Holiday & Travel Fitness Essentials

During the past few months living and working in Mexico City, I came to realise just how important exercise was to me, both physically and mentally. Without some combination of running, cross training, weights and yoga, I’d probably have murdered someone or at the very least gained 30 lbs in tacos and chocolate ice cream.

I found business travel to be lonely, and exercising was as good a way as any to while away the evenings. Plus, pushing through the tiredness of jetlag actually helped me normalise my sleeping patterns more quickly than in previous instances. So here you have the travel and fitness essentials I cram into my already too-heavy suitcase.

1. Yoga mat

I don’t know where I’d be (physically or mentally) without my beloved yoga mat. In my hotel I practiced yoga daily in a teeny tiny passageway in my room. Like, I couldn’t fully stretch both my arms out sideways for sun salutations. I managed to get creative and I made it work though! I followed Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga, because I knew I’d need the commitment of the challenge to keep me motivated. I have to say it really changed my exercise and work routine, and became a time for a bit of breathing space.

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2. Zip lock bags or tupperware

As I mentioned in a previous post, I would head to Walmart on weekends and stock up on snacks. If I couldn’t get individual portion sizes, I would divide big bags of dried fruit or nuts into little zip lock bags. It meant I very rarely got caught out with nothing to eat. And as someone who gets serious hanger, this was invaluable.

3. Your choice of snacks

I pretty much already covered this in the previous point, but I cannot stress the importance of snacks. I headed to my local Tescos the day before I flew out, and stocked up on snacks. I recommend this for long haul flights (I don’t usually eat the plane food) and for anyone who won’t have easy access to supermarkets for the duration of their trip. Also, I’m not titling this one ‘healthy snacks’ since I definitely took some of my favourite strawberry nougat chocolate bars. Health is emotional wellbeing too!

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4. Light Weights

It might seem entirely counter-intuitive to take weights in a suitcase when you have a weight limit, but I packed some wrist weights. Not as heavy as a kettle bell or dumbbells, but just enough to add some extra pump to my yoga routine if I just couldn’t face the monotony of the treadmill, but still wanted to get my sweat on. Given that the weights weren’t too heavy, I probably only had to sacrifice taking a pair of shoes I didn’t need in the first place!

5. Workout Shoes

Since I could only reasonably take one pair of workout shoes, I went for my trusty New Balances. They’re a running shoe but often get mistaken (even at the running store) for a cross training shoe. Sadly they got worn out from the amount of exercise I did in them over the course of six months, but I really couldn’t justify taking more than one pair. (Below are the replacement model- a very similar style from Asics). A slight cheat though- I took Converse as a good general purpose shoe since I could get away with wearing them at the office. They doubled as a great shoe for weight workouts.

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6. Plenty of workout kit

I’d say at least half of the clothing I took with me was workout kit: I decided to go for quantity since I didn’t know how much time I would have to do laundry, or even what the laundry situation at the hotel would be. I also hit up the Nike Factory Store and Forever 21 in Mexico City pretty much every weekend to stock up. Running and working out had become so crucial to me for stress relief that spending all my disposable income on running kit was definitely worthwhile. And now I look overdressed dope whenever I head out on the trail!

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How do you keep healthy when away from home? What’s your favourite home (or hotel) exercise video?



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