Travel Fitness Tips

Need some travel fitness tips? Starting a fitness program is hard enough, now throw in business travel and it becomes exponentially harder. 

Here are some ideas to help you work in some travel fitness and stay in shape while you’re away from home:

  • Explore the area
    When you get to your hotel, ask the person at the front desk if there’s a running path, local park, track, or other place to walk or run. Once you’ve asked, you’ll be more inclined to go. If you don’t have big blocks of time to exercise, do a 15-minute workout in the morning and another 15-minute workout in the evening.
  • Breakfast is never 'free'
    Skip the all-you-can-eat breakfast and the conference room doughnuts. I’ve always had a tough time leaving a free item on the table. I used to finish my kids meals to avoid waste (which ultimately became part of my waist). It’s just not worth it. Get a cup of coffee, piece of fruit, bowl of oatmeal, but don’t try to get your money’s worth out of the hotel’s free breakfast. If your meeting is catered with morning pastries, try to avoid them. Chew some gum, drink the free water - just avoid the high-calorie, high-fat junk.
  • You can exercise anywhere
    No gym…no problem. There are many basic exercises you can do in your hotel room while watching TV. Exercises like push-ups, crunches, squats, calf raises, etc… If you don’t have the energy or inclination to go running, go out for a walk. If the area has sidewalks and the weather is agreeable, pick a place for dinner that’s a 10-15 minute walk away from your hotel. If the weather isn’t so nice, walk through your hotel or go to the local mall and go for a leisurely stroll. While on travel fitness doesn't have to take a back seat.
  • Watch the happy hour snacks
    If you go to happy hour, limit the snacks. I love nachos, mixed nuts, snack mixes, and all the other junk that’s in bowls around the bar. But that stuff is high in calories and fat. If you’ve been good all week, this can be your reward. Or if this is a nightly event with your travel cronies, try eating light lunches and dinners to account for all the calories in the snacks. For those that are disciplined enough to avoid the tasty bowls of junk - great! For the rest of us: that might be too tough, so prepare by giving yourself some mental ground-rules (Example: 2 handfuls of chips & 1 lite beer).
  • Burger-to-go is a no-no
    Not all fast food is the same. If you have to get food on the run, try a small deli sandwich, bowl of soup, or even a slice of pizza instead of the burger / fries combination. Many grocery store chains now have some really nice salad bars. When we’re hungry, our judgment often gets skewed and the fastest solution usually dictates. Know the area, and where you can get a quick & healthy meal.

If you’re keeping some form of a food log, this will help you as well. Once you get in the habit of writing down what you eat, you’ll be less inclined to casually snack.

It’s also OK to have special occasions when you just enjoy yourself and don’t write down every morsel of food - but please try to limit these occasions, as they can wipe out a lot of your hard work.

It initially takes some discipline to eat right and exercise when away from home, but you can do it!

You started your fitness plan to better yourself - don't let a few trips derail your progress. 

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