The hustle is real. With the interconnected nature of business and the necessity of traveling, many more of us are finding ourselves on airplanes, trains and cars.
Travel can throw us off our training and eating habits, making it difficult for us to stay consistent for long periods. For many of us the new normal is that there is NO normal at all sometimes!
I’m here to let you know that I feel you.
I am a fitness hustler who makes my living on the road emceeing, building out gyms, producing fitness content and trying to keep up with my training so that I can accomplish my own goals! The good news is that there is hope for us on the grind, and I am going to give you my best fitness hacks for living on the road.
1. Head straight to the gym (if it doesn't interfere with sleep)
Flying halfway across the country or the world can take its toll on the body. Adjusting to time zones can be a dreadful feat that many of us are doing monthly. The question that used to weigh on my mind when I arrived in a new city is ‘When should I train?’
Instead of heading straight for the hotel after arriving to a new city, I began the (sometimes arduous) journey straight to a gym as soon as I got in.The reasoning was simple for me; there is more flexibility in my schedule on travel days and there is a 100% chance that if I get a workout in, I will perform better.
It’s the small victories, right?
Now, I am not an advocate for bypassing the most essential of human functions, sleep. If you get in late at night, by all means head for bed. A solid 8 hours will be more restorative than any clang and bang can be in the gym. But if you have the time allotted in your day, a workout will sharpen both your body and mind. As a hustler, your mental performance is just as important as your physical performance. Making time for a quick workout will pump some well-deserved serotonin into your task driven mindset.
What type of workouts should you do on the road?
Travel day workouts usually consist of a little hypertrophy work (usually squatting), and then a long aerobic conditioning piece that works to reorient my ‘jet lag’ and boost my metabolism. As I’ll go into next, once the training is out of the way, the real test is fueling the body right when fast food is everywhere.
2. "Siri, Show me the nearest Chinese Restaurant"
Yep, my next travel hack for you jetsetters is to seek out and discover the bountiful healthy options in Chinese food restaurants.
I used to venture into Chinese restaurants because of the economics. Let’s face it, if we are being paid to travel around the country there's a possibility that you are on a budget. Chinese food is notorious for its low prices but also for a uniform menu you can find when searching for normalcy on the road.
Let’s break it down by macros. Chinese restaurants all offer protein...
Some dishes incorporate fats...
- Duck fat
Many protein dishes come with mixed veggies and a side of healthy carbs...
- Bok choy
- Pea shoots
- Bell peppers
- Brown rice
Those are just a few of the menu options available in Chinese restaurants. The best part is that these restaurants are built on food modifications. So, what if you asked for any of the above combinations with LITTLE TO NO sauce! It is entirely possible to get a bowl of steamed veggies and grilled protein.
3. Embrace the power of nesting
How well you sleep is directly related to how well you perform as an athlete, business pro, or otherwise normal human.The reason I am able to function at such a high level is because I am eating well and NESTING.
Nesting is what I refer to as making the hotel room as much like your most perfect sleeping environment as possible. For me, it begins with my clothes set up in a certain spot. Everyone is different but there are some real benefits to having your gear laid out and hung up in such a way that feels like home.
The next piece to this nighttime hack is to black out the room as best as possible. I take the towels from the bathroom and shove them under the door. I will take athletic tape and literally tape the curtains together so that no light can shine in. It is proven that even the faintest light can mess up sleep cycles.
Then, there are sleep aids. I 100% support the eye mask and earplugs. The eye mask has been a game changer for me. Having complete blackness helps me get through the inevitable ‘bad’ night of sleep that happens when you are on the road. The ear plugs block out excess noise that comes from all directions when staying in hotels.
Finally, I suggest downloading a white noise app. I personally use the Sleepy Baby app from iTunes but there are many out there that do the thing for you. The white noise, (I prefer heavy rain) is like meditative calmness that helps dull my senses. Focusing on the white noise is akin to counting sheep but without the frustrations of losing you place and freaking out because you have to start from the beginning.
If you are a traveler, hustler or athlete, and any of the circumstances that I have mentioned have resonated with you, trust that there is hope for keeping your goals on track. Your training does not have to fall apart just because you live a lifestyle that may be a bit unfavorable to optimal training conditions.
You are out in the world making a difference and the mindset that you take with you on the road is the starting point of a great journey to success. I always think about it like this; as travelers we are forced to be adaptable. We are training our bodies to overcome any and all obstacles that arise, and we do it with grace. Go out and crush it. Take care of your body and mind, and you will prove to yourself through small victories that you can conquer any challenge that comes your way.