You’re excited to be on vacation and want to push yourself, but don’t overdo it because that can lead to injury—and trust me when I say: nothing will ruin your trip quicker than a torn shoulder or some other nagging injury. Overtraining also increases cortisol levels and reduces testosterone levels, setting you up for a negative muscle-building environment. By pushing too hard in the gym, you’re digging yourself deeper into what’s known as “overtraining,” which could cause mood swings, sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction, and an elevated resting heart rate. So make sure you schedule adequate days off from training during your vacation so that your body has time to rest, recover and adapt.
Stretching is a vital component of any workout, but it can be easy to forget when you travel. Yoga and other forms of stretching will help you maintain the flexibility and range of motion that you cultivated in your training routine. Stretching also helps release the toxins that build up inside your muscles during exercise, so if you skip it, you may feel sore or even develop an injury. Stretching can be done in as little as 10 to 20 minutes per day, but ideally should be performed every day. You needn’t do anything fancy—a few simple yoga poses or just a solid downward-facing dog will get the job done—but make sure to target different muscle groups from what you worked out earlier.
This is very important if you don’t want to lose muscle on vacation.
Empty calories are foods that have no nutritional value, like soda, candy, and chips. When you eat something with empty calories, they do add weight to your body but they don’t add any protein or nutrients to the muscle tissue in your body. The only reason why people eat those kinds of foods is because they want to feel good when they eat them; however, in reality, eating foods with empty calories can cause overeating and lead to poor health.
Your body is going to need protein and carbohydrates throughout the day, especially if you’re traveling and are more active than normal (like walking around a city all day).
If you’re making an effort to stay active while traveling, your body will need more calories during the day to keep up with your energy demands. If you don’t give it those fuel sources, it will begin catabolizing muscle tissue as energy.
We’ve all heard about the importance of rest and recovery after exercise. But many people seem to forget another key element: nutrition. We think it’s easy to eat a small handful of protein bars before going to bed then turn around and wake up with the side effects of too much, too soon—cramping, bloating, stomach pain, and even nausea.
This isn’t how it works with muscle mass! When we’re training for a competition or preparing for your first 1-rep max squat at the local gym, recovery is a must. So make sure you’re eating right before you get on that plane so you can feed your body what it needs to build up muscle. Don’t even think about crossing that border while eating something salty and greasy just because you’re on vacation—you’ll only regret that decision later!
While you may be on vacation, it’s always a good idea to keep a daily habit of self-massage, even just for a few minutes a day. We know that stretching is important. But do we really know how to stretch correctly? The idea is to lengthen your muscle fibers by holding that stretch position for 30 seconds or longer, breathing in and out slowly and deeply. And massage can help relieve muscle pain as well.
A licensed massage therapist will emphasize the importance of getting regular massages from professionals as an essential part of staying healthy—especially if you’re an athlete. If you’re tight after a long day at work or during travel, she suggests foam rolling your back with a tennis ball underneath you for about 10 minutes before going to bed at night. The idea here is that when we lie down on this ball, our back arches up toward our head and squeezes the muscles along either side of our spine so we get some release there—and it feels great!
Weight-bearing exercise is important to maintain bone density and strength, but you also need to allow your joints and muscles a rest. Consider low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, and yoga.
Yoga can help alleviate muscular soreness while building stability and strength in your core, upper body, and lower body. Cycling is a great way to get your cardiovascular system moving while avoiding any pressure on your joints—just remember that if you sit upright on the bike and pedal with a full range of motion, it will be a weight-bearing movement, so start slow!
If you’re planning to take a vacation this spring, consider packing your gym bag. Staying healthy while traveling is easier than you may think, especially when following a routine that includes at-home workouts. Here are four ways to keep up your workout routine while traveling: