Holiday travel brings images of the seashore or the mountains and all the activities of the great outdoors; swimming, boating, hiking, biking and fresh air. In reality, travel isn’t always so picture-postcard perfect, so if you’re taking a trip that doesn’t include physical activity, a little creativity and resourcefulness will be necessary to stay on top of your game.
Probably the biggest obstacle to keeping active while traveling is the extended amount of time spent sitting. Long flights, train trips and hours behind the wheel of a car are just some examples. There are also itineraries that keep you sedentary, such as the many hours in conference sessions associated with business travel. When you add in the reduced access to exercise accommodations, you can really lose ground regarding your fitness goals. But there are ways to overcome these snags.
Before you leave on your trip take account of what your surroundings will be. Does the hotel where you are staying have a fitness center? A pool? Is there a park nearby where you can take an energizing jog? Park benches are excellent props for incline pushups, squats, seated leg lifts and other bodyweight exercises. Pack your work out gear so that you can take advantage of these settings and keeping active will be easy.
The truth is, if you have space enough to move, you can insert a little exercise. Walking is probably the most versatile, and a vigorous daily walk is a recognized way to stay fit. You can walk the airport, or the hallways of your hotel or its neighboring streets. Do a heel to toe pace, rolling through the foot and pushing off the toes; pump your arms to increase the heart rate; alternate with lunges to work the leg muscles.
When you are in the room, a circuit work out is an excellent way to make effective use of downtime. Without a single prop, you can perform a circuit which combines:
- knee lifts
- plank holds
- roll ups
Consider purchasing something portable—such as exercise bands or tubing. Most sporting goods stores and department stores sell them. They are inexpensive and offer an easy way to add resistance to your routine. They also come with exercise examples and descriptions. Handy! If you like direction, there are many video workouts that can be downloaded or streamed to your computer or portable device.
Turning downtime into a quick, refreshing work out is easy if you think about it; but it requires commitment, because it’s also easy not to exercise. Decide what your plan will be, schedule it into your daily agenda and set reminders. That way you’ll be sure to stay in top form while you’re away.
By Sue Brown