Travel can definitely give life a lot more colour and depth, depending on how you approach it. Seeing new places, and experiencing the world from a different vantage point, can really do wonders for your sense of perspective.
That being said, trips abroad are not necessarily known for being great for your health and fitness goals. Often, “nutrition” becomes some unfortunate combination of processed snack food, and rich restaurant offerings on the road, while “exercise” might well fall off your radar altogether.
Of course, it is possible to use your travels to boost your fitness, rather than diminishing it. The first step will probably just be to do plenty of walking around. But what about strength training? After all, muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body, and also has a lot to do with good posture, and “being in shape.”
Fortunately, there are quick but effective arm workouts you can do on the road, and full body exercise programs, too.
Here are a few tips for doing some strength training workouts on the go.
Pack a resistance band in your bag
Resistance bands come in different styles, and with different resistance levels. The basic idea is always the same, though. You use a large rubber band to generate tension in your muscles for workouts like the chest press, or bent over row.
The great thing about resistance bands is that they are so portable. You can fold them up so they take up virtually no space, and can fit them at the bottom of a rucksack, without having to worry that they’ll be easily damaged.
They are are also extremely versatile. Your body only knows that your muscles are facing resistance – it doesn’t care of that resistance come from weights, or a resistance band. So, you can do most of your usual workouts in adapted form, using this useful fitness prop.
Pick up a body weight training routine, and learn how to increase resistance with different leverages
Most people’s idea of body weight training is something like “doing as many push-ups as you possibly can until you collapse.”
The well-known strength coach, Pavel Tsatsouline, has a different idea, however. According to him, in order to keep your strength going up, your body weight routines need to generate more and more force to work against. It’s not enough just to do more and more reps.
His book, The Naked Warrior, does a great job of showing how to increase the resistance of body weight exercise, using different leverages. Learn that skill, and you can build strength anywhere.
Short on time? Start each day with a quick, high intensity routine
High-intensity training has massively grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to studies that show you can get an effective workout done in only a matter of minutes if you’re training hard enough.
If you’re short on time and want to get as much “vacation” out of your travels as possible, you can still start each day with a lightning-quick high-intensity routine that incorporates exercises like burpees and situps.
Even just 5 to 10 minutes in the morning can yield serious metabolic and fitness benefits. For optimal effect, do your routine before breakfast.