009 || Diaries of a Coach – 5 Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel

Considering we live in a city of transplants and unicorns, I’m assuming most of you, like me, have some degree of traveling to do this holiday season. When I think about the two trips I have planned, whatever routine, whatever consistency I’ve developed in regard to my workouts, seems highly threatened. Anyone else?

Well here I come in my red cape to save the day! Tips for surviving holiday travel without losing precious ground toward your fitness goals.

*I feel like it’s also worth mentioning here, it’s going to be ok. If you drop the ball on these things for a week, all. is. not. lost. Promise. Alright boo, here we go.

1) Get creative.

I recently moved to an old ranch house in the middle of no where. Seriously, it’s the epitome of country living. Like, we have coyotes. Need I say more? Anyways, one of my roommates introduced me to what she calls “driveway sprints”. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Sprint out, walk back. Sprint out, walk back. DOESN’T THAT SOUND FUN?!?! Ok, no, but all you need is a driveway, a road, a stretch of sidewalk or even some stairs. This is essentially interval training, in it’s simplest form, alternating between work intervals where your heart rate is between 70-90% of you max heart rate (which is 220 – your age), and rest intervals where the heart rate comes down to 60-65% of your max heart rate. HIIT training is a great way to burn fat, build endurance, and leave you feeling accomplished after any degree of sedentary traveling. Win!

My point is this, get creative with what you have. Maybe there’s a nearby park, AMRAP your little heart out with pull ups, push ups, squats and sprints. If you have to goblet squat a kid, do it. Your fitness goals are on the line! I’m kidding, please don’t harm a child.

2) Hydrate.

Did you know traveling can dehydrate you? Particularly if you are flying, the lack of humidity in the air on a plane can easily cause dehydration, fatigue and increased risk for airborne sickness. So sip on some water folks. Not only will this help decrease the risks involved with travel but it will help your body with digestion and nutrient absorption, body temperature and blood circulation, and joint and muscle movement, all important for muscle growth and recovery. Hydrating will also cleanse the body and rehydrate if (or maybe when) food and alcohol consumption are slightly elevated. (That was a nice way to put it, right? Read: When you eat like shit and are drunk off your ass.)

3) Plan good nutritional choices.

Traveling usually lends itself to the most inconsistent of diets. Eating out, eating late, eating too much or too little. When I’m traveling I usually try to abide by my “make more good choices than bad” rule. This allows me the room to enjoy life but to feel good at the end of the day, mentally and physically, about my nutrition.

Two ideas (one I’m pretty good at, the other, not so much):

Pack healthy snack options for travel days and you’ll save time and money trying to find them in an airport or on the road. I will admit, I’m a sucker for travel snacks. It’s part of the experience, right?!? But here’s my promise to you CFA, I’m going to pack my snacks this year! Hold me to it.

This one I actually enjoy and do pretty well. When eating out, look at menus ahead of time. Find a healthy option and decide what you’re going to order, that way, the decision is made when you get there and you don’t even have to look! Enjoy your time and the people you’re with instead!

4) Find a gym.

Not sure where you may be headed but for me, going home always reminds me how fortunate I am to live in a city so centered around activity with such easy access to multitudes of fitness outlets. A lot of cities just don’t have many options, so this is a huge struggle for me. Luckily, after multiple trips and attempts, I did find a great CrossFit gym near my sister’s. So keep looking, do some research ahead of time and make sure you are aware of drop-in protocol. Post in our members group and see if anyone has been to your destination and found an exceptional gym or ask a coach about an affiliate gym in our business network.

If you’re staying in a hotel, use the gym or fitness center there! Don’t be a CrossFit snob, get your butt in there and get some resistance training/accessory work or cardio knocked out. Find a coach and get some suggestions that will help you make specific progress where you need it.

5) Take some gear. 

This one may or may not be possible depending on your travel mode and destination. Bring some equipment that will not only make workouts possible, but remind you to do it! Bring a foam roller or lacrosse ball, do some mobility and soft tissue work. Bring a jump rope to get in some cardio or skill work on those dreaded double unders. Resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, all very transportable if you’re location is within driving distance.

Ultimately, move. Planned and unplanned, programmed and unprogrammed, structured and unstructured. Enjoy life and the capability you have to be active. Explore new places, try new activities, have FUN and MOVE with friends and family this holiday season! Good luck out there!

-Coach E

Travel WOD:

Pyramid Workout

Complete 10 rounds, decreasing reps each round (10-9-8-7…etc.)
Each round will end with a timed sprint or sprint for distance (30 sec. or about 100m)

Squats (weighted if possible)
Glute Bridge (weighted if possible) or Kettlebell Swing
Sprint out/walk back (return trip is your rest/recovery)