Guest Post #2: Staying Fit While Traveling

After the first guest post I did a few months ago about exercise and cancer I was emailed a few weeks ago by Mike Manning about writing an article about some tips to staying fit while traveling.  I have listened to podcasts, read articles, and have talked to people who have said how much of a struggle it is to fit exercise in when traveling.  Whether it’s traveling for work, family, or vacation, the added stress about a different place, different time zone, and different daily routines can become an issue and make staying fit tough.  Another added stress is eating.  Most people who travel do not bring their kitchen or food with them so they are at the mercy of whatever is around where they are staying and that can cause HUGE issues.  Eating fast food, hotel food, or food you are not accustomed to can cause weight gain.  The combo of poor food choices and lack of exercise because of “inconvenience” is a big issue when traveling.  Here are some tips from Mike Manning about staying active while traveling.  Enjoy!

Four Tips on Staying Fit When You Travel

Long-distance travel can harm your health in several ways. Travelers often eat large, unhealthy meals at restaurants and convenience stores. They also sit in cramped vehicles for many hours. This causes people to gain weight, experience greater stress and gradually develop a range of other medical problems. Fortunately, you can use these helpful tips to stay fit when traveling:

1. Look for a way to exercise at the airport. Many terminals have introduced new fitness amenities in recent years. You might find a yoga room, gym, walking trail or golf course. Some airport hotels allow anyone to use their fitness centers and pools, according to USA Today. If you aren’t staying at the hotel, you can pay a fee to access these facilities. An extra benefit of exercising at the airport is that it reduces the risk of travel-related blood clots.

2. Take steps to reduce stress when you travel. Mild exercise and outdoor activities reduce chemicals in the body that cause stress, according to CNN. Try to fit in a short outdoor walk when you reach your destination. Comfortable clothing, healthy foods and deep breathing can also help. It is crucial to have the right attitude about your trip as well. Travel with the expectation that there will be delays and other unforeseen obstacles.

3. Look for hotels that provide opportunities to exercise. Before you reserve a room, take the time to find a hotel with a fitness center that has suitable hours and no extra fees. This will make it easy for you to work out, even if the weather is unpleasant. Some lodging establishments also provide yoga, Pilates or general fitness classes. If possible, choose a hotel in a location that lets you walk to local stores and restaurants. On a trip to Maui a couple of months ago I made sure to do some research on a website called Gogobot in order to get a list of Maui hotels where I could see reviews, amenities offered, and prices all in one. This made it easy for me to pick a hotel that allowed me to workout in the morning so I had all day to walk around the city and hit the beaches.

4. If the motel doesn’t have a gym and it’s raining outside, try exercising in your room. There is a variety of compact fitness equipment that will fit in your luggage, such as fold-up yoga mats, resistance bands, five-pound weights and TRX training kits. A single resistance band proves extremely adequate for travel. You may also purchase travel-oriented fitness videos to watch in your motel room.

Try to incorporate health and fitness into your next trip in as many ways as possible. Select restaurants that offer low-fat meals in relatively small portions. If possible, walk to your hotel rather than calling a taxi or waiting for a bus. Use the stairs instead of an elevator. With a little extra effort, you can exercise and cut calories almost anywhere.

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