We're all creatures of habits to various degrees, and a change from our normal routines is enough to put a scare in some people. But adaptability and an openeness to change can be the best possible thing for most people. A switch in training when on the road sometimes allows you to hit your old training program with a refreshed vigor when you get back and a newfound appreciation for other workout modalities.
For many people that are regularly physically active one of the things they take into account when they travel for work or vacation is how they're going to be able to keep training. Often times hotel gyms don't have the best resources of equipment and depending on what type of gym membership you have, you might not be able to access your gym in another city if you don't belong to one of the big name gyms.
From my experiences traveling to new places for work or vacation, I've been able to use all of the listed modalities to great effect. They're simple and effective ways to stay in shape while unwinding from your normal routine.
Running: this one is my favorite while traveling because I can kill two birds with one stone. Aside from getting a workout in, I'm a bit of an explorer and love both nature and architecture. An early morning run in a new place is a great way to get acquainted with your surroundings. The best part is that wherever you're at beach, city, rural town, you'll find somewhere you can run.
sample workout: fartlek run - this is an unstructured run where you mix everything from jogging to sprinting as you please into a 40-60 minute run.
Swimming: this doesn't even feel like exercise when you're doing it on vacation at a beach and it works just as well if you're at a hotel. In a hotel setting it requires a bit more structure as you're in a confined space.
sample workout: distance swims - set a goal line of where you want to swim distance wise and go for it. When I do these on the beach I swim parallel to the shore. If done in a pool you can time your laps.
Bodyweight training: people can be quick to write off body weight training but the possibilities are endless and you can continually progress. Depending on your body weight and relative strength a body weight workout is tough as is but if you want more of a challenge just adjust your center of gravity or add explosiveness to it. As an example progress from squats to pistol squats or push-ups to plyo push ups
sample workout: 15 squats, 15 lunges, 15 glute bridges, 15 pushups, 15 second bear crawls - repeat sets as many times as possible doing them at a pace of 4 seconds on the contraction with a 2 second pause.
Shadow Boxing: this is a great aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and embarrassingly enough something I always do if I find myself in an empty elevator somewhere. You can focus on technique or conditioning by choosing your pace and what you want to do when shadow boxing. This is a workout that you could literally do in the bathroom of your hotel room.
sample workout: 9 rounds x 3 minutes each. Start the first 3 rounds practicing simple combinations you like.
Next 3 rounds incorporate more movement by using some footwork. Final 3 rounds go all out, shadow boxing at a fast pace.
Complexes: Up till now I avoided the use of a gym but if you do want to take advantage of your hotel gym when training, from what I've seen as limited as a hotel gym can be all the ones I've been to have at least had some light dumbbells (usually maxing out at like 25 lbs).
Sample workout: Grab whatever available weight they have dumbbell/barbell/kettle bell/weight plate that you know you can properly handle in a fatigued state. Set your timer for 10 minutes and do a squat-deadlift-overhead press-row until time runs out.
Resistance Bands: they're so light and easy to store that you can take them with you and workout wherever you want. You can follow any of the workouts listed above for complexes or bodyweight training to get a major pump.
Erick Avila, owner of www.ergogenichealth.com a company that provides individualized training programs and nutritional consultations for athletic events and weight loss. Erick works as a strength & conditioning coach/nutritionist with a variety of professional boxers including two ranked in the top 50 of their respective weight divisions. He’s experienced having worked in both sport and clinical settings, with focuses ranging from general weight loss to hormonal optimization. Erick has bachelor’s degrees in Exercise Science & Nutritional Science.