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All of us have priorities. For me, traveling is near the top of my list — just under staying healthy. Unfortunately, the two don’t always go hand-in-hand—but in my globetrotting adventures, I’ve managed to learn a few tricks.
1. Plan ahead. If staying at a hotel, inquire about the hotel’s gym facilities. Ask about the equipment and browse pictures on the website. A lot of hotels claim to have gyms, but it’s actually a glorified storage closet with a few pieces of equipment that look borrowed from the Flintstones. If staying at a house or property, search online for any nearby facilities. Call local gyms and ask about short-term rates and make a game plan. Get your ducks in a row.
2. Remember that there’s no such thing as “vacation” calories. You’ve probably heard people try to justify an unhealthy meal by saying, “It’s okay. I’ m on vacation.” While there is nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, it’s important to remember the obvious: Your body doesn’t process food differently when you’re on a vacation. Calories are calories, plain and simple. And the more you travel, the more important this rule becomes.
3. Stay hydrated. It’s easy not to get your daily requirement of water while traveling. And it’s much easier to opt for soft drinks, alcohol, etc. Make an effort to drink water—it provides a ton of great benefits including a boost to your metabolism and a curbing of your appetite.
4. Use your feet. One of the best ways to explore a new city is on foot, and it’s also great exercise. Push yourself to walk (instead of buses, cabs and the like). It will help counteract some of those extra calories we tend to consume while traveling—and you’ll probably discover a few hidden gems along the way.
5. Be flexible. Exercise doesn’t need to be “all or nothing.” Maybe your typical gym routine is 60 minutes, and you only have 30 minutes of free time. As Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work.” Do what you can with what you’ve got! 30 minutes of exercise is better than zero minutes of exercise.
6. Stock the mini-fridge. For the record, there is nothing “mini” about this bar’s caloric content. If possible, squeeze some of your own grocery items into the space between the candy bars, chips and candy. I like to stock up on fresh cut fruit, veggies and sandwiches. Making smart choices with the mini-fridge will help you cut down on killer restaurant meals.
7. Exercise in your room. If your accommodations don’t include a fitness facility—or if you’re not adventurous enough to use it—fear not. You can get a great workout in the comfort of your room. Browse some aerobic videos on YouTube to get some cardio, and use your bodyweight as resistance for strength training. There are a million possibilities—including these 17 push-up variations that I filmed while on vacation in a New Hampshire treehouse.
Being a frequent traveler doesn’t need to be a death sentence for your fitness program or a prescription for obesity. Keep your game face on—and I think you’ll be pleased with the results: More energy, better sleep and increased immune system performance, just to name a few.
Davey Wavey is a professional YouTuber and personal trainer whose shirtless adventures take him around the world. To learn more about Davey, like him on Facebook here.