Working Out On the Road

Missing a day or two at the gym shouldn?t mess with your workout momentum (and if it does, you need to break up your overly strict routine). Missing several days because you?re on vacation or a business trip, however, is another story.

No excuse not to run

You know the deal. You go a week without working out, stuffing your face with beer and chicken wings, getting as much of a workout as wading in the hotel pool, to come back home and find you can?t lift nearly as much weight or run longer than 10 minutes. You?re a sad excuse for the fitness machine you were the day you left for your trip.

While you can certainly adjust to a long period without working out and get back to your normal fitness level, why waste all that time? Using your surroundings and your body weight, it?s possible to maintain an intense workout routine on the road.

I spent years playing in bands, touring the country, away from home for weeks at a time. During this time, I witnessed some of the worst displays of eating and drinking known to man: gas station hot dogs, gigantic plates of cheese fries, beer after beer after beer. My bandmates would wake up in the afternoon, lay around for a bit and spend the rest of the day immobile in a van. How did I remedy this sedentary, fat-inducing situation? I worked with what I had in order to stay fit.

One of the simplest things you can do to maintain your workout routine while on the road is to run. As long as you?ve got a good pair of sneakers and a smooth surface to run on, you should have no problem keeping up with your cardio. If you happen to be by the beach, go for a run on the sand for added resistance.

Whenever we happened to sell enough T-shirts for the night, but didn?t have a house to crash at, my bandmates and I would get a hotel room. If it?s too cold out to run, why not hit up the treadmill or elliptical at the hotel gym? Many of these gyms offer weight machines you find in regular gyms. If you usually work with free weights, here?s an opportunity to try something different. Want a killer hotel workout? Hit up the pool and do some laps. You?ll have no trouble falling asleep at night in a strange room after a workout like that.

I didn?t think of this at the time I was on tour, but you can also bring workout equipment with you. Stuff some resistance bands in your luggage and you?ll be able to target every muscle in your body.? Carry a jump rope and get a decent cardio workout. Just make sure you do it outside your hotel room (unless you feel like paying for a broken lamp.)

Maintaining a healthy, protein-filled diet is essential to keeping up with your physical fitness while on the road. Pack some protein bars and/or whey protein powder, as well as some fruit. Go ahead and eat some garbage here and there if you?re out with friends or family and want to have a good time, but practice moderation.

As it so happens, I?m going to be out of town this weekend. While I?m gone, I plan on working out and eating well, so I can come back and still manage to do more than 10 push-ups. I?ll just pretend the cheese fries aren?t even on the menu.

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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.