It can sometimes be a real challenge to fit in a workout during a busy work day, exponentially so when it is on the road while traveling. Here are nine quick tips I learned while on the road for away games working as a collegiate coach.
1. Make it a Priority
This is perhaps the most important piece. Write it in your planner or scheduler. If you have your heart and mind set on the fact that you’re going to get your workout in for the day, it will happen.
In a way it is like making time to eat. You must feed your body in multiple ways, not just nutrition. Moving with purpose is one of those ways, it feeds your body in an additive way - strength, endurance, flexibility, energy - and a subtractive way - reduces stress, anxiety, insomnia, jet lag, and so forth.
2. Know Your Schedule Ahead of Time
Knowing your itinerary for the trip makes it easier to know when you can realistically fit in that workout. Planning your workout into your day makes it harder to come up with an excuse not to do it. Consider it like scheduling a meeting, but with yourself.
3. Run a 5 Minute Investigation
While waiting for your flight, instead of burning time on social media, see what’s in the area you'll be staying. Does the hotel have a gym? Is there a better gym close by? Are there any green spaces?
See if there’s an image of your hotel’s fitness center online. Personally, I am not super fond of hotel fitness centers, so if there is a gym within driving or running distance I get a day pass there. Some gyms will even let your first few visits be free and you end up not having to pay a dime!
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Be a grape, not a raisin. Being dehydrated is arguably one of the biggest factors that could deter you from getting your workout in because you just flat out don’t feel as good. Light headedness, fatigue, and joint and muscle stiffness can all be attributed to not getting enough water; thus, say no to that cranberry juice and yes to a cup of water on the plane. Drink at least another 8-12 ounces as soon as you can once you arrive at the airport. General rule of thumb: drink 250ml of water for every hour flying. Staying hydrated also makes you less susceptible to cold and flu germs.
5. Pack Your Own Snacks
6. Sign Up online
A lot of gyms will cater to potential new members by offering free day or even week passes. On a recent trip to Seattle, there was an LA Fitness down from where I was staying. I simply signed up online and was given a 5 day guest pass that I could scan at the door. No paperwork, no loop holes, just scan and go in.
7. Shorten Your workout time
Making your workout short and sweet, such as a 30 minute circuit or 20 minutes of cardio intervals can help keep you motivated to go, especially if you only have one hour and need to factor in a shower and time getting ready for the day. You’ll be glad later on that you did a little something for yourself instead of nothing. There are some excellent workout options available for you under the Training tab in the Workout of the Day section. Simply register a free account to access.
8. Accountability buddy
If you are traveling alone, tell your significant other you plan to workout and have them follow up with you on whether or not you did it or not. Or you use the Synergy Scheduler and make it a goal for the week. Either of these accountability options can be powerful motivators for some people. For the lucky ones, maybe you travel with a business partner who is also interested in getting in a workout or two on the road. Use your resources!
9. Make Use of Green Space
Finally, you don't need a gym to get in an awesome workout. Bring your own jump rope with you, they can be used anywhere and really diversity your workout. Here is a style I use with my athletes and in my own workouts. Find a green space (i.e. a park, field, etc.), and do a workout outside! Too much inside air can make you crazy.
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