Let me tell you a little story from a few weeks ago.
It’s 1am and I’m lying in a pool of sweat.
We’re in Nicaragua in a little sleepy town called El Transito. The power is out which means no fans, no A/C, and barely any water. When the temperature hovers around 90 degrees with over 50% humidity, that spells trouble for sleeping well. I’ve been trying to fall asleep for a few hours now, but nothing seems to be working.
I’m a sweaty mess.
Every hour that passes I wish to see daylight. I daze back off into disjointed sleep and finally awake at 5:30am, just in time for a quiet sunrise.
All things considered, that day turned out to be lovely. We surfed in the morning, got some work done once the power came back on mid-morning, and then explored the cool little town in the afternoon.
But there were a few things that happened that day that were abnormal. I was hungrier than normal. I was slightly agitated. My energy levels were off, and my stamina in the water was weak.
Why? Because I slept like shit.
The effects of my shitty sleep were meaningful, even prompting Julie to ask several times throughout the day, “are you ok?”
OK, so What Does This Shitty Sleep Story Have To Do With You?
It has everything to do with you because if you travel at all you know how it can knock you out of your routine. It will disrupt your normal patterns just like it did for me. And when it comes to living a healthy, fit lifestyle, it doesn’t take much to bump you off the good course. I wrote a few weeks ago about our 5 practices that help us stay on track while traveling.
Sleep is something I don’t mess with. Trust me, I’ve tried. College all-nighters, cramming for tests on 3 hours of sleep, back-to-back weekend nights of debauchery. Let’s just say I’ve done my fair share of sleep deprivation research.
And especially now that I know all the negative effects of sleep deprivation, I don’t mess around. I get my 8 hours.
But like the story above illustrates, on the road things are a little different. Situations come up that are uncontrollable. The bed, the pillows, the lighting, all these things are out of your control. Then the power goes out. You get the idea. It can be tough to get quality sleep.
And if you’re not careful, that can knock you off track. That’s why it’s important to have a few travel rules to keep you on track.
The #1 is getting exercise. Always. Always. Exercise saves the day. Almost always, moving your body will help give you more energy, change your mental state, and make you feel good. Here are the 2 exercise rules I follow.
My 2 Exercise Rules on the Road
1) Make workouts short and sweet with full-body workouts.
This means stick with HIIT or any kind of metabolic work (which means taking little rest and using multiple muscle groups). Traveling is not the time focus on power, strength or any kind of physique goals. Don’t mess around with training specific body parts. Hit the entire body with this simple framework:
- Pick an upper-body push movement, a push-up for example
- Pick a lower body movement, a squat
- Pick an upper-body pull movement, a pull-up or row
- Pick a core move, a side plank.
- Do 10 reps of each move back to back
- Rest as needed, but try to keep rest to a minimum
- Complete as many rounds in 15 minutes
2) Bring light-weight equipment that is travel friendly. Resistance bands, TRX, or how about these cool Portable Kettlebells(PKB).
Here’s the PKB in action from the beach in Nicaragua!
Don’t let being on the road derail you from your goals, you are better than that!
Use these 2 exercise principles to help you stay on track.
Enjoy and have a great day!