How to Stay in Shape While Traveling During the Holidays

Leah Bourne

Traveling during the holidays to see family and friends is always a highlight of the year. The toll it takes on your workout regimen, though, not so much. As soon as we sample that first in-flight cocktail, our workout aspirations often fly straight out the window and splat on the receding tarmac. The fact that the holidays often mean over-indulging food wise doesn’t help matters either.

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In the interest of finding out how to stay motivated without sacrificing precious time with friends and family this season, we sought out trainer Barry Jay, who’s taken legions of exercise-hating couch potatoes and transformed them into lean, mean, push-up machines with his famously intense chain of Barry’s Bootcamp studios. Here, his top five tips for staying fit on the go.

1. Make a plan.
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” Jay cautions. “Find out about gyms at the hotel and area you’re going to visit. Know the weather in advance for outdoor stuff, like biking or running. Ask your gym (or local Bootcamp!) if there’s a location where you’re going.”

2. Resistance bands are your best friend.
“They pack easily, and you can do so many exercises with them right in your hotel room,” Jay says.

3. Become part of your environment.
“If you’re in a walking city, walk,” Jay advises. “Avoid cabs and buses. If it’s a biking city, rent one. If it’s a beach, run on the beach. Roller blade. Swim! Mountainous area? Hike! When we opened in Norway, we hiked Ulriken for over eight hours. Perhaps extreme, but you get the idea. I’m in New York now, and I walk anywhere from three to ten miles daily.”

4. Find cool classes.
“Of course, if there’s a Barry’s Bootcamp, go for it,” Jay says. “There’s most likely going to be spin classes, yoga classes, or dance classes around. Ask the hotel, or friends you have in the area. And always Google! It can’t be any easier than that.”

5. Keep it simple.
“Before bed, do push-ups and abs, and go for a run or a walk in the morning,” Jay says. “Make sure to eat really well, and if it’s vacation, just do the best you can. Focusing on food is important. Enjoy your cheat meals, but don’t throw it all out the window. Keep a food journal while away—it helps you to stay aware.”

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