Getting fit and staying in shape while traveling isn’t as difficult as it may seem: you don't need a fancy gym or a ton of free time. Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak's goal is to make working out really simple for his busy A-list clients, so his routine is ideal for anyone on the go.
We went all the way to Hong Kong to work out with Pasternak, who showed us a day in the life of Ariana Grande, in honor of her recent partnership with Reebok, and gave us an inside look at what fitness means for her while on the road.
Below are the five easy ways Grande and the other stars on Pasternak’s roster maintain their figures and manage to squeeze in daily workouts while traveling the world.
Get your steps in.
“The World Health Organization says you need at least 10,000 steps a day,” Pasternak told T+L. “I say 12,000 steps and you don’t have to kill yourself doing it. There’s no need to be doing wind sprints and you don’t need to push yourself to the point of nausea.”
The most important thing is to keep your body moving. “The key to being in great shape is this: take your right foot and put it in front of your left and then repeat,” he said. “There are no moves than can compensate for a lack of steps.”
Get some sleep.
Jetlag may be a problem when visiting a new country, but you need to stay on top of your sleeping schedule at all times.“It’s supposed to be one third of our lives,” Pasternak said. “I’ve spent the last 25 years teaching people how to move and now I’m spending a lot of time showing them how not to move. Sleep is really, really important.”
In the same way you watch what you eat, you have to always make sure you’re getting enough sleep. According to a study done at U.C. Berkeley, sleep depravation leads to unhealthy cravings and triggers the brain to want more junk food, which is counterproductive to a fit lifestyle.
Take a break from technology.
Feeling good is a big part of staying healthy, and you can do that by eliminating unnecessary stress from your life — starting with your phone. Allow yourself to step away from work emails and social media. Come on, you’re supposed to be on vacation anyway.
“You need to unplug from technology for at least an hour a day,” Pasternak advised us. “I hope there’s one hour of the day where you put that phone away and do something that forces you to be present. Removing yourself from technology for even an hour will do wonders for your mental health.”
Think about what you're eating.
Working out is meaningless if you’re not eating right. “There’s no point in spending all those hours burning calories just to replace them with bad ones,” Pasternak said. “‘I hear people saying, ‘What’s the best pre-workout and post-workout thing to eat?’ Unless you’re training for the Olympics, there’s no point of eating a bunch of calories right before you burn them.”
This isn’t to say you should be depriving yourself — just remember to try things in moderation. “I think [Grande's] always had a healthy diet, but what I've gotten her to do more now is to create balance and moderation,” he said. “To feel OK with indulging and celebrating sometimes. She has really widened the ingredients she's putting in her diet.”
Push yourself, within reason.
"Pull or lift something heavy,” he said. “Challenge your muscles ideally for at least five minutes a day."
Since we were in a spacious park, Pasternak started us off with simple cardio that included a quick jog and three sets of lunges across the field. “That's the key to working with people like Ariana is how you make the most of what we have time, equipment, and space-wise without injuring them,” Pasternak said. “Think about it, if you hurt yourself exercising, not only can you not work out for a while, but you won’t be able to do a lot of things. You have to keep efficiency, balance, focus, and safety all in mind.”
Pack comfortable clothes.
If you don’t bring sneakers, chances are you’re not going to work out. They'll also come in handy for walking around and exploring a new city, and that counts as a way to get your steps in. Do yourself a favor and make moving effortless by packing the appropriate attire.
“When you’re wearing something comfortable, you’re more likely to move,” Pasternak said. “If you’re wearing comfortable shoes, your feet are happy and that will get you to maybe take the stairs rather than the elevator, or it may result in you walking those extra blocks rather than taking a cab. Sightseeing is the best workout when traveling.”