We all know that fitness is a crucial part of taking care of ourselves, but when work gets busy, sometimes it can be the first thing to go—especially when work includes travel. Whether you travel every once in a while or you are a platinum-for-life management consultant that is on a plane every week headed to client sites, it can be difficult to maintain your fitness routine.
The more you travel, the more important it is to learn to incorporate fitness into your travel schedule. It’s not just about cardiovascular health or number of reps. It’s your time to take care of yourself, to release stress, and, hopefully, to have some fun! Here are my favorite ways to stay fit on the road while traveling for business.
Explore your new surroundings
One of my favorite ways to clear my head (and explore a new area) before a day of meetings is to go for a run or walk. There are plenty of online tools to plan your route including MapMyRun. I especially enjoy Runner’s World’s monthly “Rave Run,” which highlights a new place each month to add to your list along with links and resources. If you don’t have time to plan, do a simple out and back route, or ask the hotel concierge, which can usually point you in the right direction or provide a map with pre-printed routes.
Tip: Even though it slows me down, I suggest bringing your smartphone so that you can take advantage of photo opportunities—I’ve taken some of the best pictures as the sun was rising!
Make the most of boutique and big box gyms
If you are lucky enough to be traveling to a major city, most of them have boutique fitness gyms like Flywheel and Barry’s Bootcamp. These gyms are great because they give you the opportunity to try something new and fun, and usually allow you to pay per class; many even let you try the first for free. When you know you will be traveling to a major city, look on Yelp and Google for spin, bootcamp, CrossFit, or yoga and see what comes up. Invite your co-workers or clients and you might even be able to charge it in as a team building exercise!
As you get more into the suburbs and in the middle of the country, big box gyms like Life Time Fitness and L.A. Fitness are more popular. These are great options because many of them offer free day or week passes online. If you know you’ll be traveling to the same area for a few months, it might make sense to negotiate a deal for a specified amount of time.
Hotel gym and your hotel room
You might find yourself in a situation without access to a car or enough time to leave the hotel, especially as a consultant. In that case, there’s almost always a hotel gym. It’s not the most exciting, but you can get in a good workout in even the sparsest of gyms. I always use the Body for Life training routine for a quick and efficient workout.
DVDs that don’t require weights or other equipment are also a great option. I’m partial to the Insanity series, again for its efficiency and effectiveness.
Workouts are just one part of overall health and wellness
Despite the many options available, there will be periods of time when a crazy schedule on the road just does not allow much time to hit the gym—and that’s okay. Focus on maintenance by working out on the weekends and maybe once during the week. It is important to remember that exercise is just one part of the wellness picture. Eating well, getting enough rest, and keeping stress under control are all just as, if not more, important.
What is your favorite fitness tip for traveling?
Ask PR and Marketing Director of SoulCycle and Levo mentor, Gabby Cohen, about her favorite exercises!