Last week for Works for Me Wednesday I gave some tips for eating healthy while traveling. This week I’m going to talk about how to get some exercise in while traveling.
Exercising can be hard when you are away from home. If you’re like me, though, not exercising for a week can really set you back fitness-wise (that first trip back to the gym after a week away – ouch!) and not exercising might make you feel sluggish. Plus if you’re like me you tend to eat a little more food and and a little less healthy when you aren’t at home so burning some calories each day is helpful. Here are some tips:
If you are in a hotel or resort, you should be good to go. I think every hotel I’ve stayed at since starting this healthy lifestyle (even shady hotels in Mexico) have had some sort of fitness center. Most recently our hotels in Chattanooga and Nashville had little gyms with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, free weights, mats, and exercise balls. I was able to get cardio and weight training in while we were there. Sure, it wasn’t as great as the spinning, Zumba, and other group fitness classes I would have taken at home, but at least I was able to work out some. The resort we went to two summers ago for vacation had a nice, (hot – no A/C!) fitness room that I used. They even had Pilates and yoga classes on the beach in the mornings and evenings that I went to a few times. Exercising with a beautiful view!
The gym at our hotel in Nashville (Doubletree) last week [source]
Let’s say your hotel doesn’t have a gym. Or let’s say that you are not staying at a hotel – with the holidays coming up you might be more likely to be staying with family or friends. That can be a little less convenient but we can still make it work (said in my best Tim Gunn voice).
Get some workout videos. You can take these videos with you, pop them in to your laptop and work out anywhere. I use this method a lot when we stay with my parents or Michael’s. My favorite is Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. You can get it on Amazon for less than $9.00. (disclaimer – I tried the whole 30 day thing and didn’t see any difference at all. This was not an effective way for me to lose weight. Only doing one session really isn’t going to do much for you anyway since they’re so short, sorry. Usually I do two sessions back to back when I use this video and it’s not any better than any ol’ session at the gym but it gets in cardio and strength and it’s convenient for when I’m not at the gym.) There are tons of other workout videos, too – Zumba, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, dance – whatever suits your fancy.
Another option is to get one of those stretchy band things (resistance bands?) and take it with you. It’s small and light so you can easily pack it in your suitcase, plus you can get a really good workout with them. I don’t own one (although I want one!) but I’ve used them in workout classes in the gym. I’m sure there are tons of YouTube videos that show you how to use them if you don’t know.
If you like to run or walk, try to find a nice path or track you can use wherever you are. There’s probably a park or Greenway of some sort nearby. This summer when I stayed with my grandparents for a week there was a hospital right down the street that had a pond with a track around it. I was able to go there and run several times during my visit. If you can’t find an “official” track, there still might be places you run/walk (one year on Thanksgiving morning I ran up and down my grandparent’s driveway for 30 minutes). You could also check to see if there is a community gym or fitness center where you could pay a small daily fee to use.
Maybe you don’t want to take the time during your vacation to have a formal work out. There are other ways you can creatively work in exercise. Last spring we went to Gatlinburg for a long weekend and on Saturday we went on a hike; we got a little exercise in while doing something different and fun. You could plan a family bike ride, play tennis, or go swimming. Play Wii with your nieces and nephews. Go for a walk with the family after your Thanksgiving meal. Challenge your cousins to a pickup basketball game. Put on some music and dance. Rake your grandparents’ yard.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you stay active while you’re traveling this holiday season. Do you have a good work out while traveling tip that I didn’t mention? Leave a comment so we can hear about it if you do!