How to Stick to Your Workouts While Traveling

I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, because most resolutions are doomed to fail. In January, The University of Scranton reported that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution, yet year after year, we continue making them. I’m guilty of being part of the cycle too, but this year I think I might actually succeed!

While there are many reasons our resolutions fail, these seem to be the major culprits:

  1. We set too many goals,
  2. We reach too far when setting our goals
  3. We don’t celebrate the small accomplishments

I LOVE to travel, but training for an ironman…well you either have to give up traveling or you have to find a way to stick to your workouts while you travel. I was determined to keep traveling, so I decided to set one attainable New Year’s resolution: stick to my workouts while traveling.

So far I’ve been on 3 trips and I’ve stuck to at least 75% of my planned workouts!

How did I do it?

1. Do your research:  Decide what it is you want to do while traveling and what you’re going to need to make it happen.

Does your hotel have a gym? Will the gym’s stationary bike be enough or do you need to rent a bike for a long ride? Do you need to find a local pool or research running or biking routes? Is there a local group you can join for a training run, swim or bike? Is there a gym you can get a day or week visitor’s pass for? Is there a local crossfit, yoga or fitness studio where you can pay for drop-in classes?

This step will take some time, but having this information before you travel definitely increases the likelihood that you will stick to your plan!

On my last trip to Curacao, I got my parents to join me for a run!

On my last trip to Curacao, I got my parents to join me for a few of my runs!

2. Create a Plan:  Consider what your schedule will look like.

Are you at a conference where you’re in sessions all day or do you have some breaks in between? Do you have a long lunch break? Are you on vacation with people who sleep in while you’re an early riser?

Set yourself up for success by creating a realistic plan. Write your schedule down and add your workouts to your calendar with alerts.

3. Share your plan:  Let your travel companions know your plan. You might inspire them to workout with you! Even if they don’t join you, they can at least be supportive and hold you accountable.

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Bring whatever gear you’re going to need.

4. Pack your gear: This may seem like an obvious step, but making sure you pack everything you need will increase the likelihood that you will stick to your workout.

When I was recently in New Orleans, I knew the hotel pool would be small, so I brought a rubber band and used it to attach myself to the pool’s steps. I also brought my goggles, swim cap and paddles and when I considered skipping the swim, I looked at all my gear and thought, “you hauled it all the way to New Orleans and now you’re not going to use it?” It was just the motivation I needed!

5. Stay positive: You’re not always going to get to 100% of your planned workouts and that is okay!

Running late? Don’t stress! Doing at least part of the workout is better than not doing anything at all. Missed 2 of the 4 workouts, no problem, it’s all about perspective! You still did 50% of what you had planned!

Stay positive and celebrate the small accomplishments!

On my first trip, home to Curacao, I worked out 3 of the 4 planned times. On my trip to Miami, Pablo and the friend we were staying with held me accountable for all of my planned workouts. Then on my most recent trip to New Orleans neither of my roommates planned to workout and I was worried I’d fail. I followed my 5-step plan and despite having to cut a few of my workouts short, I stuck to every single workout I had planned!

How about you? Do you stick to your workouts while traveling?

Next time you travel, try the 5-step plan and let me know how it works!

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