Everyone takes a journey.
Whether it’s for organisation, enjoyment, holiday or world dominance, eventually all of us leave the convenience of our individual home towns to go to another place. It might be a quick journey to the next town over for a service conference or an enormous experience halfway around the globe for months at a time appreciating the natural and man-made landscaping designs of different countries. No matter what sort of journey it is, they all have something is common:
Our regular fitness training regimens can get entirely tossed out the window when taking a trip. This is usually because:
- If you exercise in a health club, you may not have access to any gyms
- If you jog in your local park, you may not have one near you
- If you prepare your own meals, you may not have a cooking area or refrigerator
- If you’re used to a good night’s sleep, all of a sudden you’re sleeping at odd hours in different time zones
We are creatures of habit. While working a regular day job, we can stay in a regular routine quite easily (awaken at the same time, consume all meals at the same time, exercise at the same time, falling asleep at the same time). Nevertheless, when we take a trip, usually nothing is familiar and the smallest speed bump can be enough to screw things up.
Fortunately, there is hope! It’s time to define an action strategy that you can take with you on your next trip, whether it’s for a day or a year.
My Huge Journey
Back in January 2011, I started a trip of huge proportions, a trip all over Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. I’m not going to lie, I was seriously anxious about my physical wellness for this journey I actually never had the ability to sticky with any physical exercise aside from the occasional walk. I validated this by telling myself that it was simply too tough to keep a regular routine going and that I would start back in my routine when I get home.
Now, for this big trip of mine, I was going to be gone for 5 months without any access to a health club or a food service that makes my meals (which had actually represented half of my day-to-day meals). I was going to be living out of a backpack, in a brand-new city every couple of days, sleeping at odd hours, checking out unique areas, crossing off insane things from my list, flying stunt aircraft and discovering Nemo, as well as working full-time on my site called Gee Physical fitness.
On top of that, I managed to get myself sick for the first 2 weeks of the trip and I didn’t exercise or eat well at all. I was getting further behind the 8-ball. After that I put on my running shoes and went to work.
3 Months of Wins
Putting aside my exceptionally chaotic life and travel schedule without my personal trainer, I was able to load on 10-12 pounds of muscle throughout my 3 months of hardcore travelling schedule. (I didn’t have any way to determine body fat while away so I do not have specific numbers). I invested the first 9 weeks “loading” my system with calories, strength training, and the last 3 weeks consuming less calories while continuing to strength train.
Now, if you’re thinking, “big deal, to put on twelve pounds in 3 months is really easy”, I can tell you that I definitely strained throughout those 3 months to put on the right type of weight to get more powerful and larger. If you have actually ever attempted to load on muscle, you would understand it is difficult without raising any weights or having access to a stable supply of healthy food. Another small thing you can do is, most hotels come with a pool, why not do a couple laps while you check out the pool surrounds and figure out what you are going to do with your day.
So take heart. The next time you are lucky enough to go on a trip around the world or just away for a few weeks, with a little thought and preparation, you can maintain your weight and sometimes even your exercise routine even while traveling. After all, isn’t it better to maintain your weight while on holiday than gaining many many pounds and then working harder to take it all off again? I know which option I prefer.