By Darren Floro-Bryant
Sometimes sticking with a workout routine while in your own environment is hard enough. You follow a schedule, you’ve committed to a fitness routine, you’ve bought the gear, or you’ve paid for the membership – and then you get pulled away for travel. Many times it is for work, and other times it is personal, but in either situation, how do you make your fitness routine fit into your suitcase?
Several factors may impact your ability to work out while traveling. Time constraints can make it difficult to continue your workouts while on the road. If you’re traveling for work, you are often at the mercy of a strict itinerary, business functions, and long dinners. When traveling for personal reasons, you have to account for your travel mates timetables and expectations. If you want to keep up your fitness routine while on the road, plan it in advance as part of your schedule. It may mean you have to get up an hour early to hit the hotel treadmill or go for a run around the city you’re visiting, but you’ll have to put in the extra time and effort.
In addition to time constraints, another significant factor to consider is accessibility to fitness equipment. Whether it be at your hotel or a nearby fitness facility, you won’t be at your home gym so changes will need to be made. Below are some suggestions to help keep you on track.
When you’re looking for a hotel, find out if they have a fitness center onsite. Check the hotel website to get an idea of what they provide. If the website doesn’t provide any pictures, call the hotel and ask what equipment they have in their fitness centers. Quite a few hotels have small fitness centers with very limited, but effective equipment to keep you active. Knowing what the hotel provides will allow you to plan in advance and make some adjustments to your fitness routine. If the hotel you’re looking at doesn’t have a fitness center or it doesn’t meet your needs, ask if they partner with any local gyms or fitness facilities. Also, since your available time may be limited, check out the hours of operation for all of these options; you will most likely have to fit your workout in to accommodate your work or vacation schedule.
If you belong to a large gym chain, check to see if they have a facility close to where you are staying. If not, ask if they are affiliated with other chains that allow their members to train at when traveling. If the answer is no to both options, look online to see what gyms are in the area and call ahead to see what their rates are and if they offer any special deals for travelers. Also, check with your employer, they may have a benefit that covers drop-in fees at fitness facilities for employees that travel.
Try Something New
Another great opportunity is to see if there are any independent gyms or smaller boutique facilities in the area that you could check out. This is a fantastic way to add a little variety to your fitness routine and potentially get some new ideas to take back home with you to add to your current fitness routine. If you’ve never tried a Spin class, or a HIIT class, checkout what is close to where you are staying and give something new a chance.
If none of these options are available, there are some great bodyweight routines you can do in your room. You can either talk with your trainer, ask a fitness professional to design a program for you, or search the internet for ideas. There are also some great fitness-based apps for your mobile phone now that can help you figure out a quick bodyweight program while on the road. You can even intensify these programs with minimal pieces of equipment that easily fit in your suitcase (i.e., resistance bands, jump ropes, leg bands)
Get Out There
Exploring a new city is a great reason to get off of a treadmill and out of the gym. You can find walking paths on-line or if you’re in a hotel, ask the concierge. If you are a runner, check online for local running groups in the area where you are traveling. They will often allow you to join their group for the duration of your stay or give you some great safe routes to run. This is a great way to get to know a new city; you will see things that you may miss out on when driving around in a car. Get in contact with a running club in your own city to make some connections.
Take a Break
Finally, as mentioned above, time constraints are often a challenge when traveling. This may be the ideal time to give yourself a break from your regular fitness routine. All workout routines should include a rest period, and this may be a perfect opportunity to dial back the intensity of your workouts to prepare for the limitations you may have to encounter. Take some time to research your options and plan accordingly.
As you can see, there are many ways to adapt your fitness routine while on the road, even when your time is not your own. It just takes a little planning, some small changes to your expectations, and perspective to make it fit.