Whether you travel for business or pleasure, you may know what it's like to fight the "travel tummy." This is what may happen when you veer from your usual fitness and dietary routines while on the road.
The telltale sign? The clothes you wore when you left feel a lot tighter on the return trip. Not enough time to exercise, you say? Too much dining out? Whatever the reason, there are ways you can stay fit and healthy no matter where you travel.
Fitness on the go
Perhaps you are used to your local gym, or have your favorite running route at home. Without your normal routine, you may fear you will lose ground and not find the time or means to exercise. Don't fret! Here are some practical tips to keep you moving:
- Ask the hotel concierge if there are safe parks or trails nearby. Most cities have a lot of good places for walking, running, or even hiking. If you head for the mountains, ask for a map of local hiking trails. Also, find out what destinations are in walking distance. Walking will increase your fitness and decrease your taxi fares.
- Try to find a hotel that has a fitness facility. Then, remember to pack a bathing suit, workout clothes, and sneakers or running shoes.
- Be creative. If your hotel doesn't have a fitness facility, bring along a jump rope and an exercise band, which can be easily packed. Make sure that you have first checked with your doctor to be sure this type of exercise is right for you. Jumping rope is a good cardiovascular exercise for many, and you can do it just about anywhere. Stretchy exercise bands can help you tone and stretch your muscles. Or travel super light, and forget equipment. Body-weight exercises, such as push-ups and crunches, require no equipment at all.
- Think ahead. Plan a specific time each day or every other day to work on aerobic and strength routines. If you are pressed for time, try several short workout sessions a day. Studies have shown that several short sessions, lasting about 15 minutes each, can benefit you as much as a longer workout session.
Nutrition on the go
Exercise alone may or may not keep the pounds at bay. Though you want to enjoy local fare and not feel deprived, it pays to watch your eating habits.
- Don't skip meals to save calories for later. Eating consistent meals will help stave off hunger and prevent you from overindulging at any one meal, snack, or dessert.
- Pick up some healthy snacks at a local market if you can. Fruit, yogurt, veggies, whole-grain crackers, and low-fat cheese are good options.
- Let yourself indulge in regional dishes or local cuisine if the mood strikes. For other meals, balance your diet by choosing lower-calorie foods.
Always check with your doctor before you increase your activity level.
In the end, the most important thing is to find a workout routine and eating pattern that suits your needs. Then, follow it with confidence!
Created on 07/22/2008
Updated on 09/06/2011
- American Council on Exercise. Travel fitness: a plan of action to keep you active.