Travelling can take a toll on you mentally and physically.
Time zone changes and unfamiliar sleeping quarters alter sleep patterns, common meal schedules and content can be interrupted, and lack of exercise facilities or unfamiliar terrain can hamper exercise routines.
Whether you are on holiday or you travel frequently for business, life on the road can be tiring and, perhaps, become detrimental to your health.
If you can maintain an exercise routine, however, this can help restore regular sleep patterns, increase your energy level and improve your health.
Here are some tips to achieve this.
Plan ahead and check into what opportunities lie ahead of you.
For example, does your destination have a fitness facility, is the area amenable to walking, do you need running shoes and workout gear?
Unfortunately, sometimes the hotel’s fitness facility leaves something to be desired.
The good news for doing strengthening exercises is that you can do many exercises with little or no equipment.
As a matter of fact, according to many leading fitness magazines, the biggest fitness trend of the year is exercising without equipment.
There are the old stand-by calisthenic styles of exercise, including jumping jacks, push-ups, burpees and other ‘free-body’ exercises.
Some newer versions of these exercises would include planks, mountain climbers, lunges, one leg dead lifts, wall-squats, Supermans, and countless others.
Small, light items such as resistance tubing and skipping rope are easy to pack and can be used to add variety to the routine.
How you structure the routine is up to you. You can get a great workout by doing high intensity exercise for a shorter overall time frame and one of the many protocols that have been successful following a Tabata structure.
This procedure involves doing 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for four minutes (eight cycles).
This is then repeated for a number of sets, depending on how fit the individual is.
You can repeat the same exercise for each 20-second segment, or you can change to a different exercise on each segment.
There are a number of other interval protocols with slightly different timing variations that are just as successful and make for a compact workout for people who don’t have much opportunity to exercise when travelling.
If you do choose a high intensity program, just remember your body needs to be ready for it.
Remember to do stretching as part of your routine. No equipment is required, the movements are easy to perform, and it makes you feel relaxed instantly.
Stretching is also a very important component of fitness.
Schedule your workouts in your day-timer or phone. Scheduled sessions tend to happen more regularly.
It can also help to see your successful workouts written down – this can be motivating.
There are a whole variety of very useful phone apps for keeping track of workouts to interval timing for Tabata or other interval routines.
Start on your first day of your trip, whether in the airline terminal, at the hotel or on the plane, even if you are just doing some stretching. You will be reaffirming your commitment to your routine and it will help relieve the stress and fatigue of travelling.
And, finally, try and find fun activities to do that you will enjoy. If it’s swimming or hiking, look for the local pool or trail.
The more enjoyable the activity, the more likely you are to be consistent.
It is also helpful to include some endurance activities like running, hiking or brisk walking.
You can enjoy life on the road more if you keep active, stay healthy and maintain good sleep patterns.
Kerry Senchyna holds a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology and is owner of West Coast Kinesiology in Maple Ridge .