Building a Daily Fitness Plan For Travel - Intentional Travelers
Building a Daily Fitness Program for Travel

29 Mar Building a Daily Fitness Plan For Travel

This is a guest post from Dorene and Troy from Travel Life Experiences. After 15 months of living a new lifestyle of full-time travel, they share what they learned and some of their favorite workouts.

 

Last year, Troy and I set out to make fitness a regular habit in our daily lives. A regular, although often sporadic, workout regime was part of our lives even when we worked full-time in corporate jobs while living in Canada. Back then, we only traveled during holidays, wherein our fitness momentum often deteriorated with late nights, changes in routine, and most importantly, excuses.

Now that we completed the first year of our life redesign and we’ve traveled and lived in 9 countries, we reflect on our promise to improve our fitness level despite the change in routine, location or climate.

We set out on an annual goal to work out every day.

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We enlisted the assistance of our friend and personal trainer, Mike Goncalves, from the Wellness Bucket, to develop workouts for us while we were traveling. All of the routines could be completed in 10-20 minutes without the use of any equipment or visit to a gym. Regardless of your lifestyle, these workouts are 100% applicable to anyone, especially if your time is limited.

Our biggest lessons after attempting our 365-day workout experiment:

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1. We are not perfect – We didn’t work out every day, but we did achieve a significant objective of exercise on average 4-5 times per week. We were euphoric with those results; we accomplished a huge milestone which it is now a habit we solidified into our daily routine.

2. Accountability is critical for success – As Mike would say: “Resolutions don’t last. Commitments do.” Troy and I push each other. When one of us is waffling about exercising, the other propels the former forward just to get it done. One of us said, “Let’s just get this thing done since it’s just 20 minutes of exercise. How can we not find time or energy to do this?” We also stated our daily workout goal to our readers. That put our pride on the line if we couldn’t do it. Mike, our coach, also made us accountable to give feedback and text him with every completed workout. Neither of us wanted to back out on our commitment with our trainer!

Running in Vang Vieng (1 of 1)

3. Small little health habits to compliment, make a big difference – Small little daily rituals work best to ensure you don’t make excuses for not getting your workout done. For example, first thing in the morning I drink a large bottle of water to rehydrate, and I perform the workout also in the morning.

4. An amazing thing happens when you work out – When you are treating your body well, you put good things back into it almost involuntarily. For instance, I drink significantly more water before and after a workout because I needed it. I also drink more fruit smoothies because I don’t want to put anything bad into my system after I work out. Also, I curb the use of alcohol the night before, knowing I often feel more cramped, sluggish and stiff the next day.

5. Consequences are essential – We wholeheartedly endorse the regular review of the benefits of working out (positive) and not working out (negative) since it helps us both mentally to complete a workout. For instance, we fear that if we don’t work out every day, it will increase the chance that we can’t continue to enjoy our travels in a healthy way. Maybe we’ll wind up in the hospital – a foreign hospital! – with an illness. The positive consequences of working out to me are: how good I feel hiking long distances, and I don’t feel winded or tired, a great benefit of my cardio workouts. I have also noticed how toned my shoulders look since I’ve been doing strength training again. What are the positive consequences to you that propel you to workout?

6. The importance of stretching – I used to be terrible at following through with stretches. Usually, I get busy and I revert into daily priorities. I know the benefits, but I rush away fixated on another task. That has changed with more activity, as there are more aches and pains (and, of course, age). Early into our workouts, I felt I had pulled a hamstring. After regular daily stretching, the pain disappeared.

Dorene Stretches

Our last two tips were inspired by James Clear, an expert on forming habits. These two tips have made massive changes in how I approach my workouts.

7. Make it easier on yourself to get started – Getting started is often the hardest part of working out. As Clear states, “make the start more mindless.” For example, if I have a bottle of water sitting next to the bed, and I take a huge sip before I work out, I have no excuse that I’m too dehydrated to exercise. Similarly, if Troy has his gear and a mat laid out, with the exercise routine open in his notepad, and a stopwatch to time the exercises, he’s made it easy to get started. This little habit creates no hesitation and no time wasted. Miraculously, WE JUST DO IT. Aren’t we humans funny creatures?

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8. Get into making the habit before worrying about the outcome – For example, I should commit to just working out every day. I shouldn’t worry about performing it entirely or perfectly every time. Sticking to the schedule, even if it’s only for five minutes, is better than not working out at all. In fact, if you look over the course of a full year, rather than a week, all those short workouts add up to a lot of activity over a longer length of time.


Our Favorite Traveling Workouts:

These are two of our favorite workout routines provided by Mike from the Wellness Bucket. Each routine gives you links to correctly perform each of these workouts.

Workout #1

  1. Jumping jacks(1 minute)
  2. Low laterals(1 minute)
  3. Alternating lunges(1 x 20 reps)
  4. Burpees(1 x 15 reps)
  5. Pelvis raises(1 x 20 reps)
  6. Push-ups(1 x 20 reps)
  7. Abdominal bicycles(1 x 50 reps)
  8. Abdominal plank(hold as long as possible but the goal is 1 minute)

Estimated time to complete: 10 minutes. This workout can be nicely combined with a swim, or a light run and, of course, a stretch at the end.


Workout #2:

This is a longer and more progressive workout, broken into sections. Each link provides details on how to perform the exercises correctly.

BLOCK ONE

  • Jumping Jacks (30 sec)
  • Squat / jab / punch (1 x 15 reps – left side)
  • Burpees (1 x 10 reps)
  •  
    BLOCK TWO

  • Jumping Jacks (30 sec)
  • Squat / jab / punch (1 x 15 reps – right side)
  • Burpees (1 x 10 reps)
  •  
    BLOCK THREE

  • Walking lunges (1 x 20 reps)(1 x 20 reps)
  • Jump Squats (1 x 20 reps)
  • Jumping Wall Taps (1 x 20 reps)
  •  
    BLOCK FOUR

  • Walking lunges (1 x 20 reps)
  • Tricep press (1 x 20 reps) (full or from the knees)
  • Push-ups (1 x 20 reps) (full or from the knees)
  •  
    BLOCK FIVE

  • Side raises (1 x 15 reps each side)
  • Reverse crunches (1 x 20 reps)
  • Abdominal plank (1 minute)
  •  
    Estimated time to complete = 20 to 25 minutes.

    Followed by 5 to 7 minutes of stretching.


    Perhaps some of these tips and workouts can inspire you to think differently about your fitness routine.

    What is your regime to stay on top of fitness whether you are traveling or just busy with life?

    Interested in  more work outs for the road? Check out Jedd and Michelle’s top recommendations of work out videos for travel.

     

     

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