Saturday, April 12, 2008

Training Tips for Travel

I live on the road. We’re constantly going on trips and I need to find ways to maintain my training. If you have any ideas to contribute, feel free to contact me.

What I train at home
- Yoga
- Qigong
- Meditation
- Pilates

What I typically train while traveling
- Yoga
- Qigong
- Pilates
- Hiking
- Elastic band

The problems of travel and training

Its finding the time. It has to fit in with the people you are traveling with, or the things you have to do while traveling.

Sometimes traveling means a change of diet, often an increase in fast food or negative calories (high energy food with little nutritional value).

Its finding a place to train.


I train in the morning, before breakfast. My family know that I will be gone for an hour, and they fill their time appropriately. Knowing how important the time is to yourself, its integral to communicate your needs to those around you. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t fit in. But be flexible and don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a day or two. Traveling means you have to be patient about a change of place and pace.

Spend some time thinking about what you are going to eat while away. Get to know when you’ll be hungry. The negative calories are dangerous at times when you are rushed for time and you haven’t planned your meals. Its worth taking the time to think about it before you leave, having a few healthy snacks as back ups in case of time restrain. How many times have I heard people complain about coming back from a holiday with an extra two kilos of body baggage?

I train activities that I can do pretty much anywhere. I need a small amount of space and little equipment. I travel with a yoga mat and an elastic band. I can train in my underwear if its in my room, or casual clothes if I go outside.

One of the things we do when we are traveling, is walking. We go on suggested walks, we hike in the national parks and we trek across varied landscapes. It doesn’t feel like exercise at all, but its one of the healthiest methods of exercise on the planet.

Training at home – or on the road

Yoga – Typically the biggest problem with training yoga asanas at home is remembering the sequence of poses. There’s no getting around it. You have to learn a sequence, or have a book, piece of paper, a video or audio device to help you. This is a nice website for some tips for training at home – it even has pictures.

If I can, I practice yoga outside. Yes, I look strange, but I honestly don’t care. Most of the people who see you are only inspired to do it themselves. You are selling the idea of yoga. If you’re shy, just do a few stretches after a walk and see how it makes you feel. As you gain in confidence, you can add a few more. Before you know it, you’ll look as strange as me.

Qigong – Qigong is great to train outdoors. Again you have to combat the social pressure. See it as a concentration challenge. If you know what to do, do it. Outside the air is usually fresh and more beneficial than in your hotel room.

The best link I’ve found to explain qigong exercises for new beginners is here.

Meditation – Finding a quiet spot to practice meditation can be done anywhere. If you’re in the middle of a city, you can find a park. If you can’t find a park, perhaps a Buddhist meditational technique for developing compassion would be good for a change? Let your eyes settle on a random person. Imagine their lives, and what has occurred to them for them to look and be where they are right now in the world. Imagine the good things and the bad. The life they have lead that produces their choice in clothes, the lines of their face, their body shape, their hair, their movements. Realize each and every person has a story, just like yours. Open your heart to understanding their importance in the world. ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

Pilates – Of course, the trouble with doing any of the afore mentioned exercises, is you have to know what you are doing before doing it. Its not like an aerobics class at a gym where the instructor tells you what to do. For traveling and training, and doing it on the cheap (IE not going to a gym for the safety of routine and music and professional instructors) then you need to educate yourself, or at least, learn a sequence of exercises. The best link with the least amount of advertisements is this one. However, you’ll still need to read each exercise and learn what to do. There is no way around this!!!

Elastic Band – I take this with me to help tone my muscles. The link here has some examples of exercises. Again, the more information you know before hand, the better your use of this simple, light and perfect travel training tool.

Hiking/Walking – yes! For the people who don’t want to remember anything except how to get back to their camp site/hostel room/hotel room/apartment – here it is. The perfect exercise. There are many interesting links about walking and its benefits. This one covers pretty much all the information I’d want you to know about.

Remember, if you’ve got some training tips for travelers, let me know and I’ll post them.

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