Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

5 Best Ways to Get in Your Exercise While You Travel for the Holidays

Health + Wellness

During the next two weeks, it's estimated that a record 116 million people in the U.S. will travel for the holidays.


For some, it's a festive homecoming. For others, it's a source of familial tension.

But one nearly universal part of the experience is not enough exercise and too many calories.

"All year round, we have pressure from media and society to 'look good' and everybody wants to lose those last five to 10 pounds," Sharon Zarabi, RD, CDN, CPT, bariatric program director at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Healthline. "And what typically happens during the Thanksgiving-to-New Year's time frame is that we actually, on average, gain five pounds."

It can be a challenge to keep up your usual exercise routine when you don't have access to your local gym or personal exercise equipment.

But with a little bit of ingenuity, it is possible to fit an exercise routine into the busy holiday season.

Walk or Run

For those who don't have access to a cardio machine over the holidays, the solution is straightforward.

Do your cardio routine the old-fashioned way and go outside for a walk or run.

"If you're traveling somewhere where it's warm and you can go outside to walk or jog or anything like that, it's a nice option," D.R. Ebner, PT, SCS, a physical therapist at The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, told Healthline.

Even if it's chilly outside, bundling up and going for a brisk stroll is a good way to walk off that rich Christmas dinner and take in the lights while shedding some calories in the process.

A 20-minute walk can cover about a mile, which can burn off about 100 calories, depending on a person's sex and weight.

Resistance Bands

It's tough to take a weight training routine on the road.

It just isn't practical to pack bulky, heavy dumbbells into your luggage and there's no guarantee that your holiday destination will have alternatives.

Resistance bands may not be able to provide the same heavy lifting workout as dumbbells, but they do offer something similar in a lightweight form that can fit into the palm of your hand.

"The easiest thing that anyone can do, as most research has shown, is resistance training, which helps increase metabolic rate," said Zarabi. "It doesn't mean you need to go to a gym and use a machine or lift dumbbells. Resistance bands, which are easily portable, are something you can throw in your luggage. They come in different colors for different intensity levels."

Create a Stop-Gap Program

Anyone who has a daily fitness routine knows that traveling can throw things into chaos.

Rather than struggling to replicate your current program, or haphazardly fit workouts into your day, Ebner says it's helpful to establish a new routine for the days you're away from home.

This might entail doing exercises you don't usually do or adapting to your surroundings.

"You may not have a ton of space," he said. "But you can do workouts like pushups, jumping jacks, and situps."

"You can do, for instance, 10 pushups, and then some bodyweight squats and some lunges," Ebner noted. "You can repeat that two or three times and commit 10 or 15 minutes to it. Work hard, but keep it sustainable."

Look Online

To add to his point of adapting to different surroundings, Ebner suggests going online to look for inspiration.

"On YouTube, there are all kinds of workout videos — anything from yoga to calisthenics," he said.

"If you're trying to fit an exercise in and you're not sure what to do, you can find guided routines where it's all spelled out for you and you can follow along," he added. "You don't have to overthink it."

Don’t Sweat It

Even if there's enough space and equipment to work out, sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day when you factor in the social commitments of the holiday season.

Zarabi says it's good to approach the season with a goal not of losing weight, but maintaining your current weight.

This strategy even allows for some indulgences, provided they're reasonable.

"I always like to enforce the 80/20 rule: be good 80 percent of the time and enjoy the desserts and holiday treats 20 percent of the time," she explained. "Indulging on Christmas Day or at holiday parties is not enough to derail you from your lifestyle. It's the accumulation of what you do over the long term that really impacts your weight loss efforts."

Following the indulgent, or over-indulgent festive season, many of us make New Year's resolutions in an effort to improve things moving forward.

Instead of setting lofty goals for the new year, Zarabi suggests a more measured approach.

"If your resolution is better health, don't make it about the number on the scale," she said. "A lot of us judge ourselves by a size or weight, disregarding the fact that we can fluctuate 5 to 7 pounds after a dinner party. It's best to weigh yourself first thing in the morning at a dry weight and try not to obsess over the marker."

"I think that people need to be a little more forgiving of themselves and just get back to the basics the next day, instead of waiting for the magic to happen on New Year's Day," she added.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

During a protest action on May 30 in North Rhine-Westphalia, Datteln in front of the site of the Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant, Greenpeace activists projected the lettering: "Climate crisis - Made in Germany" onto the cooling tower. Guido Kirchner / picture alliance / Getty Images

Around 500 climate activists on Saturday gathered outside the new Datteln 4 coal power plant in Germany's Ruhr region, to protest against its opening.

Read More Show Less
Dr. Mark Brunswick (2R), Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality, walks through the lab at Sorrento Therapeutics in San Diego, California on May 22. ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

Around the world, there have been several cases of people recovering from COVID-19 only to later test positive again and appear to have another infection.

Read More Show Less

By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

Read More Show Less
Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. Anthony / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

The first official tallies are in: Coronavirus-related shutdowns helped slash daily global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 percent in April. But the drop won't last, and experts estimate that annual emissions of the greenhouse gas are likely to fall only about 7 percent this year.

Read More Show Less
Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

Read More Show Less
A bald eagle chick inside a nest in Rutland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A bald eagle nest with eggs has been discovered in Cape Cod for the first time in 115 years, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife), as Newsweek reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

The office of Rover.com sits empty with employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 in Seattle, Washington. John Moore / Getty Images

The office may never look the same again. And the investment it will take to protect employees may force many companies to go completely remote. That's after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for how workers can return to the office safely.

Read More Show Less