Challenge: How do I maintain a workout routine when I am on the road?
Solution: Pack a few exercise essentials, make use of the hotel room and incorporate exercise in transit.
Traveling is exciting! Whether you’re visiting somewhere completely new for fun, or traveling for work, you’re being pushed out of your comfort zone and into new experiences. Unfortunately, along with that, chaos ensues. Sure, it’s exciting to feel like a jet setter for a little while. But after a 48-hour time period in which you’ve had six lattes and gotten less than six hours of sleep, you start to shut down. The stress of travel can often make working out seem like an overwhelming task.
Even when things are going smoothly, fitting in a workout can still be difficult. If I am traveling for work, my schedule is usually packed with meetings, lunches, dinners and happy hours. If I am on vacation, I am preoccupied with fun activities—going out with friends, exploring new cities, and enjoying as many delicious meals as possible. It’s easy to let the day go by without getting a sweat session in.
I have found a few easy ways to fit in exercise, in order to feel good when traveling. I always bring an exercise band wherever I go. I’ve been known to do yoga while waiting for my flight in the terminal (my friends can verify how ridiculous this looks) and put on running shoes between meetings so that I can get as much walking in as possible.
I have learned the hard way that spending a day in high heels will not only cause severe foot pain but that it does not allow for getting any kind of exercise in between meetings. After stumbling my way down many streets and ruining perfectly good shoes by getting the heels stuck in the subway vents, I have had enough of trying to commute in style.
I asked the very chic women who work at Shape and other publishing companies how they can stand to wear heels all day. They all look like they could be going to Fashion Week every week, and it was a mystery to me how they could maintain that fabulous style. Many of them employ a city girl trick—walk from home to office or meeting to meeting in gym shoes and slip on stilettos when they get into the building for work or events. They convinced me it is much more important to commute in comfort rather than endure the pain, and I still get to show up in style.
Now when I am in a city for business, I always wear tennies and carry a large purse with my heels tucked away. It’s also very easy to clock extra workout time if I do it this way. I end up walking around the neighborhood or in the park when I have a break or simply just walk to meetings instead of taking cabs. By the end of the day, my steps add up and I feel really good!
If you are not in a situation where you can walk from place to place, check out your hotel gym and do a quick workout there. Otherwise, here are simple ways to exercise without interfering with your schedule (or having to resort to downward dog in the middle of the airplane aisle). No equipment needed!
Fast Travel Fit Workouts You Can Do Anywhere
- Squats, pushups, sit-ups and planks
- Do each exercise for 20 seconds as fast as possible. Rest 10 seconds, then repeat. The goal is to do the same amount of reps every round, so don’t start out with 20 pushups the first round and end with just 2 in the last few!
- Perform 8 rounds of each move.
- Yoga Sun Salutations
- Lift both arms overhead. Fall forward and place both hands on the mat.
- Step back to plank. Bend elbows and come down onto your stomach. Gently lift chest off the mat.
- Shift hips up and back into a down dog. Walk to the front of your mat.
- Repeat the entire movement 10 times.
- Quick cardio burst
- Perform 30 seconds of squat jumps, followed by 15-second rest.
- Perform 30 seconds of jumping jacks, followed by 15-second rest.
- Perform 30 seconds of high knees, followed by 15-second rest.
- Repeat the series 5 times.
By following these simple strategies to travel fit (and always remembering to bring your tennies) you can get your workout in whether you are traveling for work or pleasure.