Work life can get a bit hectic and that includes travel. The locations of travel vary which means my options for workouts has to adjust.
To make it work I do the following:
- Assess the hotel options I have. My work requires certain hotel options and I immediately start looking at my gym options. Hotel pictures can be very deceiving. Just because they say they have a gym doesn’t mean that it’s well maintained equipment or that the room is bigger than a closet (photos can be misleading). Also I’ve run into hotel gyms that have the heat cranked to 85 and there is no way to turn it down. So I look to see what types of equipment they list and look for pictures. Then I make my reservation based on what appears like it might work, but it’s a roll of the dice.
- Have a gym backup plan. After I book a hotel I immediately look for my gym backup plan. I search for local gyms and call to find out if they have day pass options and what their hours are. I even call other hotels that may not be in my allowable list from work. Some hotels will allow you to pay to use their gym, the fancier the hotel the more likely that the gym is decent.
- Have a non-gym backup plan. This is where it gets creative. I can run around where I travel most of the time. However, if the area doesn’t seem safe I won’t go unless Rob or another person is with me. I would rather be a gym rat than have an issue in an area I’m unfamiliar with. Other options include assessing the hotel in general. Is there a pool? Is the hotel many floors so I could run up the stairs in the stairwell? If I bring my own jump rope would there be an area by the hotel or indoors to jump rope? And the final option is doing strengthening moves in the hotel room. Plus thanks to my iPad I can now get Yoga, Abs, Ballet and Pilates fitness workouts to try from my room. Creative options are great because a slight change in my normal workout routine presents a new challenge. It’s a way to maintain fitness, but also build new strength. The only downside is when it’s in the middle of a training cycle. I prefer to get in my running miles as planned when in training so I try my best to get options figured out ahead of time.
- Plan meals. Oh traveling and food, what a dangerous and slippery slope it can become. For me it depends on the location. If the location is unique I will indulge in local fare that I normally don’t have. If a place is known for a particular entrée I will try it. I just try to balance out the rest of my meals with vegetables and lean meats. My biggest struggle when traveling is getting enough water. I seem so consumed with my travel and work that I just forget to drink water. So I must force myself to carry it with me.
What are some of your tips for traveling and staying healthy?
I applied these steps to my latest trip and let me share with you how that went.
- The hotel claimed to have a gym. The chain is not known for amazing gyms so I check pictures, no treadmill in the picture, but an exercise bike would work. I arrive to the hotel and make a bee line for the gym. Unfortunately it’s janky. A closet of a room and the elliptical and bike are gross and old. This will not work.
- I find one back up gym option, it’s a smallish town. They have a day pass option and the hours worked. I happily make my way there after dinner. On drive by the wall of windows allow me to see that this gym is shady. Just not what I’m used to and I feel intimidated by the area. If Rob were with me, we would go, but alone I feel a bit vulnerable and I never question that feeling.
- Non-gym back up plan. I do strengthening moves in my room. Push ups, chair dips, planks, sit ups. Then I whip out the iPad for my first workout via iPad experience. I find that not all videos are equal and the free ones are very beginner oriented. I ended up purchasing some Anytime Yoga videos from iTunes.
4. For dinner I find some local eateries with non-healthy and tempting options. But knowing that I have more travel in my future I forgo them and stick to something more usual to my eating. So I opted for Chili’s Caribbean Salad (greens with red pepper, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cherries) with shrimp, substitute the dressing with non-fat honey mustard and added avocado.
I then made sure to do some 10 minute yoga in the morning before getting to my work. It’s nice how even a quick 10 minute session does wake me up.