When you travel – for work or pleasure, it can be challenging to maintain your exercise routine. You name it – jet lag, early flights or long car trips, different time zones, packed schedules and having to tote workout gear – all can discourage you from getting your sweat on. Even the most diehard fitness fanatics know the disappointment in finding the hotel fitness center small, uninviting and equipped by out-of-date machines.
Adding to this, big meals, on-the-go snacks, and social activities surrounded by food, and it’s easy to get in a fitness funk on the road. But with all the sitting that typically accompanies travel, along with the many other obstacles, exercise is exactly what you need to feel better and enjoy your time away from home.
It IS possible to exercise while traveling, but it takes some forethought, planning and commitment. Before you pack your next bag, consider the following recommendations for travel workouts:
- Seek out fitness centers before your trip – If you can select your hotel (and your company is not booking it for you), check websites to see which has a fitness center, or call the front desk and ask what equipment is available for exercise. Many larger chain hotels have upgraded their fitness centers to accommodate active guests, so make your reservations at those when possible.
Some hotels now even bring equipment to your room upon request – such as an exercise bike, yoga mat, resistance bands and exercise DVDs. That’s a room service that you may want to take advantage of!
Also, hotels may have deals with nearby fitness centers where guests can use these facilities for free or for a small fee. Ask about this before your trip, and find out if the local health club is within walking distance.
- Get outside – Taking a run or brisk walk, or renting a bike, are great ways to explore your local surroundings and take in the scenery. Ask the hotel concierge or front desk for recommendations of routes – you may enjoy a nearby river walk path, a quiet location or a hiking trail that offers more than just fresh air. Or use an app that provides suggestions of where to run in specific locations.
- Be flexible – On the road, you may not be able to access your favorite elliptical, or the treadmill might be occupied the entire time you are in the hotel fitness center. Don’t sweat it. Hop on the available bike and get to work. Or use the weight machines or dumbbells to make the most of your workout. Even if you only have 20 minutes, doing something is always better than nothing.
- Use your room – When all else fails, bring a resistance band or jump rope and make some space in your hotel room for a workout. You can access online routines, or make up your own, with squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, planks, lat pulldowns, overhead presses and more. Start your day with yoga (use a towel as a mat), your favorite Pilates moves or stretches. Use your imagination.
- Pack smart – Bring shorts and some tank tops, or workout clothes suitable for the weather if you plan to be outdoors. They don’t take up much room in your bag if you roll them tightly. Don’t forget your shoes! Use your phone for music and skip extra gear, like an iPod or workout gloves. If you’ll be gone several days, pack some liquid laundry detergent and clean your workout apparel immediately in the sink (or throw it in the hotel laundry) so that you’re ready to go the next day!
Remember to keep the above workout hacks in mind next time you travel. Stay Fueled!