Travel & Exercise on the Go
by Chris Freytag
When you’re working to eat healthy and stay fit with exercise, a business trip or two could derail all of your hard work. Finding the time and energy on a daily basis to exercise and eat right can be difficult. Throw in frequent business travel, and the task can seem almost impossible.
Like many of you, I travel almost every week for business. To ensure that your dedication at home doesn’t go by the wayside on the road, here are a few simple steps that you can take to keep your waistline and your calorie intake in check.
1. Include workouts in your travel itinerary. Exercising on the road is just like working out at home–it requires planning and commitment. From airline reservations and rental cars to hotel reservations and itineraries, every detail of the trip is planned well in advance. Why not schedule your workout like you do a meeting? Put it on your calendar and email yourself a reminder so that you don’t forget.
If at all possible, exercise in the morning. When you travel, the days can be long and last-minute client dinners can interfere with your evening workout. Exercising in the morning helps ensure success.
2. Determine how you will exercise on your trip before you leave. Most hotels have workout facilities as a benefit for travelers, so check them out beforehand online. Once you know what the hotel offers, you can decide whether you will need to bring additional equipment, or if a swimsuit will fit the bill. If you are an outdoor runner or walker, go to www.mapmyfitness.com and map out your route. Any city, anywhere, you can create any distance you need and figure out how to navigate the side streets so you don’t end up lost. Send the route to your iPhone and you are good to go.
3. Get rid of the all-or nothing attitude. When you travel for business, even the best-thought-out plans can be disrupted by flight delays, traffic snarls and scheduling changes. If you miss your “scheduled” workout, a short routine is better than nothing. Consider doing sit-ups or yoga stretches in your room, or running up and down the stairs in the hotel a few times. Even ten minutes of activity can make a difference. Another good place to get exercise is in the airport. More often than not, your plane is boarding at the farthest end of the concourse. If you wear comfortable shoes, you can skip the electronic walkways and power walk to the gate. And if you hate layovers, make the most of your time by taking a power walk around the airport. Again, every little bit helps.
4. Remember your athletic shoes. When you travel for business, you would never think of leaving your laptop or cell phone behind. The same should hold true for your tennis shoes and workout gear. Whenever I’m in a big city, I love taking a morning run up and down the streets before the foot traffic begins. Catch a cup of coffee on the way back to the hotel to shower.
5. Pack healthy snacks. When you make a list of things to take on your trip, make sure to include granola bars, an apple, or better yet, make your own trail mix that you can enjoy on the plane or in your hotel room. Not only will the snacks hold you over until your next meal, they also will ensure that you don’t make a late-night trip to the vending machine or an afternoon jaunt to the coffee shop for a 500-calorie pastry. And always carry a water bottle throughout your day. Traveling dehydrates the body. Water satisfies hunger and helps you stay alert.
6. Have it your way. Remember that restaurants are there to serve you. In addition to ordering your salad dressing on the side, ask that your meal be prepared to your specifications. Replace potatoes with steamed vegetables, ask for sauces on the side, and request a to-go box for half your meal at the start of your meal. Or consider eating soup and a salad versus a large entrée. If you plan to attend a cocktail party or happy hour, order a glass of water between each beverage. Whether you drink alcohol, soda or coffee, the water can help you feel full and counteracts the effects of alcohol and caffeine.
While traveling for business (or pleasure for that matter) offers some challenges to your exercise routine, a little creativity can go a long way toward helping you stay fit on the road!
Chris Freytag is a health and fitness expert, author and speaker. She has been teaching fitness classes and personal training for over 20 years. She is a contributing editor for Prevention Magazine; the fitness contributor for the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis; and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise. Chris has authored 5 books; has created dozens of fitness DVD’s; and sells her signature line of healthy kitchen and fitness products on QVC. Connect with Chris at www.chrisfreytag.com www.Facebook.com/ChrisFreytagpage or on Twitter @ChrisFreytag