Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

How to Exercise While Traveling for Business

Not only is it hard to eat healthfully while traveling, but exercising on the road can also be challenging. Depending on whether you like to use gym equipment, swim, bike, or run, there are many choices to keep yourself fit while on the road. I suggest using the Boy Scouts’ motto–“Be Prepared”–to enrich your exercise experience.

Best ways to exercise while traveling

Packing

Workout clothes are usually light and easily packed. I’ll often bring a jacket for potentially cold mornings when my exercising may take me outside. My lightweight running shoes are a must in order to keep the luggage weight down. Packing my sunglasses, water bottle, and phone holder may take up a little extra room, but having them makes for a more enjoyable workout when I am away from home. Of course, a swimsuit, cap, and goggles take up little space–just be sure to bring a waterproof bag should you need to pack a wet swimsuit for your return trip.

Fitness Centers

Most major hotel chains have some sort of fitness center. Equipment can be quite different from one hotel to the next, so look online before you go. Do they have what you need? If not, do you need to change hotels or figure out a different plan? When I arrive, I usually check out the fitness center to get an idea of the type of equipment offered. If I’m unfamiliar with it, I get on and try it out. I learn how to turn it on, figure out the specialized workout program, or how to work the program manually. This saves me time in the morning and I don’t have to waste 5-10 minutes trying to figure out the equipment.

How do I know this? On a business trip to Salt Lake City, I stayed at the Hyatt Place and wanted to use their bike equipment, but only the incumbent bike was available and I couldn’t find the “on” button. I fumbled around with it until I finally had to ask someone. (In case you’re wondering–you just need to pedal and it’s powered by your movement.) I felt a little embarrassed, but still got my workout in.

Swimming Pools

Swimming is a great way to exercise if you love the water. But again, “be prepared” and check the hotel’s pool before you go. If it’s not going to work or if they don’t have one, there are usually local YMCAs or community pools available for a daily fee.

How do I know this? On a business trip to New Orleans, my hotel had an outside pool. From the photos the pool looked like a good size, but in person, it was smaller than I realized and more square than rectangular. I ended up swimming corner to corner to get the longest “lap.” Additionally, despite New Orleans’ usual warm weather, it does get cloudy, windy days, and at 7:00 a.m., an outside pool can be chilly. I’m not sure whether I looked like a dedicated athlete or a person who had gone completely bonkers.

Biking

Typically, I stick with the stationary bikes at the hotel fitness center. In addition to a treadmill, most fitness centers will have the stationary bike of some kind. I have also looked into renting a bicycle and can usually find cruiser bikes (like ones used by tourists or leisure bike groups) in the bigger cities. This takes a little extra time, but can be worth it.

Running

This seems to be the easiest form of exercise while traveling. Fitness centers, at a minimum, will have a treadmill. However, they are usually the first piece of equipment to be taken in the morning, so be prepared to either wait or do something different. Personally, I enjoy running outside. For example, the run from downtown San Francisco to the wharf if beautiful. You could even conclude your run with a trolley ride back to your hotel. I use the Endomondo Sports Tracker app and like the map view that shows where I went. Additionally, some hotels offer morning run guides and/or groups where they will take you on a mini tour while you get your run in.

A word of caution: As a female business traveler, I always make sure the area I am running in is safe. I do not run before sunrise or after sunset. I keep to the busy streets and usually do not hit the parks unless I know they are well populated.

No matter what type of exercise you prefer, there are many options when you are traveling. Just remember to “Be Prepared” and kudos to you for staying healthy.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Don’t Let Business Travel Derail Your Fitness Goals

As we quickly approach the fifth month of yet another year in which many of us are working toward fitness goals, some of us might be getting a little lackadaisical in our commitment.

Sometimes we would love nothing more than an excuse to skip a workout or enjoy a “cheat meal,” but the truth is, once we take that plunge, it can be harder to get back to where we were. Of course, there is nothing unhealthy about having a day of rest here and there, but next time your boss sends you on a week-long business trip, don’t let yourself off the hook! There are more than enough outlets for you to stick to your fitness plan and goals.

Utilize Hotel Fitness Facilities

Try to book a hotel with a fitness room. Many hotels are currently upgrading their equipment to accommodate the increasing number of health-conscious travelers. If your hotel doesn’t offer a fitness room, why not do a Google search to see if your home gym has a location near your hotel?

Also, don’t let the lack of free weights in hotel fitness facilities deter you. If your hotel has a pool, take advantage of water exercise! Pool workouts are a great way to build cardiac endurance and work on strength training without the impact on your muscles and joints.

Bring the Gym With You

Let’s not forget all the wonderful little gadgets and gizmos that allow us to take fitness virtually anywhere. From resistance bands and jump ropes to inflatable weights and yoga mats, you could easily fit an entire workout in your carry-on!

Also, chances are you have some sort of “smart” device. Check out the “Health & Fitness” category in your App Store. It’s loaded with 200 free applications you can store right on your phone or tablet to aid in smart eating and daily workouts.

Overall, don’t let yourself take the “easy road” while “on the road.” Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. It will help you keep stress at bay and achieve your personal goals.