead of a leisurely stroll, quicken your pace as if you’re brisk walking. This would surely add up to your daily exercise quota.

Participate in activities

Whether it is enrolling in some skiing classes or sledding over ice, join in the fun and experience the culture; even when you’re not particularly skilled or like the outdoor activities. Get your butt moving instead of watching it over a cup of coffee at the sidelines. The holiday is a good time to explore something new; make it strenuously new.

Remember to stretch

Whether it is on the plane or when you wake up or rest for the night, it’s always good to do some simple stretching every day to lessen the tension of your muscles, minimising injury. Stretching is also a great way to relax but it is a tip we always forget.


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