Exercise Can Be Done, Even While Traveling

Life in America encourages a busy schedule. The more a person does, the more he or she can get out of life, or so they say.

The schedule of people whose work has them traveling a lot will definitely look very full. It is no surprise that a person could lose track of time that should be spent on very important things such as keeping his or her body in shape and healthy while traveling.

I, myself have a lot of trouble making time for exercise and monitoring what I am eating and drinking while traveling. It was a nice surprise to find these tips from Brad Prigge, Exercise Specialist at The Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, to help busy business travelers to stay in shape:

  1. Find out what resources will be available to you during your trip. An option many people already know is that you can hit the hotel gym or pool for a good workout after a long day of traveling. Were you aware, some hotel groups now offer the ability to request your favorite piece of exercise equipment brought right to your hotel room? Check with your rewards program, they may offer to have exercise clothes and shoes waiting in your room when you arrive. Many hotel groups are becoming more health conscious and are offering a variety of options available for guests to continue their fitness routine on the road. Check with your hotel, you may be pleasantly surprised with the amenities they offer for fitness. Having your workout clothes and water or headphones ready for you when you return to your hotel is a good way to help motivate yourself to workout. Seeing everything already ready for you will take a bit of the stress off of your own shoulders after a potentially stressful work day.
  2. Keep in mind the latest high-tech equipment or a gym is not a necessity; your own body is your greatest asset. Movements like squats, lunges, pushups, jumps, marching, crawling, and others can be a great circuit routine and can be done anywhere from your hotel room to a nearby park. Take time to explore your body’s diverse range of movements and experiment with reaching movements and shifting your body weight into different positions. Pay attention to areas that feel tight or restricted or that possibly provide relief and relaxation. If you feel it just isn’t a workout without any equipment, small packable items like suspension trainers, bands, or message balls take up very little space in your travel bag and can make great travel accessories. See our review of some sample workout bands here.
  3. Bring your essentials. Make it easy to say yes to your workout, and be sure to pack your must have items. May it be tennis shoes, a swim suit, your iPod, earphones, or whatever your essential items are for enjoying your workout, make sure they are along with you. Apps on your phone can be a great resource for playing your favorite music during your workout or guiding you on a run in a new location. Consider checking off a list as you pack, keeping in mind work and workout plans. Making a conscious effort is key.
  4. Opportunities are everywhere. Get up and move around 5 to 10 minutes every hour. Pay attention to all the opportunities you have available to move whether it is taking the stairs versus the escalator or avoiding moving sidewalks, we have many opportunities to move. It just takes a little bit of awareness and direct intention to move to be open to all of the opportunities presented to us. Use a smart watch or activity tracker to help remind you when it is time to move. Or better yet, incorporate movement breaks into your travel plans and plan an activity along your way. Chairs are optional, getting on the ground and using a variety of seated or resting positions on the floor or walking while waiting for your flight or the next meeting are great ways to help you avoid long hours in the seated chair position. Be sure to plan movement breaks on your long car road trips. Rest stops, travel centers, or an interesting local park are all great ideas to get out and explore or take a stretch break for a few minutes. Looking up local museums, parks, food trucks, or other attractions near your hotel and planning a walking/running route to them is a good way to keep yourself motivated and excited about working out. Also remember not to worry about how you look working out in a strange place. Chances are the people who do happen to notice you will look at you with respect and longing, wishing they would make that change in their lives.

When traveling, being uncomfortable and out of one’s comfort zone is expected. Take this advice and meld it with your own style and habits to create a lifestyle that is efficient, fun, and healthy all at once.

Story by Grace Baldwin

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