Traveling — whether for business or pleasure — does not have to mean leaving your fitness routine behind. If anything, it is an opportunity to get creative and challenge yourself with new exercise endeavors.
“The key to making staying fit and healthy a priority on the road is to plan ahead,” says Olga Hays, an American Council on Exercise-certified wellness promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare.
Hays shares three tips for staying fit while traveling:
1. Plan ahead and find a gym.
One way to continue with your workouts on the road is to stay at hotels that have a gym. Or, if you are staying somewhere without a fitness space, scout out a gym ahead of time, and then book your accommodations close by.
2. Build exercise into your daily activities.
Stay active when traveling by incorporating exercise into your tourist activities. For example, riding a bike, going on a walking tour and hiking all offer an opportunity to build a healthy body while exploring new locations and having adventures.
3. Turn your room into a fitness space.
Convert your hotel room or rental into an instant gym by using a simple deck of cards and your body weight. Assign each suit in the deck of cards a different exercise; the card value equals the number of reps (all face cards have a value of 10 and aces have a value of 11).
- Spades = Squats
- Hearts = Push-ups
- Clubs = Lunges
- Diamonds = Sit-ups
If you pull a 10 of spades, then you do 10 squats. If the next card you pull is a seven of hearts, you do seven push-ups, and so forth until you go through the entire deck or reach the amount of time you planned for your workout.
“A deck of cards workout is quick, effective and exciting because of the random and unpredictable format,” says Hays.
Travel, sleep and exercise
“If you travel a lot, jet leg is probably something you have to deal with,” explains Hays. “And while you may not feel like working out, engaging in exercise can help you adjust to new time zones and surroundings quicker because it can significantly increase our mood and energy levels.”
“As a reminder, you should avoid heavy exercise near bedtime as it may delay sleep,” she says. “Instead, look for opportunities to exercise outdoors during daylight hours — daylight is a powerful way to regulate our internal biological clock and help reduce the symptoms of jet leg.”
“When it comes to staying fit and healthy while traveling, you don’t need to be all or nothing, or 100% perfect all the time,” explains Hays. “Just do your best making good choices every day, one healthy decision at a time.”