Monday, June 3, 2013

Staying Fit on the Road

Post by guest contributor Mike Manning

Going on a vacation or to a business conference does not have to mean taking a break from physical fitness. There are multiple ways for people to maintain their levels of personal fitness without breaking a figurative sweat. With just a bit of preparation and discipline, travelers can enjoy their vacations and business meetings without giving up on fitness.

Research Hotels in Advance

One of the most important keys to maintaining good physical fitness while traveling is to research the fitness amenities available in various hotels before making a final booking choice. Fitness centers and classes are becoming increasingly common features in hotels, and most of these places will have fairly detailed information about their fitness facilities and offerings on the Internet. On a recent trip to Maui I was able to book a hotel with a 24-hour gym by first checking through a travel reviews site. The site called Gogobot gave me a list of Maui hotels where I could scan through and see which ones had gyms that I could use at any time. Whether a traveler is interested in lifting weights, running laps, or taking yoga or pilates classes, he or she will have a significantly better chance of finding a hotel that offers these amenities by doing some basic research first.
Take Fitness Equipment on the Go

Sometimes using hotel workout equipment is not a viable option. Perhaps there are no hotels in the area that offer such amenities, or maybe the hotel that does offer such options requires high usage fees or operates during inconvenient hours. One good thing about some physical fitness equipment is that it is often portable enough to take on vacation, fitting conveniently in a suitcase, briefcase, or even a roomy laptop bag. Resistance bands and small dumbbells are lightweight and mobile, and workout programs stored on DVDs or digital drives can provide intensive workouts wherever a person is staying. A yoga mat is also a good exercise option due to its ability to fold or roll up, and there are even portable exercise machines that can be taken on the road.

Take Advantage of Modern Technology

The increasing popularity of smartphones has driven an app boom that has extended into the realm of physical fitness. There are fitness travel apps that can track a person’s run time and pace; some apps can even track the run path and can advise the runner on which direction to take. Travelers can also take advantage of workout apps that can function as classic workout videos or that can be interactive. People may also enjoy working with some of the instructive yoga and pilates apps on the market.

Use the Best Exercise Tools at Hand—or Foot

While special exercise equipment and technology can improve workouts, they are not necessary. In fact, all travelers really need for exercise in some cases is a good pair of running shoes, two good legs, and an urban running trail. Many cities are adding running trails in various areas that are geared towards getting residents and visitors alike out of their homes and hotels and into the great outdoors. Travelers should also remember that physical fitness is not just about running and upping heart rates. Rapidly walking along sidewalks and stores can also be good exercise—physically and mentally.

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