Developing a habit of working out and eating clean consistently is a challenge. But what’s even more of a challenge?
Sticking to that habit while traveling.
After all, an adventure is an adventure because it offers us the chance to encounter the unexpected. And, while this is awesome for our mindset and health overall … it can present some unique obstacles to staying fit!
Paulo and I have had extensive experience at this point of staying fit on the road (watch our journey here), so we wanted to share some of the tips that have worked really well for us, so that your next trip can support your goals.
Tips To Stay Fit While Traveling
1. Cooking Your Own Food Is A Win
Eating clean on the road is usually the most challenging aspect of travel.
Because it’s convenient and tempting, it’s obviously easy to fall into the habit of eating out. Of course, if you can find clean, healthy options, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy yourself a bit! However, just remember that balance is key, and eating out too often can lead to consuming more energy (calories) than we assume we are.
What tends to work for us is eating out in moderation, while grocery shopping the rest of the time to build our own meals in our RV or at hotels. This allows us to enjoy ourselves, yet still be able to control our ingredients and portions the majority of the time.
2. Snacks (And More Snacks)
Another trick that has saved us from many low-quality travel meals is having plenty of healthy snacks on hand.
This is especially awesome for road trips, as you can pack a cooler filled with fresh fruit, veggies, healthy dips like hummus, clean bars, natural deli meat, etc … Then, whenever hunger strikes and you’re in an area without options, you have nothing to worry about!
3. Portable Equipment
Obviously, carrying around weights of any type isn’t going to fly on most trips. And, while bodyweight workouts are an absolutely bomb option (especially if you add some plyo/HIIT elements in), you might be wanting some resistance during your sessions.
Enter mini bands. These babies are the key to packing lightly for your workouts. Depending on your needs, you can pack a range of resistance levels, from mild to intense, for your workouts.
As for cardio, getting outside and hiking, doing sprints, or running are great options, with the added benefit of stress-hormone-reducing nature, fresh air, and vitamin D.
However, if you need something to quickly up the intensity that takes up barely any room in your suitcase, pack a jump rope! Just 15 minutes of jump roping anywhere can get you a quality cardio session. Inter-disperse it with some bodyweight and band work and you’ve got yourself a full, fire workout!
4. Download And/Or Plan Your Workouts
Doing a little pre-planning (with wiggle room for spontaneity of course) can go a long way in sticking with your regime and staying on track.
For instance, I usually plan my workouts for the morning, that way they are accomplished early and before anything can interfere or pop up.
You can also plan out your week as far as how many times you’d like to work out, and for how long, so you know when and where to schedule it in.
Also (and some shameless self-promotion here), this is one of the key reasons we created the HEF Training App! This is one of the best solutions to have all of your favorite workouts, programs, instructional videos, and more at your fingertips, at all times. You can schedule your workouts within the app, set reminders, and even download workouts to use without WiFi (lifesaver)!
5. Keep It Clean At Restaurants
One thing to remember at restaurants when you do have to eat out: the menu is usually flexible.
Most restaurants are more than willing to, say, whip up a few scrambled eggs with veggies on the side for you, or cook up a chicken breast sans sauce, or do a rice and bean dish with spices, depending on the type of menu. The key here is to chose options with minimal ingredients, while avoiding creamy dressings and other condiments that typically contain unnatural ingredients and heavy calorie counts.
You can also look into combining sides into a meal, like a baked potato sans butter with a salad and sauteed veggies. Even if you aren’t able to get your usual, doing a combination of whole food ingredients instead of an elaborate dish will likely prevent your meal from setting you back.
Above all, remember to set realistic expectations for yourself. Traveling is stimulating and exciting, and whether you’re simply visiting family or going on a long road trip or adventure, it’s almost a guarantee that you’re going to get caught up in an activity at some point and won’t be able to stick to your workout or food plans. And while this can easily leave you with a sense of disappointment, I think it’s much, much healthier to realize that these moments, these trips, these experiences: they are what life is about!
In short: don’t sweat it if you miss a couple days of training, or run into an instance where you can’t eat super-clean. Remember that these things happen, and while it’s no excuse to go off the rails and into a binge, it is an opportunity to recognize that, sometimes, the best thing for us in life is to relax, understand we can’t control everything, have fun, and take a balanced approach.
If you want an inside peek into our life on the road, tune in to HEF On The Road here, where Paulo and I film our journey and experiences traveling in an RV across the U.S. interviewing ultra-inspiring individuals.
Cheers to adventure.