Holiday Travel Messing with Your Workout Routine? Not Anymore
We all know that traveling entails a whole lotta sitting and waiting, not to mention ample bad food opportunities. With the unhealthy cards stacked against you—and the added layer of holiday stress—it's even more critical to commit to fitting in fitness when you travel. Your body will thank you for the extra blood pumping, calorie burning and stress-fighting, feel-good endorphin releasing.
Here are my top tips for what to pack, ways to move more, and which foods will keep you feeling fit:
Pack the right gear
If your go-to excuse for not hitting the hotel gym or going for a walk is 'I don’t have sneakers with me' or 'I forgot my workout clothes' that's about to change.
- Wear your sneakers, instead of dressier shoes, on the plane, train or bus to save suitcase room. Wearing sneakers means you can also do laps around the airport terminal, squats and pushups in the bus parking lot, and jumping jacks each time you stop the car for a bathroom break. These short bursts of exercise can add up to a full 30+ minute workout by the end of your travel day without having to go to a gym.
- Organize with “packing cubes,” little cloth and mesh zippered bags that act like drawers in your suitcase to keep your workout and other clothes organized while also saving room. Once you're done exercising, stash your sweaty outfits into a odor-blocking, germ-treated laundry bag.
- Double your pajamas as your workout clothes, sleep in, sweat in, then switch. Yoga pants or gym shorts are comfy to sleep in!
- Double your sports bras and running underwear as bathing suits with these great options from Astrosportswear.
- Leave the yoga mat at home and try Yoga Paws. These small and inexpensive little sticky mat gloves for your hands and feet allow you to do yoga without a mat.
- Lucky enough to be going to the beach? Then try replacing a towel, which can get munched up and sandy, with a Twisted Guru beach blanket. Each corner of the blanket has pockets that allow you to fill them with sand so the blanket is weighed down. The sturdy fabric provides added grip for your poses, along with a hidden, waterproof, locked pocket for valuables.
- Pack some exercise tubing. Tubing takes up little space, is lightweight and allows you to do resistance training wherever, whenever.
- Love a good fitness video or app? Gift yourself a copy of my Fit Travel Workout DVD or download or my NikkiFitness App.
Get creative about when and where you workout
- Plan a workout early in the day so you don’t mess up anyone’s family gathering schedules, and you won’t feel that workout tapping on your shoulder all day long. (If you worked out when you first thought of it, you’d be done by now.)
- Pick family activities that involve hiking, walking, a park, swinging, rock wall climbing, aerial yoga, zumba, or batting cages for example. A little planning and research before you go can pay off on the scale when you get back! If you're not up for packing bulky equipment, look into renting gear, like kid carrier backpacks, in the area you'll be traveling to.
Choose smart food and drink options
- When you're traveling (and even when your'e not) apples, salads, veggie sides, tomato juice, and minestrone soup are your friend. Eating these foods will help you stay ‘regular’ and keep away belly bloat. They're also nutritionally-dense foods, which give your immune system a boost and help fend off cold, flu and other bugs you'll encounter on planes, trains and buses. Stash nuts and seeds in small bags so you can nosh when hunger strikes. Buy a Fiber One Bar if you're stuck.
- Water is critical when traveling, especially when flying. But many of us go on autopilot and grab coffee or soda instead, which dehydrates you and adds calorie and sugar intake. Not only will being dehydrated zap your energy levels and make you less motivated to workout, but studies show that more water will actually help you lose weight, by filling up on one glass before each meal.