How to Keep Your Muscles, Traveling to Brussels

 Beats, Fit & Fine, The Well  Comments Off on How to Keep Your Muscles, Traveling to Brussels
Feb 242013
 

Author: Kendall Greenwood

Hiking is a great form of exercise that gets you outside and seeing the sites! Photo Courtesy of Sylvia

Hiking is a great form of exercise that gets you outside and seeing the sites! Photo Courtesy of Sylvia Usery.

Hiking, kayaking and biking. CSU senior, Sylvia Usery, 21, did these activities every weekend during her study abroad in New Zealand in spring 2012. Not only could she check out the scenery and be social, but she could stay healthy during her time away.

Traveling can create a challenge for a healthy lifestyle. There can be decreased food options and no gym to do normal exercise routines. To stay fit while traveling abroad requires a balance of two things: nutrition and exercise.

According to Albert Powell, 33, a strength and conditioning personal trainer at Anytime Fitness, the two most dangerous foods to eat when traveling are starches – like bread, rice and noodles – and sugars.

“The starch is your bricks and your sweets are basically the concrete,” Powell said. “So what you’re doing with your body is you’re blocking everything up [with starches] and [with] the sweets you’re pasting everything.”

This can create future unhealthy habits, but it also has adverse effects on the health you gained.

“So you go on this vacation, you look and you’re like ‘man, I put on five pounds,’” Powell said. “Well, you’ve been eating nothing but carbs and sugar.”

Usery adapted to meals in a similar way while in New Zealand.

“I actually paid for a whole semester of dining hall food, but I stopped going because it was just disgusting,” Usery said. “They have like 5 kinds of potatoes and bread every night.”

Instead, she bought her own food at the grocery store to give herself more balanced meals. She was able to afford some healthier options on a student budget. Avocados were cheap so she was able to eat plenty,Usery said.

Exercise is the other important key to staying in shape. According to Powell, exercising while traveling is very easy.

Workout routines can be easy to keep up when you have been properly trained. Photo by John Sheesley

Workout routines can be easy to keep up when you have been properly trained. Photo by John Sheesley

“If you want to stay in your room and [workout] for a quick hour,” Powell said. “[Get a] resistance band and exercise ball.”

These two objects can work your biceps, shoulders, back, abdominals and legs with the right movements. The exercises will keep your muscles toned and ready for when you can get back into the gym.

“As soon as my clients come back and we pick back up where we left off,” Powell said. “They felt like they never left.”

Plus, they are not a strain on luggage.

“[The exercise ball] comes with a pump so you can just take the air out and hold it in your luggage,” Powell said. “The pump is small, so it’s easy to travel [with].

Target has resistance bands available for anywhere from $12.99 to $19.99. Exercise balls at Target are priced from $19.99 to $29.99.

When Usery was abroad she chose to participate in activities where she could see the scenery and connect with people.

“Every weekend we would go somewhere,” Usery said. “Hiking is always fun and they had such beautiful terrain there that it didn’t feel like you were exercising, because you were just looking at everything around you.”

Powell says you can incorporate this group dynamic into resistance band and exercise ball exercises by doing partner and group workouts.

He has experienced first-hand what these kinds of workouts look like. Before becoming a personal trainer, Powell played international basketball. As his team traveled they had to alter their normal workouts.

“When you’re on [season], you don’t want to come in and lift a bunch of weights because it throws your shots off,” Powell said. “So a lot of what we would do is what I’m telling you [about].”

For Usery, being able to mix exercise and friends added to her experience.

“I would definitely say stay active,” Usery said. “It’s a great way to meet people and just get around the country.”