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Finesse Your Fitness On the Road

by Debra Bokur

Jan 2, 2020

Charnchai Saeheng | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Even if you’re traveling in a luxury compartment aboard the Orient Express, it’s easy to go off the rails with health and exercise goals when traveling. An expert in nutrition and keeping fit while on the go, author and celebrity fitness instructor Phil Catudal is a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer who’s helped celebrities, including Emily Deschanel, Van Jones and Alan Ruck achieve their best bodies. His book Just Your Type: The Ultimate Guide to Eating and Training Right for Your Body offers a comprehensive guide to maximizing your fitness efforts based on body type, while offering inspirational personal stories and valuable insight in nutrition and science to help attain and maintain optimal fitness levels.


Here, Phil shares his top tips for keeping fit while traveling.


Whereverfamily.com: No matter how enjoyable or well established, it can be challenging to keep up with a fitness routine while on a work trip or vacation. What are your favorite hacks for not dropping the fitness ball while on the road?


Phil Catudal: Hotel workouts (sigh) … If you’re like me, you’ve seen plenty of terrible hotel gyms. So, my trick? Stick to the room! Planks, side planks, pushups, dips from the bed frame or chair, and squats are all excellent choices. Crank out three sets of 20 reps on each, plus a minute on the planks, and you’ve got a decent workout.


Also, TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise). Buy one. Use it. Bring it everywhere. You can easily fit it in a bag, and basically have an entire gym in your arsenal. It’s made of simple straps, but has limitless possibilities — all with angles and the use of your own body for resistance. These are indispensable.


Remember to walk, discover and explore. Where possible and when time permits, get cardio on your business trip or vacation by walking. You’ll burn extra calories as well as take in more of the place you’re visiting.


Finally, limit the alcohol. Sure, you can have a drink or two, but you’ll feel the effects of anything more than that. And, it sets you back in so many ways, both in calories and hormonally. Water is your friend.


WF: Can you suggest any self-motivational tools that can be helpful when all you really want to do is sit at a sidewalk cafe with a glass of wine or a coffee and slice of cake?


PC: Realize health is everything. My vacation or work travel workouts are definitely easier. You don’t have to stress your body out on the go, but if you still keep your body moving, it means you will have more energy and more endorphins to actually enjoy your trip the rest of the time. Throw in a 20–30-minute workout, and you will thank yourself and have a much better vacation. And that kind of reasonable time commitment means you won’t miss any of the things you were going to do anyway.


Recognize it will be a lot easier to get back into the swing of things when you’re home if you have at least kept up the habit of moving, even if the intensity wasn’t the same. In a sense, you’ll get the rest and recovery of not pushing yourself to the limit, but still stay active enough to keep yourself on track for when you’re home.


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