Whether you’re going on holiday for the week or indefinite nomad like me, there is countless reasons to keep your workout routine up. The obvious benefits of training still apply equally wherever you are in the world, but here are 5 specific benefits of working out whilst travelling.
- Back to basics – If you’re from the UK, USA, Aus, Europe etc. You’re most likely used to a pristine clean, shiny new ‘health club’ with TV’s in the cardio machines. Even if you’re a serious trainer, your gym is still likely quite a sterile environment. Abroad, however, things are often a little different. For example, you’re in a locals gym in a developing country, which by your normal account is prehistoric. I am willing to bet they will have the required equipment for you to get a great workout in, precisely because they don’t waste resources on superfluous gadgets like seated bicep curl machines and 7 different flavours of ‘functional’ wobbly things. Having basic/limited equipment will keep you grounded in basic principles that underpin all successful physiques.
- Sun & sweat – If you’re in a hot country (I’m assuming home isn’t hot on this one), you might be lucky enough to find an open air gym, or a gym on the beach. Let me tell you, working out in an open air gym, with the sun twinkling down on you is a whole lot more satisfying than the air-conditioned office-basement at home. The endorphins of working out combined with the feel good factor of the sun and fresh air will have you on top of the world. This of course applies even more to those who are in to running, cycling, swimming, etc.
- New things/variety – While you will probably be able to find a reasonably well equipped gym in most parts of the world, the chances are you’re not going to have exactly the same equipment available to you as at your home gym. This forces you to mix things up, try new exercises and alternatives. For example the gym I used this week didn’t have a squat rack, so instead of squatting, I did dumbbell lunges – which I never do – and boy can I feel it in some of the smaller stabilising muscles around my hips. This will 100% be good for the general balance and health of my body and there’s a good chance it will make me stronger in my normal program too.
- Consistency – Consistency is the biggest thing in seeing positive results from exercise. Turning up day in and day out, for years, is what builds great physiques and athletes. Having more than a few days off is obviously going to lead to regression and not be productive, but there is also something to be said for the mental side of maintaining discipline and dedication, building mental fortitude that will help in a much larger way than the fact that you got an extra couple of workouts in. If you’re travelling long term like I am, you have little choice but to get on with it, in whatever situation you are presented with. This may just mean doing sprints on the beach and some pull ups on a lamp post if you have nothing else available to you. Turn up every day.
- Connect with nature – What better way to see the environment and explore than go out adventuring while you workout. Open water swims, cycling in the mountains, this isn’t ‘exercise’ in the stale “I must go to the gym to tone up” sense – this is connecting with the natural rhythm and beauty of the planet, having fun and relaxing…while still getting a great workout in!