Fitness Coach Lunden: My 8 Simple Tricks to Stay Fit While Traveling

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do in the world. To be more specific, going for exploration runs, hikes and doing outdoor bodyweight training in different parts of the world is really at the top of my list. And the great thing is that I get to travel a lot both for work and for pleasure.

Frau macht Side Lunges

Whether it be jumping on a plane to teach a workout in Tokyo, hopping on a train to Munich for a LIVE Workout Party or heading home to the states to visit my family – I truly love being on-the-go.
However, staying in shape, energized, fit and healthy isn’t always easy when you find yourself in a different country, at an airport, on a train or even jet lagged. Stress and lack of sleep from traveling (as well as jet lag) can oftentimes play tricks on us leading us to think we are hungrier than we actually are and, of course, make us feel tired, lazy and unmotivated.

A guy who makes a push-up.

In this posting, I want to share with you the ways that I stay on top of my training and how I eat healthy while still enjoying myself on my travels. Of course, it’s okay to indulge and relax if you are traveling for pleasure, but for those of us who travel a lot for work – you won’t reach your goals if you treat every business trip like a vacation…trust me!

1. Hydrate constantly

Of course, we all know the importance of drinking water, but how many of us are actually taking it seriously and drinking up? To know how much water you should be drinking, you can calculate 30-35 ml per kg of bodyweight. Then add 500-1000 ml per hour of exercise (especially if you sweat a lot!). For me, this comes out to be about 3 L with exercise. I kick it up to 3-4 L when traveling. This keeps me alert, focused and energized and also forces me to get up and move a lot on the plane or train to go to the bathroom.

2. Don’t eat airplane food

To be honest, this is just a personal preference. I never understood why they serve pasta, chips and sweets on a plane when everyone is sitting. Traveling can often mess up your bathroom schedule, let alone with all that food sitting in your stomach. Instead of eating airplane food, bring some fruit, veggies (choose ones with a higher water content like cucumber) and nuts if you’re on a long flight.

A cropped shot of a woman chopping a variety of fresh fruit in her kitchen

3. Eat the meal of the time zone you are in when you arrive at your location

I once watched an interview with a bunch of professional golfers talking about how they deal with time zone changes and having to perform at their best upon arriving. Their biggest tip was fasting (not eating) on the plane, drinking tons of water and then eating the meal of the time zone upon arrival. I have been doing that for many years and it totally helps. If you stuff your face on the plane, you arrive feeling tired, full and sluggish. Of course, this one meal isn’t going to completely alter your internal clock, but it does help a lot to adjust to the time.

4. Move, move, move

You don’t have to jump right back into your gym or bodyweight training routine right when you arrive – but start doing something immediately (the next day at the latest). Go for a walk, run, bike ride or open up those tight hips with some yoga poses. Stiff muscles, exhaustion and fatigue are not a good mix – get those endorphins flowing!

Adriene Mishler doing Yoga

5. Go grocery shopping for your hotel

Think fruit, veggies, nuts, nut butters, hard-boiled eggs, etc. This will help hold you over in between meals and perhaps even be a meal. I really love eating breakfast, so I usually will have a big breakfast at the hotel or a restaurant, a smaller snack (of the foods purchased at the grocery store) for lunch and then out for dinner with friends, colleagues or business partners.

6. Walk everywhere

Explore the city you’re in on foot, walk to your business meetings if possible and then walk some more – the benefits of walking are huge! I was recently in Madrid to teach a LIVE Workout Party and we tracked over 20,000 steps per day just from exploring and walking from place to place instead of going by taxi. Even though I work out 5-6 days per week, my feet and legs hurt after all that walking – win!

7. You don’t have to eat all the food on the menu

I know, it’s exciting to be in a new place and to try out all of the delicious cuisine. But, nine times out of 10 you’re going to finish your meal with, “Whoa, I am so full. I ate too much!” If you want to try a few things, share with someone. You don’t need to have five of something when you could share and have one or two. If there’s something else you really want to try, try it tomorrow. This abundance mindset is really important – the food isn’t going to magically disappear if you don’t eat it right now, I promise!

8. Be present

Put down your phone and look around you! Be present in the location you are – it’s beautiful, isn’t it? Traveling can be stressful, even if it is for vacation. Allow yourself the time to breathe in the fresh air, look up at the sky, listen to the birds, watch the people walking by and just be HERE, NOW!

Do any of you have wanderlust like me? Let me know your fit tips for travel in the comments below. And, don’t forget to download the Runtastic Results app for quick and effective on-the-go workouts you can do anywhere in the world!

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Lunden Souza Lunden is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach. She inspires Runtastics around the world with her fitness & nutrition tips and workouts on YouTube. View all posts by Lunden Souza »

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