Busy Traveler? How to Fit Exercise into your Trips
Busy Traveler? How to Fit Exercise into your Trips
Article by KeoCarter
The benefits of regular exercise are clear. Exercise prevents heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and whole lot of other common diseases that can be avoided.
In addition, you’ll have more energy, feel more optimistic about life and recreation, walk more confidently, sleep more soundly at night, and wake up in the morning feeling more refreshed.
But what happens when we have to travel and are forced out of our regular routines? These tips will help you keep up with your fitness goals and make the adjustment easy.
Although hopping in and out of planes may seem exhausting, its not the kind of exercise that will condition your heart, make your reflexes and joints more fluid, keep your sugar levels in check and control mood swings.
Nor is it the kind of exercise that will give you that euphoric feeling after a good cardio session. We also need to counteract the effect of jet lag, stale cabin air and sky fatigue.
The good news is that traveling away from home will help you recognize how humdrum your workout might have become. It’s easy to fall into a rut at home and do the same routine for weeks or months on end.
When you travel, you’re forced to try something new, to try new equipment, to swim instead of jog, and so on. You might even add these newly discovered exercises to your workout when you get home.
Some nice hotels have spa facilities that you can enjoy while on a business trip. Reward yourself with a massage after a session on the treadmill or 10 laps in the pool. This is a great way to unwind for the evening, and an added bonus for the individual on the go.
What are some of the reasons why travelers do not incorporate exercise while they’re on the road? – They’re stressed or too tired- They don’t feel comfortable about working out in unfamiliar surroundings – They don’t have access to a hotel gym or pool
But if they made just a tiny effort to change this thinking and plan ahead, they’d be on the road to fitness sooner. And engaging in exercise allows you to get out of that bubble of meetings, seminars and tours.
Walk when on the Road
When traveling, have a pair of good walking shoes, preferably trainers, so that you won’t feel so daunted about getting from one side of the airport to the other.
Having the right pair of walking shoes will encourage you to walk up the stairs instead of take the escalator, to walk instead of taking the conveyor belt, and to transfer from one concourse to another on foot instead of taking the shuttle service.
You may not know it, but walking these long distances with your luggage in tow serves as a combination/weight lifting exercise.
Fitness while Flying
Once settled comfortably on the plane, make sure you time your stretching and walking periods. If it’s just an hour’s flight, walk around the plane once and do your stretching at the back of the plane, if it’s a three to five hour flight, try to get up from your seat and walk around at least once every hour, doing leg extensions and trunk/neck movements.
Some airlines even show videos of how travelers can incorporate flexibility movements while seated or standing. Take full advantage of these videos. The exercises may help you ward off fatigue and jet lag.
A note about DVT
In the last few years, there have been reports about flight passengers, especially in economy class, suffering from DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis which is the formation of deadly blood clots that can break loose and get stuck in the heart or brain.
The United Nations World Health Organization has established a link between confining airplane seats and deaths from DVT. It has nothing to do with gender, risk factors or genetics. Everyone is at risk. This alone should constitute a compelling reason to integrate exercise while high in the sky.
To make exercise possible while traveling, try to schedule your flights so you have some time for exercise when you get to your destination.
Important things to do when traveling
- Be fully rested before a trip – have the usual “to pack” items ready well in advance so you’re not scampering for them at the last minute, depleting your energy levels.
- Time your sleep correctly – as soon as you board, get the local time of your destination and set your watch accordingly. If it’s already night time in your destination, wear blindfolds and ask for a pillow and try to catch a few winks.
- Drink plenty of water – wine and cocktails will only dehydrate you further. Humidity levels inside aircraft is below 10%, so water is your best bet.
If your job requires you to travel frequently, ask your company’s travel department to book you in hotels with gyms or a swimming pool.
Take time out of your schedule to fit a workout into your hectic day.
Here’s an easy suggestion: Wake up an hour earlier and before breakfast, head over to the gym and do about 10-20 minutes of cardio on the treadmill or rowing machine, or swim laps. Then hit the weights for about 20 more minutes if you have time.
Make sure you get a breakfast high in protein and plan to munch on healthy snacks every 2 hours throughout the day and stay well hydrated to keep your energy levels stable.
If you didn’t get a chance to weight train in the morning, then at night, before bed, go to the hotel gym again and lift weights for about 20 minutes to complete your workout for the day.
This way you did your cardio and resistance training for the day, two essential components of a fitness program.
About the Author
KeoCarter is a frequent traveler and carries his Nikon D700 everywhere. He writes about Digital SLR Cameras, lives in Southern California with his dog and surfs every day.