Everyone who travels knows that it’s tough to stick to their diet and exercise routines while on the road. The temptations of restaurants and distance from the gym make it much easier to be convinced by both the usual excuses and the new ones of inconvenience and vacation. Typically offered solutions are body weight exercises in your hotel room, portable exercise devices, one-time gym fees, and running outside. These are all reasonable alternatives, but there is a better one.


Most workout routines are of indefinite duration. That is, your plans are to never stop. Such routines require focus, determination, and discipline. However, most trips are only a week or less in duration. Whether for business or pleasure, you are doing something different, for motivations different from your usual ones. In the case of vacations, you are intentionally changing your routine for the purpose of fun and relaxation.


These distinctions are important because traveling presents an opportunity to give yourself a break and shake things up. Good! That mean you can give yourself some time off from your good behavior! If you think of traveling as a reward, instead of a challenge your discipline, you can feel good about a break, not guilty.


The need for rest and time off from serious exercise programs is routinely underestimated. Even though you may not feel tired or sore, your body is recovering from not only your most recent exercise session, but your whole recent exercise history. Your body needs a rest. As importantly, your mind needs a rest. Even if you have been disciplined and dedicated, or perhaps especially if you have been, you need to cut yourself some slack in order to maintain your exercise habit long term.


So don’t worry. Have fun! Come back re-energized and re-dedicated to fitness. Come back re-energized and re-dedicated to yourself and your long-term health.