Traveling and Staying On Your Fitness Program, 1.0

By Tia Norris, May 2016 Issue of Echo Magazine in Phoenix, AZ.

As summer approaches, many of you are surely planning your annual exodus out of Phoenix in search of cooler temperatures. So let’s talk about your fitness program while on vacation.

Most times, when my clients travel, all hell breaks loose and they completely derail from our meticulously planned diet and exercise program. They drink, they eat, and they don’t work out.

On one hand, I understand that completely relaxing and avoiding all commitments is an integral part of vacationing; however, as your trainer and resident fitness expert, I am telling you that you must have a plan.

If you care at all about your body, your fitness or maintaining the hard work you’ve put in, you need to balance some work with some play on your trip. And I’m not saying that your workouts need to be particularly grueling or time consuming, because the truth is that you can successfully maintain with well-planned, quick efforts. Here’s how:

The Long Weekend: Work hard first, play hard second.

If you’re contemplating a quick weekend trip, my best advice is to knock out your workouts for the week before you leave. Plain and simple. Keep your diet extra sharp going into the trip as well, so that you can enjoy the local cuisine when you arrive at your destination. This maximizes adherence to your program, and also allows you to fully relax and savor your holiday.

The Extended Stay: Plan to make a plan.

If your trip is anything longer than 3 days, you’ll need a plan because you can’t take more than three days off from a program. Ever. Don’t forget that!

Step 1, you’ll need to find a gym that allows drop-ins, bring a portable fitness routine via DVD or YouTube or bring/find portable, but useful, fitness equipment such as cable bands, a jump rope or water-inflatable dumbbells (yes, these are a real thing). No excuses. 3 days off, maximum… get it done, princess!

Step 2, you’ll have to achieve and maintain a balanced diet. Yes, I want you to enjoy the local treats and not feel guilty lounging by the pool or on the beach, but you can’t afford to take 10 steps backwards with five days of a crap diet. Use your head. Some suggestions include keeping all of your meals clean except for dinner each day, only going big on some meals or choosing an activity other than being a waste case by the pool all day. Really, just be smart and don’t destroy all the hard work that you’ve done going into the program.

Also, remember to hydrate. No one drinks enough water when they travel, especially when flying. Monitor your water intake and be sure that you’re handling this easy essential.

Inevitably, you will get stuck somewhere without food at some point – whether it’s in an airport, in a taxi to your hotel or out on an excursion – so plan to bring protein bars for these scenarios. Whatever you choose to pack along with you will save you from becoming “hangry” and making poor, last minute decisions in those situations.

Step 3, move! Explore the locale in creative ways: rent a bike, rent a kayak, take a walk instead of a cab or try a new fitness class. Immerse yourself in the culture in a physical way and we can kill two birds with one stone. I promise that you’ll feel better, have more energy, be able to eat more (win!) and sleep better if you hit the gym, hit the boardwalk, hit whatever, just move!

The key with every aspect of traveling is planning. Just as you plan your itinerary, you’ll need to make a plan for your fitness program. It takes effort, but I promise you it is worth it! You will not only keep the results that you’ve worked hard to acquire, but your trainer will also have less of a headache upon your return (and that’s what’s important).

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