"Working out on the road can be challenging, but in the end, the biggest obstacle is yourself."
Maintaining a fitness regimen can be difficult in your everyday life. While on-the-go it can be next to impossible. If you're only traveling for a few days (whether it be for business or for pleasure) you may be able to get away with taking a break from your scheduled fitness sessions. But what about for those longer stays? Or if your travel falls in the middle a train-up for a marathon or mere weeks before your best friend’s wedding? Fortunately, there are a few, easy ways to feed that need for physical training without overly disrupting your travel plans.
1. Do your research
When traveling for business, whether it’s for a conference, a training, etc, you may not have the option of choosing your hotel. If you do, look for one with a gym or a pool. Most hotel gym facilities are not large, nor do they tend to have a wide selection of exercise equipment. However, something is always better than nothing. You should be able to judge from pictures on their website what will be available to you. If not, call. That's what Customer Service is there for.
2. Bring your Running/walking shoes
It doesn't matter if you travel for work or for a relaxing vacation; you will still be a guest in a new and exciting environment. So tie on those tennis shoes and venture out into the unexplored surroundings of your temporary home away from home. Trips to locations such as Gatlinburg, TN or Cincinnati, OH tend to provide vacationers/professionals with a challenging workout just from the amount of walking it requires to visit the popular sites. More of a runner? Check out when and where the locals running events are. They could lead you to feeling the sand beneath you bare feet as you jog the beautiful shores of Destin, Florida or right past Centennial Olympic Park - home of the 1996 Olympic games - in downtown Atlanta, GA. There’s nothing more inspiring than combining a great run with an engaging sightseeing tour!
3. Body Weight exercises in the hotel room
No gym? No pool? Not much of a runner? No problem. There are plenty of exercises you can do right in your hotel room to help maintain your level of fitness using just your body weight. When I’m stranded, I like to focus on a few “oldies but goodies.” Push-ups, crunches, mountain climbers and squats are simple, yet effective exercises that can help you break a sweat in the morning, and get you out the door in time for whatever you have scheduled that day. Try this: Complete each exercise to the best of your ability for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Continue this for four minutes for each exercise and complete 1-3 rounds (depending on your fitness level).
*Always be sure to speak to your physician before beginning a strenuous workout routine, especially if that routine will begin while you’re alone in a hotel room. Safety first. Gains later.
4. Eat smart when you can
No surprises here. You know what is healthy for you and what isn't. If you don't, you know where to find out. If you don't have a hotel room with a kitchenette then you may be forced to eat out more than you would like. Make smart choices. If you're on vacation and don't care (imagine vacationing in Italy) then by all means ignore this and enjoy yourself. Otherwise, a chicken salad vs. a big old slice of Chicago deep dish pizza may be your best bet. For extended stays in a hotel, try keeping a stash of health snack items on hand for quick and smart meals.
Working out on the road can be challenging, but in the end, the biggest obstacle is yourself. Making excuses is easy, more so on the road. But planning ahead and implementing a few simple steps can make the difference, making you feel less guilty for ordering that second dessert.