Travel Tips: How to Eat Well and Workout With No Gym

At some point either for business or pleasure you are going to need to travel while your in the middle of a new workout program. Trips are one of the worst destroyers of consistent exercise known to man.
People on trips feel like they can’t keep doing what they’ve been doing and tend to relax their nutrition rules. One of the worst things for your health is doing great at home and then failing to work out on your trips. Failure can be avoided with proper planning and the right mindset.

With the right equipment and preparation, you don’t have to miss a single workout and can still get great results. Most hotels do not have decent workout equipment. If you are staying at some of the cheaper hotels you definitely need to pack some essential exercise equipment. Nicer hotels have very nice gyms but may not necessarily have the proper equipment for your needs. It is always a safe bet to pack a small essentials bag with the bare necessities required for a good workout.

Make Time.

The most important aspect is setting aside time during your trip to exercise. I’ve found the best times to do this are right before bed or first thing in the morning before your shower. During the day you are usually too busy to make the time and effort to get in a good workout. Another thing to keep in mind is if you are going to be doing a lot of walking that can be counted towards your cardio for the day.

Choose the right workout.

Travel workouts done in your hotel room can usually be done in the entrance of the room. This space gives you plenty of room to do push-ups, squats, sit-ups, and a wide number of exercises and stretches. In addition, the main room door can be used to secure your exercise bands for stability.

The focus of a travel workout should be to maintain your conditioning in all aspects of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility. The best movements for maintenance are bodyweight exercises with high repetitions. If your lucky enough to own a set of exercise bands then you don’t have to sacrifice anything in your workouts, you can do just about everything with a good set of bands.

If you are following DVD at-home workout such as Insanity or P90X you can still keep up without missing a beat. I’ve known people who take along Tony Horton on DVD and follow along while watching him on the computer screen. P90X and a wide array of other DVD programs can be done quite easily in a hotel with a good set of exercise bands. You may have to modify the moves to some point, but all of the exercises can be done with bands (even pull-ups).

Pack the right equipment.

Creating a portable and functional travel gym is relatively cheap and easy. The main goal is to only take items that have multi-purpose usage. Below we’ve made some suggestions on some specific brands if you don’t know what type of equipment to purchase.

  • Exercise Bands
  • Yoga Mat (optional)
  • DVD (If you are working out with P90X or something similar)
  • Workout shirt, shorts

Bodylastic Exercise Resistance Bands





We Recommend.

Bodylastics Exercise Bands. Most sets come with a travel bag, door anchors, handles, and instruction manual. What’s also great is that these bands come with a lifetime guarantee. Optional DVD is also available depending on the package you pick. This is a good investment and is worth going all out, the most expensive set is $134.95 and is guaranteed for life.

I can vouch for the quality of these bands as I like to alternate them in occasionally to my normal routines.

Keep your nutrition in check.

– Drink plenty of water, particularly if you’re flying.

– Plan a healthy meal in your mind prior to eating out and stick to your plan as closely as possible.

– Aim for at least three times per day to keep you from feeling hungry and overeating at any one time.

– Pick up portable, healthy snacks at a local market so you won’t be caught hungry in front of the mini-bar.

– Go ahead and splurge on regional dishes or local cuisine, but balance your diet by choosing lower-calorie foods at other meals.

Keys to Success

Following a few simple guidelines can keep you on track with your goals while traveling on vacation or for business. Simple is best when moving from hotel to hotel.

  1. Pack your bands
  2. Plan your workouts ahead
  3. Grab some good portable healthy snacks
  4. Make time to workout before bed or first thing in the morning

I hope this short guide helps you continue your workout and fitness goals while you travel.

Christian Henning, NASM-CPT
Oklahoma City Bootcamp Instructor

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