Tag Archives: Working out

How to Maintain Your Workouts While Traveling

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, it’s easy to skip out on your workouts when you’re traveling and don’t have access to the Tough Spot Gym or your usual workout routine.  Although we definitely believe in the benefits of taking a well-deserved rest from hardcore Tough Spot workouts once in a while, if you travel frequently or for long periods of time, it becomes necessary to find a way to maintain your workouts.  The following are some tips that will help you to stay active and fit while traveling:

1.)  Try to book a hotel with access to a fully-equipped gym:  Although most hotel gyms offer little besides a few pieces of cardio equipment, some hotels do have contracts with local gyms in order to offer free or reduced access to guests.  Or, if you can afford the higher-end hotel/resort, the hotel gym may come fully-equipped, which will make it very convenient for you to fit in your workouts.

2.)  Plan ahead and check rates with local gyms:  If you are unable to find a hotel with access to a fully-equipped gym, check out the local gyms.  Many gyms offer day or week passes designed for those who are traveling.  This will allow you to have access to most of the equipment you need for a Tough Spot workout.

3.)  Incorporate bodyweight exercises into your routine:  If it proves to be too difficult to find a fully-equipped gym, don’t worry!  It’s entirely possible to create a tough workout using only bodyweight exercises.  Push-ups, squats, planks, handstand push-ups, sit-ups, dips, leg raises, bridges, calf raises, burpees, supermans, and many different variations of these exercises can be done with only your bodyweight.

4.)  Find a playground or workout station:  A playground will give you access to bars, which can be used for pull-ups and hanging abdominal exercises.  If you are traveling to a tourist location in a warm beach climate, you may also find workout stations designed specifically for this purpose.  Check along the beaches and running/walking trails.

5.)  Improvise what you already have for the use of equipment:  You can turn your duffel bag or suitcase into a weight!  Stuff it full of your (non-fragile) belongings and use it as you would a sandbag in your workouts.

6.) Pack a few light pieces of equipment: We’re not suggesting that you take dumbbells or kettlebells in your suitcase, but a resistance band and TRX straps are light and don’t take up too much room.  This equipment could also go a long way in helping  you to create fun workouts while traveling.

7.)  Take advantage of sightseeing while using the local terrain for workouts:  If you are traveling to the beach, go for a jog in the sand and take a swim in the ocean.  If you are in a mountainous area, get a good leg workout in while hiking.  Be sure to plan activities that will allow you to stay active while still enjoying the local sights.

8.)  Have fun!: Traveling can be very exhausting, so be sure to incorporate some rest and relaxation and FUN into your travels while making sure to remain active.  Bon voyage!

Cardio versus Strength Training for Weight Loss

weightlossThere are a lot of conflicting opinions in the health and fitness industry regarding which exercise modality is most effective for weight loss- cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise versus strength (resistance/weight) training. The weight loss law states that energy expenditure must be greater than energy intake in order for weight loss to occur. Of course, the importance of good nutrition in this equation cannot be overstated! But when it comes down to choosing which type of exercise will contribute the most to fat loss, which one is most effective?

A method of measuring energy expenditure is the amount of calories burned. When considering calories only, research shows that cardiovascular exercise burns more calories per hour than strength training. Accordingly, cardiovascular exercise is a very important part of a weight loss or maintenance regimen. Besides contributing to quick energy expenditure, cardio strengthens the heart and lungs and has numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer, increased bone density, decreased stress, elevated mood and relief from depression and anxiety, less fluctuation in blood glucose levels, protective aging effects, and many more!

While it is clear that cardiovascular exercise burns more calories per hour, the amount of calories burned after strength training is higher. In scientific terms, strength training leads to a higher exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means that strength training will lead to a higher metabolism, or amount of calories burned to maintain normal body functions, for a longer period of time than cardiovascular exercise. While the metabolism remains elevated for 30-60 minutes after a cardio workout, it will increase for up to 48 hours after strength training. It is also important to note that muscle mass itself increases the body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR). RMR determines the majority of calories burned during the day, so the more muscle mass that you have, the greater the number of calories you will burn, even when you’re not exercising. Like cardiovascular exercise, strength training also has numerous health benefits, including increased bone density and reduced risk of osteoporosis, anti-aging effects, injury prevention, and immune system boosting effects, among many others.

When it comes to weight loss, both cardiovascular exercise and strength training are critical components. The amount, intensity, frequency, and timing of cardio and strength training may vary depending on your specific goal and your fitness baseline. When designing a weight loss program, it is also important to include all of the components of fitness- cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

At the Tough Spot Gym, our philosophy is that true fitness is about much more than weight loss!  We cultivate a comprehensive approach to fitness and health to help you become the best that you can be.

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