Whether you love to exercise, hate it, or fall somewhere in between, it’s likely that it is a constant challenge to dedicate time and energy to fitness in an already busy life. Routine and familiarity are known advantages towards your fit lifestyle and regular exercise. But what happens when you travel and your established regimen flies out the window?
Suddenly you’re battling new accommodations and time zones, jet lag, busy work schedules, or enticing vacation relaxation, and you need time plus research, planning, and perhaps a little extra ingenuity to get the job done? Ugh, already fatigued. But exercise could be just what you need to get revved up to make the most of your day.
So here are my suggestions.
1. Buy an inexpensive exercise band with handles and a door anchor that you can slip into your suitcase. It travels easily and is always available. You can work your arms, legs, and back from any door along your travels.
2. Download one of the many great exercise Apps onto your phone or tablet. I use P90X and TRX. P90X requires nothing more than your workout clothes and sneakers, and TRX straps with a door anchor can be taken on the road. Both are made by BeachBody, which offers a variety of home DVD exercise programs that often have coordinating mobile Apps. Both programs can be enhanced by free weights and worked through in almost any room, or outdoors.
A few other great exercise Apps to consider:
a. Nike Training Club – a full suite of workouts that can be customized or selected by time, body part, or intensity. Complete with how-to videos, the app records what you’ve accomplished and can be optionally set to music - either Nike’s set list, or a playlist of your own creation.
b. Run with Map My Run – perfect for the travelling runner. Enter a time or distance goal and the app sets a local course wherever you’re located. It also tracks your pace and progress.
c. Yoga Pro for iPad – sadly this one doesn’t have a mobile phone counterpart, but if you have an iPad and are into yoga, it’s awesome. For the experienced yogi, you can create your own routine. For the rest of us, the app includes a lot of ready-made routines sorted by difficulty or health goal. The “Personal Yoga Teacher” feature lets you fill out a fitness profile and generates a routine customized for your needs. The app tracks your progress and explains every pose.
d. Yoga Studio – formatted for both mobile and tablet, this yoga App features “classes” that can be customized to your level and needs.
3. Take advantage of the free trials yoga and Pilates studios offer to new students. Nearly every city now has a multitude of studios. Most offer free sessions or weeks to get new customers into their studios. Try multiple during a weeks travel. The trick here is to do your homework. Scope out the local studios, call in advance for policies and to make sure the studio provides or rents mats.
4. Take advantage of reciprocal memberships. Many national gyms as well as the YMCA or JCC will honor out of town memberships.
5. Make the most of your hotel fitness center. In today’s world, nearly every hotel and resort has some kind of exercise center. They’ll likely have a varied selection of machines, free weights, and mats. Some even offer classes.
Bottom line . . . . the only thing keeping you from exercising is yourself.
Staying fit on the go can come with extra challenges, but it is far from impossible and the rewards come back in spades. Jet lag will disappear quicker, you’ll have more energy for the real reason you traveled, and you’ll make better food choices by not wanting to undo all the hard work you put in exercising. Plus, it balances out the treats and extra calories travel always brings.
So, keep fighting the good fight, and happy travels!