Keeping in shape while traveling is difficult. Between the nights out, the constant beer drinking, and carb heavy meals the pounds quickly start to add up. However this is the general strategy I use to stay relatively fit while on the road. If you recall one of my 2013 goals is to become incredible fit.
Here is how I do it –
They’re small, lightweight and fit nicely in my pack. These bands can used for nearly a full body workout. Depending on where I’m staying I’ll either do the workout in my room, a common area of the hostel or take the bands to a park or beach.
These bands combined with basic body weight exercises like push-ups and situps can give you a nice workout.
With these bands multiple can be attached to the handles at once giving you a full range of resistance options. The lightest gives you 4 pounds (6kg) of resistance while the heaviest is 30 pounds (13kg). With all bands attached you can get about 70 lbs (31kg) of resistance which is enough for most exercises.
Whenever I bust these bands out for a workout there’s typically someone else in the hostel who starts asking me about them and wants to join me for a workout. That’s always great as working out with a partner pushes you harder.
I’ve never been a fan of running for the sake of running. Now I’ll run to chase a ball until I nearly vomit. In fact playing a pickup soccer game in Peru, I made a vicious run, scored a goal, and then puked on the field.
Finding local sports games are a key staple to my workouts while traveling abroad.
In Latin American countries you can always find pickup soccer games. Ask the front desk at the hostel. If that doesn’t work ask a local around town ideally one who is wearing soccer gear and even more ideally one who is a cutie. In most cities I’ve always been able to find a game. In the majority of the games I’m easily the worst player – I have the touch of an elephant – but I definitely won’t be out-hustled.
Soy un yanqui, y tu excusa? (I’m American, what’s your excuse?) – Great line to talk trash on the soccer pitch.
Besides soccer other pickup games I’ve joined are basketball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, stick ball or whiffle ball. Surfing is also an incredible workout. I need to improve my surf game but I go whenever I can. In Montañita, Ecuador I’d surf during the mornings, eat and relax a little and then play soccer on the beach in the afternoon.
3. Day Pass to Gyms
Occasionally I’ll get a day pass to a gym. Some gyms have let me use the facilities for free for a day when I explained that I’m staying long term in the city and am looking for a gym to join for a few months. Others you pay a pretty low day rate.
Since gym days are few and far between I opt for a full body workout rather than back/bi, chest/tri like split. Here’s my workout. For each of these exercises below I do 5 sets of 5 reps.
Gym culture in other countries is hilarious to me. I guess to an outsider the US gym culture might be hilarious as well. One day I’ll write up a post on this topic.
4. General Activity
One of benefit of travel is that just by exploring a city you usually remain fairly active. Whether through hiking or exploring the city on foot the level of daily activity
To help track my activity I have a Nike+ FuelBand. These bands have an accelerometer that tracks your activity and converts movement into NikeFuel points. While the points system may be somewhat arbitrary it does do a very effective job of keeping me conscious about remaining active. I set a daily goal of 4000 points and know exactly when I need to hit the park for a little more activity in a given day.
When you throw in the Facebook/social element of this device I get the extra challenge to set new records and beat my friends adds a motivational element that I love. This band also doubles as a very cool watch.
So that’s my general plan to keeping fit while on the road. I still drink too much beer and eat like crap way too often however at least with this workout strategy I can maintain a relatively stable weight.
What’s your secret for keeping fit on the road?