Out Of Your Routine
As we get into the holiday season, many of us will be traveling at some point. We will be taken away from our normal routines and from our normal training environment. We will also be faced with numerous edible temptations. While a few days of relaxing and spending time with family are often needed, this all can quickly snowball into a nightmare scenario for an athlete (or fitness enthusiast). The combo of too much bad food and limited training options to help burn it all off can make it tough to get back in the swing of things after the holidays. So what can be done to combat this? First off, don’t eat too many of those cookies that you love so much. Relax and enjoy the food but don’t go crazy. So what about the limited training options? While you may be taken away from your normal routine, you can still find ways to get some work done.
Here Are Some Ideas:
- Hotel Fitness Centers - This can be hit or miss. While some hotels have a great fitness center, others either don’t have one or ought to just scrap what they do have. If the center has some cardio equipment and has some weightlifting options (machines, dumbbells, etc), you should be in good shape.
- Local Gym - While not all hotels have a good fitness center, some do have deals with local gyms. Even if they don’t, you can probably find somewhere that will let you work out a few times for a small fee. Don’t be afraid to call around and try to negotiate something with them.
- Cross Training - Maybe this is a good time to switch things up some. You may do a great job lifting and doing speed and agility work. How are you in the pool? Try something different. Using different movements and muscles is often a good thing.
- Exercise Bands - Oftentimes bands are used to make a traditional exercise harder. How about using them by themselves? You may have to get creative, but you can get some work for yourself by using them. They are a fairly cheap investment, pack into a suitcase easily, and can be used in a hotel room. For ideas on how to use them to train, read this article from Stack.
- Body Weight Exercises - Ah, the old fashioned push-up. Combine these with sit-ups, chair dips, body weight squats, lunges, and anything else that you can come up with for a workout. If you have a workout partner, use them for resistance on some exercises (ex. lateral raises).
- Shadow Box - Don’t want to strength train? Try shadow boxing. All you need is yourself, a mirror/wall, and a little imagination. No other equipment needed. This is another great example of a cross-training activity.
- Jumping Rope - Cheap, simple, easy to pack in a suitcase, and a great way to develop your athletic skills. Many athletes don’t jump rope enough, in my opinion. Use this as a chance to work it into your training.
- Playground Workout - No gym nearby? Find a playground. They often have monkey bars that you can use for pull ups and dips. Add in some other bodyweight exercises and you are all set. Many areas also have nice fitness trails that include the equipment needed to do these same activities.
- The Power Drill - In high school, our coaches used to have us do this drill. We were to jog in place for 20 minutes. During this time, we would have numerous passive stretches and bodyweight exercises inserted into the jogging (ex “do 5 squats”, “do 10 sit ups”, etc). We would always end with some plyos and a 30 second sprint in place. I’ve used this many times before both for athletes and in my own workouts. Give it a try.
- Go For A Run - Ah, a good, old fashioned run. It doesn’t get much simpler than this. All you need is yourself and a sidewalk, park, track, or trail. You can focus on jogging , intervals, or sprints. It’s all up to you and what your goals are.
So there you have it, a list of things that you can do when you’re out of your normal training location. Obviously we all want to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. Many people also try to plan in some down time so that their bodies can rest and recover. That is fine. Unfortunately sometimes we get into situations when we should be training and we don’t. By using some of the ideas on this list, you can’t say “I did have any way to train”. You can train. The question is, how badly do you want to??? If you want to bad enough, you will find a way.
** Many of these ideas can also be used to change up your workouts any time (rain days, active rest days, etc)
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