Traveling with the family doesn’t mean that your body must suffer. There’s this common misconception that a lack of gym and having to rely on restaurant and fast food means that you can’t look after your body.
Well, it’s time to put your body – and the bodies of your family members – first. It’s time to work on strengthening your muscles and toning your core while keeping your weight down. There are plenty of exercises that you can do, without sacrificing time with the family or feel like you’re not getting a vacation.
Here’s a look at all the steps to take to get your full body workout while traveling with the family. You can even get them involved to put their health first.
Stop Using the Lack of Gym as an Excuse
Too many of us believe that because we don’t have a gym that we can’t workout. Well, that is not true. We don’t need to hit a gym to get fit and tone the body. In fact, there are plenty of home workouts that we can do while on the road.
It’s time to get a list of bodyweight exercises that you can do from your RV, your hotel room, or even while on the beach! These aren’t just the typical push ups and crunches – although they can be powerful.
You want to get a variety while doing bodyweight exercises. It’s important to work on different areas of the body each day of the week. This gives your muscles time to build their strength and repair before the next session.
Opt for a plan for each muscle group, something like this:
- Mondays = arms
- Tuesdays = chest, and stomach
- Wednesdays = legs
- Thursdays = day off
- Fridays = back
- Saturday = core
- Sunday = day off
Yes, you get to have two days off from your exercise. You get the chance to have a break and spend time with your family while you’re on vacation. I recommended having one day that is a complete rest day. The other could be a light piece of cardio, such as a run or a swim. Your body will need at least one day off completely just to recover and rest, getting you ready for the next week ahead.
Some bodyweight exercises include:
- Mountain climbs
- Yoga stretches
- Push ups
- Russian twists
- Dorsal raises
You’ll find that there are far more bodyweight exercises than you ever considered before! They’re useful for all the different parts of your body.
Have Some Light Weights to Travel With
While you can do all types of bodyweight exercises, you’ll still want to do some exercises with weights. You want to keep your travel weight light, so look out for lighter weights. In fact, you can forgo the kettle bells and dumbbells. Opt for resistance bands instead.
You’ll build your muscles through resistance band training much easier and quicker than you will with weights. As you get better, you can add more resistance by making the stretch area shorter or by adding more bands. There are also different tensions available, helping you to build your strength quickly and easily.
One of the best things about resistance bands is they are lightweight. You’ll barely tell that you have them, and you can even carry them in your pocket or handbag, so you have something on the go with you always. They’re small enough to fit anywhere, and most people won’t even know that you have one until you pull it out.
There are other types of resistance equipment, including hand crunchers and stress balls. You’ll be surprised at the way they can build up your muscles without you realizing.
Pull them out while you’re on the road and make a game out of using them. If you have enough, you can set up a circuit in the local park when you stop, so you get a chance to work on different areas of the body.
Take Up Running as Your Cardio
Not everyone likes running, but there is a major benefit of it – you can do it everywhere. There’s no need to have a gym with a treadmill, and you don’t really need a road to jog on. If you aren’t fit enough for running yet, you can opt for walking instead.
This is a great way to get the family involved – in fact, getting the family involved is safer if you’re in a place that you don’t know. You could set up a circuit in the park to run around, so your kids feel like you’re playing a game, but you’re working out and building on your fitness.
Try out different surfaces for your running. A sturdy path is a commonly preferred option, but it’s not the best for your ankles or knees. Running on grass can be better because it is softer for the impact. However, you run the risk of going over on your ankles.
Don’t underestimate the power of running on the sand – and try barefoot running on the sand. Your feet will sink into the material, meaning that you need more power you push yourself forward. You’ll get a harder workout in a shorter space of time. It doesn’t matter if you’re on thewet or soft sand! There’s also this feeling of being on your vacation when running on the sand because you think back to the time of running around on it when you were a kid.
The kids will love running on the sand! They’ll also love building sand castles while you run around them in circles.
Ditch All the Excuses
You will come up with all types of excuses while you’re traveling. Lack of sleep, wanting a vacation, and trying to take in new sights and experiences will all seem like excellent reasons to skip the workout for the day. That will then turn into another day, as you come up with new excuses. Before you know it, you have gone a full week or even a month without doing a spot of exercise.
Sure, you’ve walked around and taken in the experiences, but you’re also eating for the experience. The weight is piling on, and you’re losing muscle mass.
There is nothing wrong with taking an hour out of your day to put yourself first. You’d do it at home, so why aren’t you doing it while you’re traveling? Your kids will want to spend some time by themselves or with their other parent. Likewise, your significant other can get an hour to themselves, so you get to spend that hour with the kids. The other 22 hours in the day are spent with the whole family. Okay, so you have between 6 and 8 hours of sleep when you’re traveling, but you still have 14-16 hours to spend as a family together!
You need to try to ditch all the excuses. They will crop up, and only you can decide that they are excuses.
Okay, so there are going to be times that traveling takes over. You may be stuck on a plane for 24 hours straight, depending on where you’re flying to. This is going to be one of your rest days. As soon as you get to your destination and refresh, consider jumping straight into an exercise regime. Even just a swim in your hotel’s pool will give you the chance to stretch off the muscles and get a cardio workout in to start your week off just right.
There are going to be times that your workout will be at odd hours of the day. There are times that you will be forced to work your exercise regime around timings for hotel meals, opening hours of excursions, and planned times for events. This is when it becomes very easy to give into the excuses. Instead of telling yourself that there isn’t the time, look at getting up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later to get your workout in.
Walk Around the Area for Equipment Substitutions
You don’t need a gym to get all your workouts in. There are times that substitutions in everyday life will work out for you.
For example, you may not have a gym pull bar available, but you will be able to find a swing set, a bus overhang, or even a sturdy tree branch. All these offer you the ability to grip and pull yourself up in the way that you would have done with pull up bars.
There will be other similar pieces of equipment naturally or man-made. Think about the types of equipment that you currently use in your gym and determine the substitutions that you will need. As soon as you get to a new area, take a walk around and actively look out for those substitutions. You can do this with your family, as you all explore your new surroundings and take in some of the sights. Your kids can look out for things to do, while your significant other can look out for places to eat.
Now that you have your equipment substitutions, you’ll be able to carry out your full body workout throughout your vacation!
Use Your Phone to Track Your Progress
While doing your full body workouts, you need to track your progress. How do you know if you’re getting fitter if you can’t remember how you did the day before? Whatever you do, you want to keep track of everything that you do for the day.
If you have a pedometer, it’s great to use it to track your steps. This will help you reach the 10,000-minimum recommended daily to keep your whole body fit. This is on top of your exercise regime throughout the week. Most phones will now have a free app that you can download, such as Samsung Health or Apple Health. If you have a Fitbit, you can also download the app to sync it all together when you have Wi-Fi.
There’s no need to buy special equipment for tracking your workout. There are free options available, including Evernote and Trello. You just want to create a simple note file that you can add new additions in, with dates. Keep track of the exercises you do, the number of repetitions you do, and the number of sets in each repetition.
This is also a good place to keep track of the food that you eat and the calories that you burn. You get a good idea of whether you’re creating that necessary calorie deficit to help you lose weight.
Focus on Healthy Food as Much as Possible
Sometimes it is going to be difficult to eat healthily. There will always be fast food calling out to you, no matter where you visit. Your kids will want to try everything junk, whether you have ice cream parlors, waffle bars, or local versions of chained franchises. You’ll want junk now and then, but you need to focus on healthy food as much as possible. You want to eat to put your muscles and health first.
That doesn’t mean you always need to eat healthily. You want to experience cultures, but don’t use it as an excuse for every single meal – remember about ditching the excuses! Have one meal a week that is pure culture, whether it’s fast food, delicious pancakes, or even something deep fried. The rest of the meals, look out for salads and light meals that are full of healthy oils and good carbs and protein.
Most restaurants around the world will have something healthy and low in fat. You just need to know where to look in the menus. Many have started to put their menus online so you can check them out before you visit to make sure there is something to enjoy.
It’s Time to Get Your Full Body Workout While Traveling
The best thing you can do while traveling is ditch the excuses. There will always be a reason not to work out. It could be the lack of gym or no time to spare. You need to work out when the excuses are just excuses and when they are a real problem – such as when you’re literally traveling for a whole day with no space to get a workout in!
You don’t need a gym to get your full body workout. There’ s no need to invest in heavyweights and hope you can fit them in your baggage allowance. Keep your equipment small and look out for local substitutions. You’ll be surprised at how a kid’s playground can help you get a fitter body and work your full body workout into your day.
While you want to spend time with the family, make sure you take out an hour that is just for you. After sleeping, you still have 14-16 hours to spend with the whole family. That’s plenty of time to take in all the sights and experience cultures, wherever you go and however old your children are!