When you’re traveling, your focus on your fitness and nutrition goals can become derailed as fast as you can lose a stare down contest with one of your kiddos. We all set out to keep up our workout routine and eat clean, but we need to cut ourselves a little slack and realize we are on vacation. So, unless you’re like two weeks out from a bodybuilding contest, loosen the reigns a little and employ that 80/20 rule for a week. This is The Hubby’s rule at all times and I think it’s a rule we should all strive to live by.
You all know my OCD tendencies, so whenever it’s time for travel of any kind I’ve got the computer on sometimes weeks in advance to start crafting my list of what to pack! Don’t tell anyone, but I actually have a couple travel packing templates depending on the type of vacation. Hey, some situations call for very specific times that you wouldn’t always think to pack. Workout gear and Supplements are on all the lists, so here are my packing basics for that category.
Packing Basics – Workout Gear/Supplements
My running shoes
couple pair of running pants and shirts
a jug of water (if I’m driving. If not, I buy one when I get there)
my water bottle
some disposable cups
Nutribullet (don’t forget the blade this time!) and cups
NutraBio protein powder
Naked Nutrition Choc PB
Sports Beans (for long runs)
I have a tendency to always forget the Nutribullet Blade when I pack. Since we use our Nutribullet multiple times per day, the blade is in a constant position drying on the towel beside the sink. Twice in the last month I have forgotten the blade. Luckily, both places we traveled had an alternative option for me to blend my protein.
Nutrition on the Road
If we are traveling somewhere that we have a refrigerator or small kitchen, we’ll stop at a market and pick up fruit, nutrition bars, vitamin water zero and/or water. We usually pack our supplements in a cooler bag so we always have one with us. I also always bring ziplock bags with us. The snack size and sandwich size are perfect for cheese cubes, trail mix, veggies, etc – even ice cubes for the cooler bag. When you stop at the market, you can look for items like this to keep in your refrigerator and make snack size portions to carry around during the day. This makes it easier to stay on track and reduces the number of splurges you’ll have during the week. Here are a few simple meal and snack ideas you can whip up and keep in those baggies to help you stay on track.
Smoked salmon, cucumber and whipped cream cheese on sprouted grain bagel
Peanut butter and Jelly Tortilla
Grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and mustard in a whole-grain wrap
Hummus with sliced tomato, roasted red pepper and cucumber in a whole-wheat pita
Trail Mix Oatmeal Balls (see recipe below)
Homemade trail mix
Whole fruit (plums, peaches, banana)
Trail Mix Oatmeal Balls
1 cup of oats (old fashioned, quick oats, gluten free, anything)
½ cup of Nut Butter
3 Tbsp of honey or maple syrup
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp. pumpkin or sunflower seeds
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup crushed pretzels
2-3 Tbsp raisins
Combine all the ingredients and stir to combine. Roll tablespoon size amounts in your hand. Store in an airtight container (separate layers with wax paper) or wrap individually in wax paper.
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Fitness on the Road
It’s also important to be realistic about fitting in your fitness during your travel.
Look at your schedule for the week and see where you can legitimately get your workout in. Don’t set yourself up for failure by saying you’re going to get 3 runs and 2 strength training session in the week you’re traveling if you know you’re going to be so busy “vacationing” that you’ll just brush it to the side. The result will be a feeling of failure when you don’t get it in on a particular day.
If you’re going somewhere like Disney World, chances are you’re going to be walking the parks ALL DAY, so either give yourself permission to let that count as your exercise or get up early and get in your run, swim, or strength session. If you have a break in the day for the kiddos to rest, you can try to work it in then.
If you don’t get your run or strength training session in one day because you were busy taking a break and enjoying your vacation with your family, do a few strength exercises when you’re winding down for the evening and have a few minutes. Whether you’re in a beach house, a condo or a hotel, these are all easily done in a hotel room (and can be done in a small area in case you still need to keep an eye on young children).
HIIT – 3 Rounds
- Plank for 1 minute
- Knee ups – Assume a plank position at an angle and then do 25 knees to chest each side. (A chair or the edge of a bed or couch works for this)
- Squats – 50 (add some resistance with whatever you can find to use as dumbbells)
- Push ups – 25
- Crunches – 15 regular followed by 15 each side for obliques
- Russian Twist – Use something to hold for resistance if you can find something
- Jump Rope for 1 minute (this is another easy thing to pack in your suitcase!)
You can also do this HIIT workout for time. For example, pick 1 minute or 1:30 and do 3 rounds with the duration for each exercise being 1:30. For an advanced workout, you can always add on a few other bodyweight exercises or resistance exercises if you have access to some gym equipment. Just doing this little bit will make a difference in your mental attitude that at least you got something accomplished even if it wasn’t your originally planned workout.