Whether traveling for work, school or pleasure, it is very easy to ditchhabits when on the road. It is acceptable to take a break from exercise and diet every once in a while, however, regular gaps in exercise and nutrition can catch up to you. Being away from home is not a valid excuse to ditch the routine. In this article I will share some tips to continue your healthy lifestyle, even on the road.
Book a hotel with a gym – This one may be obvious to some, but a hotel with a gym is not always easy to find. If you know that you have to travel somewhere, get online and do a little research. There are numerous hotel-booking websites that tell you about the amenities that a hotel offers. The best bet is to get onto a hotel’s website and check out the property features. If you can’t find a hotel with a gym, call the hotel and ask if there are any fitness centers nearby. Many fitness centers will offer a day pass for out of town visitors or potential members checking out the facility.
Bring exercise bands - Exercise bands are an excellent way to exercise while on the road. I stayed in shape during a 14 week backpacking trip by using exercise bands alone. These can be purchased at any sporting goods store or online for $10 to $20. They come in a variety of resistance levels for beginner and intermediate exercisers. These lightweight and portable pieces of exercise equipment can be taken anywhere and used anytime.
Bring a list of exercises and a plan for each day you are away - If you have a trainer, ask them to list out things you can do while you are away. If you exercise on your own, make a list of things you can do with minimal equipment and plan out your routine. Activities on the list can include exercises such as pushups, outside nature walks or swimming laps in a hotel pool.
Plan 3-5 short workouts that you can fit in between various appointments or activities - One of the conflicts of traveling for work is that there is not much time to exercise. Plan ten minute workouts that you can do periodically throughout the day. While doing this will not have the same effect as a normal workout, it will still have benefits and keep you active. A good example is taking the half hour that you have between meetings and squeezing in a ten minute calisthenics routine followed by a quick shower. Ten minutes can also be spent jogging or walking.
Have workout clothes handy – When packing your clothes, pack at least one set of workout clothes. When down time does arise, you won’t be able to say that you didn’t bring workout clothes.
Research healthy eating places in proximity of the hotel while you are there or ask for healthy eating options off the menu – While researching gym options and hotel amenities, be sure to look at food menus. Most hotels with a dining area have healthy eating options. If not available, look into nearby restaurants or grocery stores. If you can’t find a place that serves healthy food, go shopping for some. If that is not an option, try to bring a couple healthy snacks from home. You may not be able to follow a perfectlywhile you are away, but that is no reason to overindulge on the junk food.
If no gym is available, find a good place around the hotel to exercise – There may be an empty field nearby in which you can do total body exercises or some good trails for walking and running. It is always rejuvenating to find a nice scenic area to do exercises like yoga and pilates. If there is a beach nearby, that is a perfect place for cardiovascular exercise as well. One of my favorite things about traveling is being able to explore the area by going out for a nice jog or bike ride.
If a pool is too small for lap swimming, try water running – If you are not familiar with water running, there are many videos online demonstrating it. Water running is just as it sounds- the art of running in the water. This can be done in two ways; in a pool where you are touching the ground or in deeper water. In shallow water, you can run stationary or run from one side of the pool to another. In deeper water, you will be doing more of a water treading motion, but it is still the same concept.
When leaving home, do not let something like a business trip or a lengthy vacation be a reason for you to regress on healthy living. A break is okay every now and then, but don’t let workout skipping become a habit.