STAY FIT ON THE ROAD
Ways to keep in shape while you travel
Sure, you're leaving your treadmill behind - but you
can still stay fit away from home. Here are easy ways to keep
in shape on the road:
Loosen Up Along The Way
Getting there can be part of your fitness routine. A popular
43-minute audio tape offers breathing exercises, simple warm-up
stretches (like shoulder shrugs and rolls), and a closing relaxation
series. "Be mindful of the person next to you! You need
room to contract and release, walk in place, flex and point.
The seated postures are a matter of degree," says Carol
Dickman, who created "In-Flight Yoga" specifically
for narrow airplane seats. Pack a small tape recorder to play
Upon arrival, you can listen to or watch the 35-minute "Bed-Top
Yoga." Its breathing exercises, warm-up stretches and relaxation
can be done lying down. "This tape can also help travelers
solve the problems they often have with jet-lag or falling asleep
in a strange place," notes the certified yoga instructor.
Know Your Options
Find out if the hotel has a health club or pool. "Always
take advantage of a pool-swimming is excellent aerobic exercise:
non-impact but a good work-out because water is resistant,"
stresses Joan Welsch, certified fitness trainer. Skip the sauna
right afterwards, though: with a heart rate elevated by a swim,
a hot sauna could even cause a stroke.
If your hotel doesn't have fitness facilities, can they direct
you to a local gym or health club? "They'll sometimes offer
a one-day pass or discount coupon," Welsch finds. Look for
a low-impact aerobics class. Ask about a walking or running track
nearby-or create your own. Many hotels are large enough that
you can walk a mile along their hallways or outdoor pathways.
If the weather is bad, find an indoor mall.
Exercise In Your Room
Welsch has good news-if your regular routine includes squats
and stretches, you can easily do them on the road. To make your
hotel room a mini-fitness center:
- bring lightweight stretch bands, for bicep and tricep curls
or extensions. They're available at higher-end sporting goods
stores, or at the pro shops of fitness centers. Choose the band
tension that matches your work-out level.
- pack compact nylon ropes, for stretching they're especially
effective for hamstrings and quadriceps, says Welsch.
[ NOTE: for exercises with ropes or stretch bands, be sure to
have a trainer or someone at your gym show you the proper way
to use them, before your trip.]
- tie a nylon double loop (SportBand Door Attachment) to a
dresser or doorknob, to stretch, tone and strengthen. For lateral
pulldowns, hang the loop over a sturdy overhead pole, like a
closet or shower rod, "after you check the strength of the
rod," Welsch cautions.
- borrow one-pound soup cans for your work-out when visiting
relatives or staying at a bed-and-breakfast, if you normally
use very light weights.
- create your own Stairmaster. "Step straight up, with
your upper body straight, using your thigh and gluteal muscles.
Do as many flights as you can without exhausting yourself. This
is an aerobic workout, with regular breathing and a slightly
accelerated heart rate," says Welsch.
Outside your room, make fitness-oriented choices. Take the
stairs instead of the escalator; decline the golf cart so you
can walk the fairways. If your flight's delayed, stride briskly
around the airport instead of sitting still. (One fitness buff
jogged three miles through the long terminals of Dulles Airport
during a two-hour layover.)
What Kind Of Trip Is It?
Business travel often means sitting through lengthy meetings,
which may even include meals served at the same site. Be sure
to get up and move as much as possible before, during and after
each meeting. It's vital to make time to stretch and to burn
some calories, on any business trip.
But vacations are different, observes Welsch you may
get far more exercise than you think from constantly walking
around while sightseeing. Consider how much more you actually
need to work out each day, she advises clients.
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, stay loose, get
some exercise - and have a good trip!
Resource: To order the yoga tapes, call 1-888-937-9642 or
visit www.stretch.com for more information.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- At the airport, check your bags and take a brisk walk.
- On the plane, walk up and down the aisles. In your seat,
do progressive muscles stretches. Reach for the fan or the reading
light as an excuse to stretch.
- Bring along sneakers and workout wear for the hotel fitness
center. Take advantage of a trainer on staff. Don't forget a
swimsuit for the pool.
- While sightseeing, step up the pace to burn calories. Get
off the bus and explore.
- If you're traveling for business, don't forget to stretch
when there's a meeting break.
Many of these articles
appear on the publication's website, which are often password-protected
or members-only. For your convenience, I've gathered them on my own