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Maintaining an Exercise Routine While Traveling
I travel a lot and some of the hotels that I stay in do not have fitness rooms. What's the best way to stay fit while on the road?
It can be more difficult to stay true to your fitness routine while traveling; however, it is possible. The key is to plan ahead and actually have a fitness routine that you can fall back on when necessary. Experiment with a variety of exercise modes that do not require equipment. For instance, a Yoga or Pilates mat routine can be done on your hotel room floor. If these aren't your cup of tea, you can develop an "emergency" routine that targets all the major muscle groups using other exercises. For instance, there are many non-equipment maneuvers that only require proper form and little bit of motivation. Squats, push-ups, crunches, dips, and core exercises such as the plank are some basic ones that do the job quite effectively. Resistance bands are very compact and easy to pack and provide a multitude of exercise options.
In addition to the possible strengthening routines mentioned above, you'll need to add an aerobic component to your program. This can be as easy as packing your walking or running shoes. If the hotel is in a less than desirable area, you can always walk the halls or better yet, hit the stairwells and climb or run stairs. If you are truly confined to your room, then a jump rope is light and compact and provides you with a great aerobic workout. Requesting a bottom floor room would be the hospitable thing to do in this case.
Don't forget the pool! Even if you're not a swimmer, consider giving it a try. Many hotels that don't provide fitness centers do actually have swimming pools. Aside from swimming, the water provides great resistance for water running and other exercises. Attending a water aerobics class at your local gym can educate you on various water exercises that you can then do while traveling.
Lastly, make sure you ask if the hotel has an affiliation with a local gym. Sometimes hotels will provide their guests with passes to visit a nearby fitness center. In addition, your local gym may have fitness center affiliates in other cities that allow you to visit at no additional cost.
Our expert, Dr. Sharon E. Griffin, holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in the areas of exercise science/physiology. She also holds a second M.S. degree in Nutrition and is a licensed nutritionist and an ACSM certified health and fitness instructor.