How To Stay Strong and Healthy While Traveling

I don’t know about you, but the thing I hated about traveling is that for the past 15 years or so, I am just a physical wreck when I return.

When you travel, everything is different.

The bed is different.

My sleep patterns are different.

The food is different.

The time zone is different.

My workouts/training are different.

My activities are different.

I usually start to stiffen up and fall apart.

Now I noticed this didn’t happen much at all while in Denmark and Paris earlier this summer. But, I thought Haiti would put it to the test.

I didn’t sleep well because there was no air conditioning. The first night I woke up because I thought I could feel mosquitos biting me despite the repellent I wore to bed. It wasn’t mosquitos, it was sweat rolling down my body.

I didn’t eat well because everything we were served was starchy carbohydrate – rice and beans, pasta, oatmeal, pancakes, etc. Fortunately, I brought along about 20 pounds of ostrich jerky. Seriously. (The garlic in it made for a nice mosquito repellent – I was only bitten twice the whole trip.)

I was constantly soaked in sweat because it was approximately 100 degrees every day with 90%+ humidity.

And I only “trained” three times – bodyweight exercises only.

Now it may sound like I’m complaining – I’m not. I’m just pointing out that conditions were way less than optimal to hold this high mileage body together. (I’ll write more about Haiti in detail in another post.) And the reason I’m doing so is that many of us have our routines and rituals to which we train or workout. And any deviation from those “norms” cause us to have less than optimal workouts and results. We’re all creatures of habit, right?

But, I made it through my trip just fine.

No aches. No pain. No backsliding into previously held compensatory patterns. Back, hips, knees, shoulders – all fine. No worries.

Then this past weekend I was at the Summit of Strength, which, if you missed it, you really missed it, because it was awesome – just ask around. I stood around for essentially 2 days and presented on Sunday for about 4 hours. The body performed great.

In fact, yesterday was my first “real” training session since August 4th and I worked up to 80% in the Power Snatch for a double with room to spare. Then I pulled under the bar into a what is essentially a Classic Snatch from the mid-thigh for triples, which is something I have been rarely able to do because of the hips.

It all felt great and I’m fine this morning.

In fact, I’d wager to say that I really didn’t miss too much by taking essentially three weeks off my regular training. Sure, I didn’t gain too much, if anything at all (except a little “Haitian Happiness”), but I certainly am not any worse for the wear.

Two years ago, in fact I’d wager to say even one year ago, this would not have happened, despite all the Z-Health I was doing. (No, I do not do any Z any more. None. Don’t need to.) I would’ve come home busted up, twisted around, and needing to spend a good week or two dialing everything back in.

You may know what I mean.

But I plan on leading the rest of my life like this.

I credit a lot of Gray Cook’s philosophies for my current state of resilience. I’ve been using various pieces of the FMS with myself and my clients this year and we have all seen fantastic – and more importantly – lasting positive changes.

If you don’t know who Gray Cook is, he’s one of the world’s greatest Physical Therapists and he’s changing the way fitness, health, and human performance is done.

If you’re feeling banged up, tweaked, or know that you could/should feel better than you currently do, then you should check out Gray’s new book, Movement.

It’s a game-changer.

I’ll be writing more about my travels to Haiti and the Summit of Strength later.

In the mean time, do yourself a major favor and get Gray’s new book. Then drop me a line and tell me how awesome it is, ok?

2 comments… add one
  • Russ Moon Aug 25, 2010 @ 9:51

    Movement – yes and yes will tell you how awesome it is.

    🙂 have starting following what I believe are one of the base premises which is shoring up your weaknesses prior to building upon a foundation that is dysfunctional. It seems to leapfrog your overall result, is this because the dysfunction is a “power leak” ?

    TGU – your work there does this factor into your current training direction ?

  • Mike T Nelson Aug 25, 2010 @ 10:23

    Good stuff Geoff and glad the trip went well for you! Awesome!

    I think I am too used to Minnesota, as the high heat and humidity once it rolls in here for a few days each Spring knocks me back a bit.

    Sounds like a perfect way to practice your metabolic flexibility too! Just like your movement should be flexible, so should your metabolism!

    rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

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