Easy Travel Fitness Tips

Tom Venuto's Top 10 Travel Fitness Tips

By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

Recently, I read a couple of articles about travel fitness tips. One article said that you should keep up with 50% of your regular training while you're traveling, and the other artcile said that you should keep up with one-third.

Both of these articles were written by renowned fitness experts and both said that you shouldn't expect to keep up with 100% of your regular workout program when you are traveling. This came across to me as "lame" and I thought to myself: "Why not? Why do some people have low standards and demand so little of themselves?"

Of course, sometimes traveling is for a vacation – and that includes a vacation from training. Time off from intense training is both beneficial and necessary in order to let your body recover and rebuild completely from chronic training stress.

It’s also true that once you develop a certain level of fitness it really doesn’t take much to maintain it. Thus, a shortened, but still effective, workout routine can be used, when you’re on the road.

However, you still need to think about healthy eating and just because you’re traveling, it doesn’t mean you shouldn't follow your regular exercise routine.

Here are 10 travel fitness tips that that you may find helpful.

Travel Fitness Tips - #1. Make a decision to improve while traveling and come home in better shape than when you left.

Almost every time I travel (the exception is if it’s a complete rest and relaxation vacation), I set a goal to come back home in better shape than when I left. The only reason people come home with lower fitness and a few extra pounds is because they didn’t make a decision to do otherwise.

In fact, many people believe that it’s not possible keep up with thier eating and exercise program while they are traveling! The truth is, it just takes is a decision and some effort for planning. For me, it's an exhilarating challenge to constantly try to improve myself no matter where I am.

Travel Fitness Tips - #2. Write your workout schedule in advance.

Writing down your goals on paper is often the best way to keep your mind focused and motivated. In addition to writing down goals, preferably every day, you should also put your training schedule on paper and especially when you are traveling. Write down the number of days, the time of day and exact workout you plan to do and you'll be amazed how easy you'll find it is to go to the gym and have great workouts.

Travel Fitness Tips - #3. Get a hotel room with a small kitchen... if you can!

The most important part making my travel arrangements is to book a hotel room that has some type of a kitchen, no matter how small. For me, not having a kitchen is not even an option to consider.

If you don’t have a kitchen you will be more likely to cheat on your meals or even skip meals entirely. It’s hard to eat 5 to 6 times a day (any good fat burning or muscle building program requires this), and you may be at the mercy of a restaurant or hotel food.

Travel Fitness Tips - #4. Go food shopping immediately after you check in.

The first thing I do after checking into a hotel is go to the local grocery store. Once you have stocked your refrigerator and kitchen with food, your meal planning and preparation is the same as when you are home.

Travel Fitness Tips - #5. Check the local restaurant locations and menus and make healthy choices when dining out.

Since I had a kitchen in my own hotel room, most of my meals were just business as usual. I cooked them in my hotel room and took them with me wherever I went. However, it’s likely that you will be having quite a few meals in restaurants when you are traveling.

I scope out local restaurants in advance and sometimes even check their websites. Most places have their menus online these days. I decide in advance whether a certain restaurant will be a regular meal or a "cheat meal" kind of place.

If you walk into a restaurant without making a decision in advance if you are staying on your regular meals or having a cheat meal, you are more likely to have a "diet accident". Furthermore, you can make a choice on impulse, especially if you have non-healthy-eating companions with you (never underestimate the peer pressure factor). All it takes is one unplanned cheat meal and that may often lead to guilt. After that you get into the "all or nothing thinking" which tends to set in and you tell yourself: "Well, I blew it", so then the rest of the week completely falls apart as well.

Travel Fitness Tips - #6. Cook portable foods and bring meal replacements or for long drives and flights.

I drive a lot on trips, so I pack everything in my car before I hit the road. I’ve learned how to prepare a variety of portable foods such as several types of oatmeal pancakes, tuna burgers and healthy sandwiches.

On a recent trip, I had a long drive, so I calculated the number of hours I would be on the road and the number of meals I would need and simply brought enough food with me. For two of my on-the-road meals I had oatmeal-egg white-apple-and-cinnamon pancakes and one of my meals was a high protein shake and fresh fruit. This is one of those travel fitness tips that's not difficult if you plan and pack food in advance.

Travel Fitness Tips - #7. Choose your gym or check out your hotel fitness facilities in advance.

Many people exercise in their hotel rooms with a body weight exercise program or with portable equipment. Since I’m a bodybuilder, I refuse to book hotels that don't have a fully equipped gym.

Unfortunately, hotel gyms are notorious for sounding and looking great in advertisements, but when you arrive you find that the gym is the size of a walk in closet, with a few pieces of archaic equipment that's 30 years old. There are a few exceptions, but after learning my lesson a few times, I now use the Internet to find a gym prior to my trip.

Travel Fitness Tips - #8. Pack your workout gear and bring along plenty of workout clothes.

When you pack at the last minute, you will most likely forget things, so be sure to pack plenty of workout clothes and bring other gym gear you may need (weight lifting belt, wrist straps).

Travel Fitness Tips - #9. Change your workouts as you change them up in your hometown gym.

Some of us get very accustomed to our hometown gym and we get upset or disappointed when we don’t have access to the same equipment when we travel. We feel that it cramps our style or hinders results.

However, this can soemtimes be real blessing in disguise. Your body adapts to any workout in just a matter of weeks. Thus, we tend to be victims of our own patterns. You might want to take advantage of having new and different equipment at your disposal.

After checking out the gym’s facilities, make and implement an entirely new workout program. Do something completely different. Sometimes a simple change is enough to stimulate new progress.

Travel Fitness Tips - #10. Walk, bike and make physical recreation a part of your travel plans.

Personally, I'm already in very good shape and I don’t usually count walking as part of my formal cardio program, although it might count for other people. It never hurts to do some extra activity since all physical activity burns calories and provides health benefits.

On a trip few months ago, I spent an entire afternoon hiking in a beautiful national park. On another trip, I rented a bike and rode for a few miles along the beachside.


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About the Author

Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder and author of the #1 best selling program Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle which teaches people how to burn fat without drugs or supplements using the little-known secrets of the world's best bodybuilders and fitness models.

Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and turbo-charge your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

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