I have gotten a lot of questions about exercising while traveling.
Today I am going to share with you what I’ve found to be true about exercise and travel.
First of all, if you travel a lot and are struggling to fit in exercise, I’m right with ya! There have been times when I just gave up and said, “It’s too hard to exercise on the road. I will get back into a routine when I get home.” There were all sorts of excuses:
-Exercising on the road is too hard.
-My schedule is different every day.
-There aren’t always good places to workout or run.
-Traveling and exercise just don’t fit together!
-I can get back in shape when I get home.
The problem is, I spend almost half of my life traveling. If I go with the excuses, I automatically will exercise only about half the months of the year. That’s really no way to build good habits, is it?! And it doesn’t make for very effective fitness, either!
I have finally realized that it is possible to exercise on the road.
Yes, some days it is hard. It takes more creativity than at home. It isn’t always convenient, and sometimes it’s very inconvenient. I have to think ahead and plan or it won’t happen.
If you’re trying to make exercise happen while traveling, here are the top tips that have helped me (they could apply for exercise at home, too, for that matter!):
Make it as convenient as possible.
One way I do this is to keep a set of workout clothes hanging up so that I don’t have the excuse of “I can’t get more clothes dirty”. Even if we don’t get to do laundry for more than a week, with rotating my small stock of workout clothes, I won’t run out this way.
Don’t give yourself a choice.
I have decided that I will exercise no matter how hard or inconvenient it is. If you make it an optional part of your schedule, it won’t happen.
On this trip, my goals look like this: Walk, run or hike 2+ miles three times per week. (I try to do much more than this when possible.) Workout Mon-Sat, at least 300 repetitions of SOMETHING. Some days that might be squats, pushups, crunches, and tricep dips in a church sanctuary. Other days I get out my mat and 10 pound weights and workout for longer beside the bus (sometimes with a family member). Sometimes I do an ab and bodyweight workout in the bus. Yes, IN THE BUS! There isn’t much space, but there is enough.
Look for opportunities for additional exercise.
I usually take Rebecca out to bed directly after the concert, and occasionally we do stretches together. This isn’t my exercise for the day, but just something extra that’s good for me! Sometimes Liz wants to go on a quick run, and I’m in! A walk to a coffee shop (like today) is welcome extra exercise above my goals. I have been known to jump platform steps in the front of churches in time with the music during soundcheck with my mother or sisters. Again, this is just a fun way to fit in some more exercise!
One trip I set goals and voxed with my future sis-in-law to keep each other accountable. This trip we are doing a family accountability/competition program that is fabulous and fun! While I need to be disciplined to exercise whether or not I am reporting to someone, it is very fun to have an accountability partner, and something that I fully enjoy doing from time to time!
Measure your progress.
Right now (in addition to short workouts), I am doing quite a bit of running, as well as hiking and power walking. I am enjoying keeping track of my total miles and trying to reach certain mile numbers weekly/monthly. It’s kinda like competing against myself!
For strength work, it could be fun to track how many pushups you can do at the beginning of a trip and see how far you can bump that number. The same goes for lifting weights. If you are just starting to run, track your farthest distance at the beginning of a trip and work at lengthening it. I did that on our winter tour and was thrilled to see the progress! You could also set a goal for increasing your speed.
Invite others to join you!
The picture at the top of this post is from an amazing 5 mile power walk with my brother’s fiance, Cassidy just the other day. The day after that, I went on a run with my sister, Liz, and a walk later in the day with my little brother, Hudson. This morning my mother and I enjoyed 4 invigorating miles of power walking and sprinting together.
I personally love the quiet time when I exercise by myself, there’s no doubt it’s pretty fun to do it with someone you love spending time with! Especially if you’re struggling to exercise, this can be a great added boost to your morale.
In my family, we’re pretty competitive, so doing wall sits, planks, and other exercises with one or more others is usually a sure way to make us work harder than we would alone!
If you exercise while traveling, what are your tips? If you don’t much but want to start/do more, was this post helpful in giving you ideas for how to make exercise work with traveling?