Travel Workouts, Hotel Exercises, & Eating on the Road
By: Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
Turbulence Training for Fat Loss
Last year I flew over 20,000 miles and visited over two dozen airports in
New Zealand, Australia, LA, Florida, Chicago, New York, Baltimore,
Allentown, Detroit, and many other cities.
Along the way, I learned - the hard way - about how difficult it is for
eating on the road. Especially when you’re stuck in airports for hours and
hours at a time (as I was in Washington one night for seven extra hours)
with no chance to do travel workouts.
Today I want to share the lessons I’ve learned about keeping fit while
traveling, including using hotel exercises.
The most important way to keep yourself healthy while on the road is to plan
ahead. That goes for everything you do in your fat loss program. But
nutrition is the most crucial component of your success.
You see, nutrition is where people fail big-time when traveling. After all,
there isn't too much good food to eat in airports. Not to mention all the
restaurants you inevitably visit while vacationing or traveling for
business. The good news is that it’s easy to find nutritious food if you
know where to look. For instance, you can almost always get apples, almonds,
and bananas and even grilled chicken in most airports.
After nutrition, simple laziness is the next big hurdle you have to overcome
while traveling. It's easy to skip a workout because you can say, "the hotel
gym doesn't have the equipment I'm used to." But the truth is, you don’t
need fancy equipment to get a fat-burning workout. You can do dozens of
great bodyweight exercises practically anywhere.
Here are seven strategies that can help you stay fit and stave off the fat
1. Pack good nutrition options for eating on the road. Yes, you can usually
find healthy options in airports or restaurants. But you can increase your
chances of eating healthfully by packing your own healthy snacks. Some
healthy, road-worthy snacks and fluids include water, green tea, nuts,
apples, and jerky.
There's a saying in the fitness industry, "you can't out-exercise a bad
diet." So no matter how often you hit the hotel gym for travel workouts
(although not many people do at all), you won't be able to fight off weight
gain if you continue to eat processed foods and sugary beverages. Even in
your room, you can do hotel exercises.
On a recent flight from Nashville to Toronto, I sat beside an overweight
women who was (ironically) reading Dr. Phil's book on how to lose weight
while she drank a glass of orange juice.
Now she clearly did not need the orange juice. She could have had water, or
a club soda (like I did), or even a coffee. Instead, she chose just about
the worst drink possible. Within minutes of drinking the juice, her blood
sugar levels would have spiked, increasing her levels of the fat-storing
hormone insulin. To make matters worse, eventually her blood sugar levels
would have crashed - making her hungry again.
These types of bad food choices are dooming travelers to stay overweight
forever when eating on the road. If you pack your own snacks, you can
control what you eat. And you won’t be stuck with the unhealthy options that
are often available.
2. Plan your business travel meals as much as possible so that you can stick
to nutritious options. With all of the focus on nutrition these days,
airlines and hotels are much more accommodating in meeting the special
nutrition requirements of customers. Ask and you will receive.
2. Plan your business travel meals as much as possible so that you stick to
your nutritious options.
First of all, you can never rely on airplane food to be healthy, so pack as
many guaranteed healthy food sources as possible, such as apples, organic
beef jerky, and almonds (and other nuts) to make it through the flight.
Second, when you are at a hotel, ask for substitutions in your room service
meals, replacing mashed potatoes with extra vegetables or salad.
3. When you book your hotel, make sure that there is an adequate hotel gym
or nearby fitness establishment for travel workouts. That way, you can
continue with your regularly scheduled exercise routine. You might want to
purchase a day pass at a local gym and work out with a personal trainer.
4. If there is no time to schedule a session with a personal trainer, and if
your hotel exercises gym doesn’t have weights, try a bodyweight-only
Here's a unique type of push-up you can do. It's called the "Off-set Pushup."
Start in a regular push-up position with one exception. You'll move one hand
a "hand's length" forward (i.e. it will be at forehead level, not shoulder
Do half as many push-ups as you'd normally do. Then, without resting, switch
your hand position so the other hand is now a "hand's length" forward. Do an
equal number of repetitions.
This push-up works your upper body just as hard as (or harder than) normal.
But it also works your abdominals a LOT harder because your torso muscles
are working to stabilize your upper body more than they would in a regular
5. Stay away from alcohol. Whether you’re on vacation or traveling for
business, cocktails and wine are usually bountiful. But boozing it up adds
hundreds of unnecessary calories. Plus, a few drinks can persuade you to
indulge in high-fat, high-glycemic foods you wouldn’t normally eat.
Canadian researchers found that just one alcoholic drink can increase
Tremblay, A., & St-Pierre, S. (1996). The hyperphagic effect of a high-fat
diet and alcohol intake persists after control for energy density. American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63, 479-482
6. Schedule your workouts with as much dedication as you schedule your
business meetings. Take advantage of whatever time slot is available during
your travels for exercise. And don’t miss it. An added bonus: Your exercise
appointment can be the perfect excuse to skip unnecessary post-meeting
cocktails and calories.
7. Spend waiting time walking. If you have a layover between flights or are
killing time between meetings, take a brisk walk if your schedule and
Researchers from Duke University found that walking the equivalent of 11
miles per week helped prevent the accumulation of deadly visceral fat, no
matter the intensity of the exercise.
Slentz, C., et a. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Oct;99(4):1613-8.
Travel with a "maintenance mindset." Stick to your plan and you'll return
home without gaining any fat or losing any fitness.
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit Turbulence Training for Fat Loss
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