Ever turn-down a long trip and accomodations with less-than stellar fitness facilities? It’s tough for a lifetime fitness fanatic or a newbie enjoying a regular gym routine to travel if the “when in Rome” trend prevails. We get bullied for trying to find hotels with a gym, and feel cruddy after wine, late nights and indulgent vacation fare if we can’t workout. Don’t regret missing those excursions. A little ingenuity can certainly keep us fit while traveling.
Assuming there is not a gym in your hotel. Running is the most obvious option-all you need to pack is your workout clothes and shoes, which you should always travel with anyway. So long as weather, your joints and general safety rules permit, running is a great way to get your exercise as well as sight-see or plan your entourage’s route before lazy comrades awake.
The other “no equipment needed” option – bodyweight only exercises in your hotel room or outside hotel. Intense circuits of uber-basic moves such as pushups, planks, burpees, crunches, lunges, jumps, jacks, squats, etc. performed successively to failure can certainly work up a sweat! And if you’re familiar with mat Pilates, you’ve got an additional arsenal of moves from which to draw.
Regarding hauling your equipment, two biggest concerns are what weight each piece of equipment will add to your suitcase and what space to reserve in the case. With this in mind, the No. 1 pick for travel fitness equipment are rubber fitness bands. Lightweight and foldable, you won’t break your back lugging bands around or have to sacrifice precious shoe space. If you haven’t worked with bands before, many kits come with an exercise video. Lastly, throw a pair of 5 or 10lb dumbbells in the bag for light arm work, Plyos, enhanced bodyweight only exercises, like planks with presses and the whole gamut of Yoga and Pilates matwork. Do weigh your bag preflight to avoid having to pay extra or chuck ’em at the ticket counter. Lastly, pack a deflated stability ball and pump for an extended stay, but leave it at home for a short trip as they’re a pain to inflate / deflate. Or, if traveling in the car and you’ve got room, put the big boy in the back seat, no deflation necessary.
Alternatively, check out area gyms. Many charge a guest fee. You can fib about having just moved to the area and are shopping for your new fitness sanctuary. Ahem, not endorsing this, so keep it on the DL. Check out a new class or an awesome local instructor. (Hitting LA? I hear that Whitney chick is amazing!) Everybody’s got a hobby or interest to indulge on holiday. Pretty sure by now you know one of mine. Just as foodies make reservations at rave restaurants, when I travel, I want to sample the local fitness fare. If you don’t already have a class or instructor in mind, research gyms and studios, and read local reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Maybe you’ll even break a workout plateau or discover an entirely new interest. When we travel, especially on pleasure trips, we’re more open-minded and willing to try something outside of our usual comfort zone. Take advantage!