“Pain in the ass comes” in two types – good and bad. Bad is traveling through stuffy airports, hot, tired and sweaty; and good is the day after super-setting jump squats with lunges and setting a new PB. If you globetrot like I do (more than 200,000 miles per year) then one of your biggest challenges is probably staying consistent with your workouts. There are three primary ways to get a great workout on the go while you’re out jet setting with the Brangelina, or just following your VP of Sales around trying to close a deal.
Make the airport your gym
Never thought of LAX or Heathrow as a CrossFit Gym? That’s one secret to staying fit on the go, adopt the mindset of everything is a workout! Ditch the roller board suitcase, leave those for flight attendants and pilots caring back bottles of duty-free scotch. You need the big old-school carry-on with just handles instead of wheels. I’ve get a really nice Louis Vuitton doctor style bag that has handles, and when it’s full it definitely works my grip strength. One carry on- bag like that and a shoulder strap laptop bag and you’ve got a decent amount of weight to be humping through the airport. While you’re popping between gates take the stairs. When you’re on an escalator; walk. There’s nothing that says you have to stand there not burning calories just because the ground is moving below you and everyone else is not moving.. Of course the same is true for moving walkways. Lastly, when I fly commercial I generally wear ankle weights, there’re easy on and off for security but they’re heavier than any hiking or mountaineering boots that I might be using when I’m on an expedition. If you create a mindset that you can workout while you travel you’ll find a way. I’ll even do squats in the airplane bathroom to keep the circulation going. The sky is the…well let’s say your imagination is the limit.
Choose your hotels carefully
There are two things I demand in a hotel no matter where I am, one is free Wi-Fi and the other is a decent gym. Sometimes this is super easy; like being in San Francisco or Chicago. Other times it can be close to impossible like Kathmandu, where potable water can be a luxury. The hotel choice is critical because you can have an easy time getting a workout in or tough time just by your choice. There are many hotels that are part of a bike sharing program, or even have access to professional classes like yoga, spin, Pilates or abs. Even Expedia let’s you filter for a hotel gym when you book.
One other easy on-the-go hack – No matter where you are staying- every night before you go to bed do my 100-50-50 set. It’s about 6-7 minutes to do and consists of 100 sit ups or crunches, 50 push-ups, and 50 squats or Burpee’s. Break them up however you have to to complete the 100-50-50 but do them all. Not only does it build muscle but it gets your metabolism active burning calories and repairing mitochondria while you sleep. There’s no excuse not to do this even every night traveling or at home.
Arrive early or stay late for an adventure
If I’m traveling for filming or to speak to a group and it’s someplace new; I always add a few extra days before or after the event. You can always find adventure no matter where you are and make a day dedicated not to travel but to working out and living big. I was at a YPO conference in Dubai this past spring and I had never been there before. Along with the usual tourist stuff like going up the world’s tallest building; I wanted to experience a local adventure. So a buddy of mine and I booked motocross bikes in the desert for an afternoon. It was an absolute blast; riding motorcycles in the sand dunes is a great core workout, it got me scared, which I do at least once a month, and it was definitely something I could only do in the desert in Dubai. It really felt special.
There you have three great strategies for staying fit and getting a good workout on the go. Finding the adventurer within means keeping a great balance between body and mind. Thomas Jefferson said you should do 1 to 2 hours of exercise every day, and I firmly believe that to have a sound body and a sound mind it requires consistency no matter where you are.
PS – if you have any other thoughts, comments or suggestions please leave them down in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you think. If you know other people who travel a lot and struggle to stay fit; share this article with them maybe it will help them find their adventure within too!