Fitting fitness into your travel plans is easier than you think. With a little effort, you can work around the jet lag and busy schedules to squeeze in some regular physical activity. And you’ll feel better for it, especially if being away from home means you’re under stress or not eating and sleeping well. You’ll have more energy to see the sites, impress your clients, or just enjoy your vacation with more gusto. Start planning before you leave.
Call the hotel or place you’ll be staying to see if there’s a pool, health club, or exercise room. If not, ask if there’s a health club or fitness center nearby.
Always pack a swimsuit and walking or running shoes. You also can bring a “portable gym” by packing: An exercise video (find out if there’s a VCR or DVD player in your room when you ask about the pool and health club), a resistance band or tube, a jump rope. If you have a long trip, you might want to start moving before you arrive. Use your feet more instead of taking the moving walkways, escalators, elevators, and motorized carts on your way to the gate. Walk around the airport, or train or bus station while waiting to leave. If you’re on a plane, train, or bus, get up and stretch your legs at least every hour and a half by walking up and down the aisle when you can. When seated, point and flex your feet, rotate them around in both directions, and do little seated leg lifts – hold a leg out straight with toes pointing up and raise it gently two or three inches; switch legs.
Stop at a park or rest stop every hour or two and take a brisk walk if you’re driving. See if there’s a park where you can walk or jog. Maybe there are walking trails around the building or complex. A nearby mall offers a good place to walk if it’s raining or very hot or cold outside. If you’re on business and going to be stuck in meetings all day, try climbing stairs or walking around the inside or outside of the building during coffee and lunch breaks. Not only will you feel recharged, you’ll be able to avoid those high-calorie snacks and treats. If there’s no health club in sight or you like to work out alone, turn your room into a mini gym. Your jump rope and resistance band or tube can provide a super cardio and strength-training workout. If you do yoga or Pilates at home, also practice when you’re away. It’s important to stay active when you’re away from home. Taking care of yourself when you’re on the road will make your trips more pleasant. And you’ll feel better when you get home.