Are you a road warrior? Tend to spend most of your day in a car and in hotels? Yup, I'm one of those people. Being a road warrior isn't easy, that's for sure.
Are you finding that your workouts are falling to the way side and that your diet is going down the toilet? It doesn't have to be that way, with a little planning you will be able to still maintain or improve your physique even though you are constantly on the road where nothing is consistent.
This article will give you some ideas and tips on how to make your travels more fitness oriented.
- Let's face it, hotel gyms aren't the best for those of us who are accustomed to working out in a "real" gym or health club. Hotel gyms are normally small and only carry light dumbbells or possible a couple cable machine pieces that hit some of the major muscle groups.
Normally the main pieces you will find in a hotel gym are cardio pieces. Most hotel gyms have treadmills, bikes, steppers, and even ellipticals. Other than that, the machines and free weights we are used to seeing are nowhere to be found. Will this deter you from working out? I hope not! You just need to improvise. We all know that you are used to throwing around some serious weight, but obviously right now you don't have a choice in the matter. You have to deal with what you got.
- With that being said, you need to change your workout around so that you can hit the body parts you want to hit with a good muscle-stimulating workout. What does this mean? It means you have to go lighter and do more
- . This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Think about it - you are used to doing heavy weights in the gym and that is primarily the only type of training you do weight resistance-wise.
What have we all learned over the years of studying training protocols? You need to change things up to hit the muscle differently and force it into growing. It's all about stimulating the muscle and resting/feeding the muscle to recover and grow. So changing things up to a "light day" isn't the worst thing that can happen to you. In fact, it might take your training and results to the next level.
Depending on what hotel you stay in, if the cardio equipment isn't your thing, some hotels have an indoor pool. This is not only a great place to relax and cool down after a workout, but it is also a great place to do cardio. Cardio in the pool can range from walking laps to swimming. If you are simply cooling down, I would recommend simply walking around in the pool. But if cardio is your mission, feel free to do some pool exercises like running in place and speed walking around the perimeter of the pool (depending on depth) to really bring the heart rate up.
- The water in the pool gives you some resistance so it makes it great all-around workout. Another incentive to use the pool for cardio is that it is very forgiving on the joints. The water prevents the heavy and constant pounding on the knees as compared to walking on concrete.
- Obviously if you are
- , majority of the time you will be staying in a hotel if you don't have friends in the surrounding area who's house you can crash at. If the hotel gym just doesn't do it for you, walk up to the front desk and ask them if there are any surrounding gyms or health clubs not too far from their location.
Most of the time hotels and surrounding gyms partner up and exchange passes. If this is the case, they may be able to hook you up with a free day pass so you can use the local gyms facilities for free (free is good, right?).
- You could always do a little research yourself and beforehand you can surf the web and find gyms local to the hotel you will be staying at so you at least have an idea if one is available. I would say MAJORITY of the time, there is always a gym local to a hotel, you just might need to ask where it is located.
If you don't mind the travel and you need the heavy weights, this will be your best bet to get in the workout that you are accustomed to doing at home.
If you plan on being in that area numerous times throughout the year, talk to a manager or sales consultant at the gym and see if they can hook you up with some type of deal where you can use the gym for so many visits for a certain price and in turn they will give you a punch card or something similar to use.
- Another little trick that I have learned (I used to work in a gym so I know how it goes) is if you go into a gym and mention that you are interested in joining the gym but you would like to try it out first, most of the time they will either let you try it out free for that day or they can give you a pass to allow you to use their facility for a couple days.
This will solve your workout problem while on the road. The downside to this is that if you decide to go to their gym again in the future, they will have your name on file and will know you pulled one over on them the last time and will make you pay. But if you have no intention of going back to that gym, by all means give my tip a try and see if you can score some free visits.
What do you have to lose? Worst thing they could say is that they don't do that and they will make you pay a guest fee for the day. So give it a shot.
Food On The Run
- This is extremely tough, probably the hardest thing to do when you are a road warrior. Your main objective while on the road is obviously to make sales - with that being said you try and make as many stops as you can without too many interruptions.
Most people end up going to a fast food restaurant that is high in fat and calories simply because they can be in and out fairly quickly. I urge you to skip these types of places altogether if you can. There is nothing on the menu that will help you reach your fitness goals (unless you are trying to achieve fat slop status).
What I recommend to do is as soon as you get into a town or the start of a day, head out a little early and hit up a grocery store. Get a gallon of water so you have it for all day long to sip on. You can also pick up some canned tuna or even some chicken breast from the deli that you can eat as meals or snacks throughout the day.
- are quick and easy to pick up at the store and eat in the car. It is very simple to plan out the day's meals, you just need to take the time to do it and get to the grocery store.
If you plan on carrying a lot of things that need to be cold, look into car refrigerators. They are small and compact and plug right into your cigarette lighter in your car. This makes it easy to carry water, protein shakes, and food that needs to be refrigerated.
- In my opinion, they are worth the money in the long run. They make planning meals quick and easy when all you need to do is open up the fridge and grab a meal out of it.
If your company allows you to expense your meals while on the road then you have it made. You can expense your grocery list and make sure you have the food you need throughout the day. Dinner's you can treat yourself a little bit. For instance, when on the road, I enjoy going somewhere and getting a nice steak or chicken breast with some broccoli and a sweet potato. I know, it's very simple but it is again a much better choice than getting greasy fast food.
- Like I mentioned above, the best thing to take on the road with you is
- . Grab yourself a gallon of water and take it with you each day to sip. It is very important (not only while on the road) to always stay hydrated.
Water is very inexpensive and if you want you can fill up your gallon jug each day at the hotel if you don't feel like going out each day just to buy a gallon of water.
- After a while I do recommend to throw away the gallon jug and purchase a new one simply because of bacteria growth on the jug itself. The last thing you want to do when you are a road warrior is get sick. That makes traveling horrible. Nothing like being stuck in a car all day while you are sick and needing to continually make stops throughout the day to take care of your business.
Get Plenty Of Rest
- is a necessity not only when you are a road warrior, but for everyone in general. Most people don't get enough quality sleep each night. People stay up too late and wake up too early and never get their proper rest. This is common when on the road all day.
Once you are done for the day and are in your hotel room, now you have to fill out all your paperwork or make your notes on your laptop about the days events. This could mean your normal 8-9 hour day turns into a 10-12 hour day. Add that up with the stress of being on the road and you could be on your way to getting sick due to not enough rest and the presence of high stress levels.
- Strive for at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Not only will you wake up feeling better, but you will also find that mentally you are more aware and sharp throughout the day.
There's nothing worse than walking into a client or account and looking like you haven't slept in days. You want to present yourself professionally - not like the walking dead. So do yourself a favor and make sleep a priority on your list of things to do.
Enjoy A Massage
- Day in and day out you are sitting behind the wheel of your car. Depending on the size of your car, you could be cramped up all day long. This takes its toll on your body.
You will find that your muscles are tighter (still neck or sore back) and ache. This is a sign that you need to get some work done on your muscles. More than likely you have numerous knots in you muscles (especially your back) that need to be worked out to get proper blood flow back into your muscles.
- I recommend going to get a
- at least once a month. This will help you not only relax but it will help you relieve some stress. After the massage, make sure to drink plenty of water to help flush the toxins out of your body that were just broken up due to the massage.
- This is something that is very important to those of you who have a family - whether it be just a husband/wife or a spouse with kids. You need to make sure your family comes first. My boss always stresses that and I value what he is saying.
No matter how much money you make out on the road, what you have at home is more important than anything else in the world - and you need to make sure they know that. All the money in the world won't bring you a loving husband/wife and children.
When you come home on the weekends or whatever days you are off from work, you need to make sure that is your time with your family. Turn off the Blackberry, shut down your laptop, and enjoy your time with your family. Then when it's time to go back to work, get down to business. But your down time is yours and you need that time to get away from work and go back to the things that ground you.
If you find that work is interfering with your family, then you need to decide what means more to you - and hopefully you know the correct answer to that.
Traveling can be a fun time, don't get me wrong - you get to see a lot of interesting places during your travels. But make sure that work doesn't turn you from your family. They need you just as much as you need your job. You simply need to find a happy medium between the two and be able to separate work time from family time.