5 Fitness Hacks for Busy Travellers

A little knowledge and preparation makes it easy to stay fit while travelling.

Travelling on the road can often mean early starts and late nights, long flights and periods spent in a hotel with little or no access to gyms, home cooked meals or kitchen facilities. As a result, the routines we cultivate so carefully at home to optimise our health and wellbeing may fall by the wayside.

However, it doesn't have to be this way. We’ve pulled together five simple tips to help you stay in shape while you’re away from home.

Get to know your destinations

Take fifteen minutes before you leave to do a quick reconnaissance on your upcoming destinations. Check out whether your hotel has a gym, healthy food options on the menu or will pack you a takeaway lunch. Look for easy running or walking paths or parks with free exercise equipment close to where you’ll be staying. Finally, see what restaurant and cafes close by offer good food choices, what their opening hours are, and whether they do take away or work with home delivery services.  A little bit of local knowledge can go a long way to staying on track with your fitness regime.

Prep your snacks to avoid a binge

Eating small, nutritious snacks throughout the day is essential for dodging that starving feeling that can often lead to grabbing whatever food is readily available at meal times. Whether you’re travelling on a long flight, getting ready for a big drive or preparing for a busy day of back-to-back meetings, have some healthy snacks in your bag to eat on the run. Fresh fruit, nut mixes, low-sugar, high protein muesli bars and wholegrain crackers are easy-pack snacks that provide a nutritional punch and will keep you going until your next main meal. Also remember to stay well-hydrated (with water, not wine!) as early signs of dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger pangs.

Develop an ‘anytime, anywhere’ exercise routine

You don’t need a gym or huge amounts of super slick equipment to stay fit while you’re travelling. Having a routine that relies on your body means you can get the job done wherever you might be. Slip on some joggers and head out for a walk or run while simultaneously exploring the city around you. If you’re keen to keep up your resistance training, the internet is full of information about body weight work out plans;  create a high intensity workout that can be done in your hotel room in 20 minutes by combining intense efforts of squats, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, crunches, planks and running on the spot into a circuit with short rests in between sets. Skipping ropes, resistance bands and yoga mats are also great options for on-the-road fitness and suitable for use in hotel rooms.

Go easy when eating out and watch the booze

After an intense day of meetings, it’s easy to want to hit the town for a big tasty dinner and a wine or three. While there is nothing wrong with this on occasion, if you’re constantly away on multi-day trips, eating and drinking big every night is likely to impact on your fitness and your waistline. Being conscious about what you’re consuming can help with this; try asking for sauces and dressing on the side, ordering a serve of protein and salad or veggies with every meal, making every second drink a water or other non-alcoholic beverage or sharing your dessert with someone else at the table.

Make it non-negotiable

As with establishing any sort of fitness routine, staying healthy and active on the road requires a degree of commitment and a willingness to make your health a priority. Be clear about your goals and ensure your plans are realistic and achievable. When scoping out your itinerary, be sure to build in some time each day for a quick walk or work out in your hotel room and buying or packing healthy snacks, no matter what the day’s agenda may be. It may feel like a chore to begin with, but it won’t be long before you start to notice the benefits.

Words by Rebecca Walker - Published 26 November 2018
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