As I sit home with the family during our mandatory travel related quarantine, I’ve had a chance to think over some of the ways to keep the fitness going when you are away. Now, as a three sport fella, it isn’t always possible to get in all of the disciplines when you are away. In fact normally I will only get in running, and when lucky, an easy swim. That’s not a reason to stop moving though, so here are a few things I’ll typically do when we travel.
This recent trip was to Disney and there are still a considerable amount of restrictions in place. Limited access to fitness centers, you have to wear a mask EVERYWHERE including when running etc. I don’t think I have it in me to run in a mask, so for my runs, I went off property. In fact I was able to drive to a quiet development and put in some road miles before it got too hot out. For those that have been to Disney, you know that there is a lot of walking involved. In fact our long day of walking around EPCOT tallied up at just shy of 14 miles. So you are always on the move, which is an important point. Keep moving! Find a place to run if you can and get in some early morning cardio, but either way stay active.
It is pretty painless to pack a pair of running shoes or a swimsuit and goggles, and to save space you can stuff your suit into the shoes. Early morning exploration runs are the best, and if you can quietly escape, you won’t wake up the family.
Assuming you are going to dodge the fitness centers, which in most hotels are lacking anyway, what are some quick ways to get your swell on?
Pull ups on a tree are a favorite. These are great because they are always different when branches grow at odd angles. It makes you work a bit harder than what you are used to. Can’t find a tree, if you are at an outdoor facing hotel like Disney typically has, hanging off the second floor ledge might be an option. Admittedly this could be too high for some, so bring a towel to loop around the bottom of the railing. When you are below it should help to reach. Same goes for a tree, but running with a towel can be annoying.
Pushups, burpees, and walking lunges ftw. These winners can be done anywhere and make a standard run a bit more entertaining. Sprinkle in sets every 5 minutes on the run, and alternate the exercises. Put your feet on a bench, rock, or step if you want to make the pushups a bit harder.
Planks are another great one you can easily do outside of your hotel room or pretty much anywhere. Switch it up with a few marching planks or by dipping your hips to the ground. This is one of those cumulative exercises for me, meaning that the first set or two is pretty easy, but it quickly starts to suck after that.
As for the swim, I have stayed in some hotels with great pools and some with not so great pools. If you have a lazy river, and it isn’t too crowded, swim upstream. This makes you work a bit harder and is pretty unique. Very different than a lap pool, and probably closer to OWS than you think. For small pools, you can hang your feet on the ladder and work on stroke drills. Don’t expect to get much more out of your time than that unless you brought a tether.
When you travel try to plan ahead and figure out how you will keep up your routine. Do not, I repeat do not forget you are on vacation. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in training and miss the whole point of taking a break with the family. Relax. Enjoy the workouts when they come and when you can do them, but for a few days don’t make them the focus. You need downtime as much as you need to train.