With a change in eating habits and fitness routine during one’s travels, a fit person can end up unfit upon one’s return.
It only takes two weeks of inactivity to become deconditioned!
Depending on one’s fitness level, one can rebound fairly quickly by getting back into a balanced fitness routine. To achieve and maintain one’s fitness, workouts should focus on these main components: cardio, muscle conditioning, flexibility and core. In time, one can develop other aspects to higher level fitness i.e. power, speed, agility and coordination.
There are general guidelines for how often one should work out for each of the main components and it will vary with fitness level, overall health and age.
cardio, 4 times a week; muscle conditionning, 2-3 times a week with a day of rest in between;
flexibility and core, everyday
Cardio exercise, such as running and cycling, raises the heart rate and aims to sustain it at an elevated level (50-80% of maximum heart rate) for at least 20 minutes continuously. Muscle conditioning introduces resistance to the muscles in order to develop endurance and strength. Popular methods include weight training with dumbbells/bars and body weight exercises. Flexibility exercises such as yoga and stretching help the body achieve and maintain natural movement through its full range of motion. Core work tends to focus on abdominal and back exercises but should also include exercises for the hips. The core is the body’s foundation for proper movement and good posture.
Easy Tips for Keeping Fit While Travelling:
- Bring a good pair of cross trainers. They can be used on long walks or for a light jog.
- Walk everywhere! Exploring a destination on foot unearths treasures that remain hidden when riding in a vehicle.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator at your hotel. Some older or smaller hotels don’t give you a choice as the elevator, if any, is often not functional.
- Bring some tubing to do resistance work.
- Use body weight exercises (e.g. a push-up) for resistance training.
- Cultivate a yoga practice for strength and flexibility.
- Be active on your trip by swimming in the (calm, shark-free) ocean, hiking/cycling tours, etc.
Hilly destinations are nature’s stairmaster.
Navigating the urban inclines of Wellington, New Zealand; San Francisco, California and Halifax, Nova Scotia will surely get your heart rate up.