How to Stay Fit on the Road

Here are some simple steps you can take to stay fit while traveling.
By: Jennifer Plum Auvil
Don’t let your exercise and diet routine fall apart when you’re on the road. Whether you’re traveling for fun or business, here are some simple steps you can take to stay fit on the road.
Explore Your Surroundings
Take advantage of the novelty of new surroundings and change up your exercise routine by heading outside for a workout. Exercise like the locals, whether that’s paddle-boarding or surfing in Hawaii or cross-country skiing in cold-weather destinations. Explore urban settings with a running tour of the city. You can map out your own route using an app MapMyFITNESS or plan for a group sightseeing run with City Running Tours, which coordinates personalized and group runs around San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago and more.
Head to the Gym
Before you write-off the hotel gym, drop in for a visit and check out the facilities. While many hotel gyms offer only the most basic equipment and services, some have extra amenities to accommodate your workout routine. The top hotel gyms offer an array of fitness classes, personal training and machines that rival your gym back home. And even if your hotel gym is lacking the fancy equipment, it may offer extended hours -- some even operate 24/7 -- so you can work out on your own schedule.
Let the Hotel Help
There may be options beyond the fitness center that can help you stay fit on the road, so check with the concierge to see if your hotel offers special programs to help travelers stay on track. Westin has a reputation for helpings guests stay fit on the road with options like WestinWORKOUT rooms loaded with fitness gear. The hotel also partners with New Balance to lend out exercise clothes, including shoes and sports bras. But don’t worry about the ick-factor—the clothes go through a hot-water wash just like the hotel’s sheets and towels and the inner soles of shoes are replaced for each guest. Westin isn’t alone in its mission to simplify fitness away from home. In 2011, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants partnered with Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN and lead diet and nutrition expert on The Today Show, to help guests maintain a healthy lifestyle at the hotel. In addition to creating 7 tasty and nutritious meals on the in-room dining menu, Bauer and Kimpton created On Demand in-room workout videos so you can work out on your own schedule.
Check Out the Local Grocery Store
Eating out can get old when you’re traveling, and expensive, too. With some planning, you can maintain a healthy diet, and save some dough. Kath Younger, RD, of the healthy food blog, suggests simple ways to eat healthy on the road that require minimal planning. “Look for hotels that have a microwave, minifridge and/or a breakfast bar that might stock plates and bowls for the easiest experience,” suggests Younger. And Younger has plenty of tips for what to stock up on at the grocery store. “Cans or packets of tuna or salmon (or sardines if you are brave) can be mixed with bagged spinach and served in tortillas. Or microwave a sweet potato and serve it with broccoli that has been broken off the stem and microwaved on the side. Other dinner ideas include hummus with salad bar veggies, soups microwaved in breakfast bar bowls, loaves of bread with peanut butter and jam or banana,” she says. The extra effort you take before you travel will pay off when you can happily bypass the drive-through and avoid room-service fees.
Use Your Imagination
Even if your hotel doesn’t have a gym, you can take advantage of a new environment and incorporate some new moves and gear into your exercise routine. Let your smart phone play the role of personal trainer with fitness apps like Prêt-à-Yoga and iFitness. If you have extra room in your suitcase, tuck in resistance bands or Perfect Push Up grips to do some power workouts in your room. Incorporate the furniture into strength-training using a chair or table for dips or add some reps of incline push-ups against a wall. Lay down some towels for some Sun Salutations and other yoga moves. And if your hotel does have a pool, pack your goggles for an early-morning swim or underwater running or aqua aerobics.
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