Habits of Fit People: Work Out When You Travel

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Exercising when I'm traveling. So why does something like this matter?

Like many things in life, it's difficult to create a fitness habit, but far too easy to break it. Missing a single workout can make you fall off the wagon for many days to follow, and when you're ready to get back into it, it becomes a struggle all over again. That's one of many reasons why it's a good idea to bring your fitness routine on the road with you: to be consistent. If you're traveling on business, a good workout can help you relax, maintain your sleep routine (which is often disrupted due to jet lag or travel), and reduce stress. If you're on vacation or holiday, working out each day may remind you to think twice before indulging in every rich food or drink that crosses your path (or at least help undo the extra calories people tend to take in while vacationing).

Personally, I do exercise when I'm away from home. Now I don't go crazy or spend hours at the gym in lieu or enjoying myself (which is usually the point of a vacation anyway). But I try to do something active on most days, whether I'm at home or out of town. I got a taste of this last weekend when I took a road trip to Atlanta for a long weekend. I was only gone for three days and I wanted to pack lightly. So I stocked my gym bag with my running shoes and a fun, portable strength training tool called the VersaStick. I was able to exercise two out of three days on my short trip (and even hiked to the top of Stone Mountain one afternoon). When I returned home, I didn't have to feel guilty for skipping exercise or struggle to get back into my routine. It was the perfect balance.

Here are a few ideas you can use yourself to exercise when you're away from home:

  • Take advantage of the hotel gym. It may be small, but it fulfills the need.
  • Pack your workout shoes. Go for a run or a walk.
  • Use resistance bands. These are lightweight, portable and easy to pack. You can get a full body workout in a hotel room! Jump ropes are also easy to pack and provide a great workout.
  • Buy a gym guest pass. It's a little pricey to do (usually around $10 per day at minimum), but worthwhile if it's the only option. Before you buy, find out if the gym you belong to is part of a national network that allows you to exercise at other locations (for free) when you travel.
  • Bring a DVD. This is a good option if you'll be staying with friends or family. But many hotels have DVD players at the front desk that you can check out and bring to your room.
  • Plan active pursuits. You can relax, explore the region and have an adventurous time with lots of vacation-worthy things like walking tours, canoeing, skiing and more.

Packing workout clothes and planning workouts might not be easy as relaxing on the beach for a week, but fit people don't always take the easy way out. They make exercise a part their lives just as much as flossing or eating breakfast each day.

Do you work out when you're on vacation or traveling? If not, come up with a portable fitness plan! Tell us what workout(s) you can turn to when away from home.