It is no surprise that traveling can interrupt one's health and fitness routine. It can be an incredibly difficult endeavor to commit to, from flights and packed itineraries to spontaneous events and lack of discipline. And travel does not come without its disadvantages when it comes to staying in shape. From lack of fitness facilities in your area to poor food options and temptations along the way, there is no shortage of reasons that can prevent you from remaining healthy.
With that said, if your priority is to take care of your health and remain physically fit, traveling should not deter you from doing so. While there are several factors to consider when trying to stay fit while traveling, one crucial factor that should be considered above the rest is your body type. Let's see why.
What are the different Body Types?
Since the 1940s, it has been agreed that humans are predisposed to three primary body types, each comprising its unique physiological characteristics. Differing not only in their composition and stature but also in how they respond to training and nutrition, each body type requires a specific approach. Below are the three primary body types as discussed:
Whether your goal is to maintain your body weight, build muscle, or lose fat when traveling, each body type requires specific training and dietary strategies to do so. In other words, while some find that they gain weight with ease, others find it challenging to put on a pound, no matter how much they eat or how hard they train. Similarly, others might even find that they lose weight with ease or vice versa. This is due, in part, to their body types and the corresponding metabolic and physiological characteristics. From left to right Ectomorph, Endomorph, Mesomorph:
According to these definitions, Ectomorphs were lean, narrow and delicate. Whereas Endomorphs were soft and curved in nature. Mesomorphs were muscled and tall or broad-shouldered. Let us look at these different body types and how this could affect you.
Otherwise known as the "hard-gainer" of the group, ectomorphs are those who find it difficult not only to gain weight and build muscle but to lose weight, as well. Because of their naturally efficient metabolism, those with an ectomorphic body type tend to be able to enjoy the temptations of travel with little to no recognizable damage to their health, fitness, or physique. With that said, while there are no apparent problems in the short term, ectomorphs need to consider the long-term damage they may be placing on their bodies. This, in short, is the balancing act of an ectomorph.
So, while you may be able to let loose a little more than others, especially during travel, you may want to still prioritize nutrition and training to the best of your ability. Or at the very least, still make it a part of your daily habit when traveling.
Typically heavier than most, endomorphs find gaining weight to be quite effortless. While this can be beneficial for those looking to build muscle, the downside is that they also find it quite challenging to lose it. Metabolically speaking, endomorphs typically convert food to fat rather than energy. This can, for obvious reasons, poses problems when traveling.
As such, those with an endomorphic body type should religiously and due diligently plan a well-thought-out and personalized dietary and training regimen. Without keen attention, endomorphs can easily “fall off the wagon”, especially with the temptations of travel.
Similar to ectomorphs, mesomorphs are those that seem to have naturally-gifted physiques with little to no effort in the gym or the kitchen, for that matter. In other words, results happen fast with mesomorphs. This, however, is a double-edged sword.
While a week of hard dieting and training will likely produce noticeable results for mesomorphs, a week of failing on their diet and training regimen will also have a noticeable reversal of progress. For those who travel bunches, this can be cause for concern.
As a mesomorph traveling, it is essential to follow an abiding dietary regimen while also prioritizing fitness where possible in order to, at the very least, maintain their current health and fitness level, for it can be lost fast.
Nutrition and Training Requirements
As mentioned, each body type has its metabolic characteristics in how it responds to diet, nutrition, and training. For example, while an ectomorph can eat whatever it wants with little to no weight gain, endomorphs need to be extremely calculated in what they consume.
As such, there is not a one diet fits all approach when it comes to body types. The same goes for training requirements. While an endomorph seeking to lose weight may be benefited from hypertrophy training, for example, mesomorphs may be best suited to focus on diet for weight loss.
Whether it is too much muscle, too much fat, or not enough weight, training requirements differ across body types, with no ONE training protocol suitable for each.
Finally, "in theory" and "in practice" are two completely different things. While it has been mentioned that there are three primary body types, each with its own unique differences, in practice, no one is ever exclusively one body type. In other words, most of us comprise characteristics from each.
With that being said, if you are someone who is traveling and eager to stay on track with their fitness goals, simply seek to remain as healthy and as active as possible. By focusing more on overall health and less on the specific minutia of physiology (i.e., body types), you will not only get the results you desire, but you will likely enjoy the journey more in the process.
Most important to keep in mind. For most people, body type eating is not necessary or important. The article "The truth about "body type dieting for ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs." provides some great insights and additional advice on this topic.
To help you stay on track during your travels, consider checking out our partner fitness apps, Fitbod and Alpha Progression. To learn more about how they can help you achieve your fitness goals, check out their corresponding review articles!