Keeping fit and looking fantastic while on a weekend away or a long vacation is simple if you take your gym with you. Nikki Fogden-Moore shares her top 10 tips
1. Be creative
Think outside the box of your normal exercise routine. Try to remember exercises, stretchesand routines that you do each week in a class or with your trainer and do these on your own. Learn from your current routine at home so you can take it away and mix and match while you are travelling. Try new things!
2. Pack light
For a weekend away, for me it’s my running shoes and an outfit or two, depending on the location. If I am going for longer I pack CrankIt straps and a skipping rope. Ask to borrow a yoga mat from your hotel or just put on your shoes and head out the door to explore the city or the countryside. Hire equipment, like a surfboard, bike or stand-up paddle board. You’ll be working out without knowing it!
3. Discover the area on foot or by bike
Swap heels for trainers and see the sites. Even if you’re on a shopping weekend, you can get up a bit earlier or take time during the afternoon to walk the city. Explore the shops before they open to know your way around. The best way to get a feel for the place you are staying is to discover it on foot or by bicycle.
4. Use core workouts
Or express sessions if you have limited time. Ninety per cent of my yearly travel is for work and I am on the road every week with early starts and late finishes. This means very limited time to train or do longer, more regular exercise sessions. I counterbalance this with daily express sessions; for example:
» 15-minute Express Session: Quick walk or jog followed by a superset of 25 push-ups, 25 crunches, 25 tricep dips and 25 prisoner squats. Finish with three yoga poses to stretch; for example, downward dog, triangle pose and a classic forward bend.
» Island Fit Express Session: Jetty run or skip, ocean swim, sunrise stretch, water sports for most of the day then a sunset stretch or core session.
» Skiing this season? Add some core work and stretching to get an integrated workout, prevent injury and get the most out of your time away.
5. Pack some suspension straps
I always take these on trips of four days or more and it ensures I can train on the spot for just 15 minutes a day, or longer combined with cardio.
6. Skip your way fit
Lightweight and super easy to pack, a skipping rope will roll up and fit in your shoe. I pack one with me for weekends and long trips. Skip as a warm-up and cool-down at different tempos, then add your core work and body weight exercises in between. You’ll be surprised how effective skipping is for agility and cardio condition.
7. Use nature as your gym
Embrace the surroundings. If you are on an island or beach holiday, head to the water for your workouts. In the countryside or even in a city that has amazing parks, head out and explore by hiking, running, walking, biking or even look at horse riding for a more adventurous twist. Try surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, windsurfing or kite surfing to get some fresh air and wake up some muscles you may never have known you had.
8. Use the gym or hotel pool
Research where you are staying and what facilities they have on site. Pack your swim goggles and squeeze in a few laps between meals and other activities. Swimming is a refreshing way to get fit if you are not into running and great if you are dealing with niggling injuries, to provide rehab and toning.
9. If you are a gym bunny
Look at getting a 10-pass session for a local gym, spin or Pilates class – it’s an amazing way to meet new people and be inspired by different instructors and places to work out. Going shopping in a cool, new city? Chances are they have incredible boutique gyms and studios with single entry passes. Do your research, ask people who may live in the area, or even check out the local Lululemon or fitness store for regular classes and join in. Lululemon recently launched the Om Finder app, which helps you locate yoga in the area.
10. Save articles and workouts
All articles that feature body weight exercises are perfect takeaway fitness solutions. Download Women’s Health & Fitness magazine on your iPad and do my workouts or those from other trainers on the road – there are workout videos in every issue. Load up your ipad with exercise videos you’ve downloaded or take a snapshot of the exercises on your phone if you can’t take the mag with you. Also get back to basics and go for some functional fitness while you are away. Download yoga videos or apps that have a variety of exercises.
Finally, listen to your body. If you are tired, rest, relax and eat healthily to recharge and rejuvenate. Find exercise while you are away that seamlessly fits into your day, creates a moment to switch off and helps you to explore your new environment – whether it’s cityscapes, seascapes or stunning landscapes!
Remember: regular short, quality exercise sessions also create lasting change. Health and fitness is a lifestyle and a daily practice no matter where you may be.
*For this month’s iPad video, I will be giving you my top-five ‘travel fit’ exercises filmed on location at Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives. We integrate these five core exercises with as much cardio as possible, but if you’re in a hurry to make happy hour, you can do them on their own and still get the perks.
Photo credit: Keith Hamlyn