It's here again … my annual conference trip that takes me far from home and far away from my exercise equipment. One of the reasons I do not like traveling on business trips is that I can not take my home gym equipment with me. Through the years and many mistakes later I have learned a few tricks that I hope will help give you some good ideas for continuing to exercise while on the road.
One of the first things I look for when booking a hotel is do they have an exercise room. Many hotels these days have exercise equipment on site. It might be as simple as an elliptical machine a treadmill or a few free weights. As long as they have something to offer I put that hotel on my maybe list. If you enjoy swimming then make sure they have a swimming pool available with convenient hours that will work with your travel schedule.
Depending on where you are traveling to there might be some running or walking trails close to your hotel as well. All you need for that is your running shoes and you're good to go. I always pack my running shoes and yoga pants because I can use them for any workout and also lounge around in them when my work day is done.
Another option is to bring an exercise workout video with you. Make sure the hotel has a DVD player in the room. Depending on what time you will be exercising you might want to request a ground room floor so that you do not disturb the people below you. There are also some light weight exercise equipment that you can carry with you in your suitcase. A few examples are pilates bands, yoga accessories and stretch cords. They fit easily in your suitcase, do not take up too much room and do not add a lot of weight if you have to check your luggage.
If the hotel does not have the equipment you need for your specific workout the next thing I check is if there are any gyms in the area. Many gyms allow a non-member to come and workout for a drop in fee. I've called several gyms before and have asked for their hours, drop in fees and what the drop in fee entails. You want to know if that includes any classes or just the exercise equipment and free weights. If you want classes find out what the extra cost is to attend and what time the classes are offered. Also, you will want to know what amenities they have in their locker room and what you might need to bring with you for your workout as an out of town guest. If there are several gyms in the area then call all of them to compare which one works best for you and your schedule.
I have found that with a little extra work before I leave I am able to stick to some sort of exercise routine while I am traveling. When I exercise I find that I also make better food choices when on the road. When I get in a good workout I make better choices when it comes to nutrition and I do not end up coming home a few pounds heavier. I have also purchased a vitamin / pill container and take my vitamins with me when I travel. I pack my protein powder and workout supplements and have a little hand held blender. Some hotels will supply you with a blender if you ask or make one available for you to use so you can continue to have your pre and post workout drinks.
Another great idea is to find out if a refrigerator and microwave comes standard in each room. If so hopefully there is a grocery store nearby and you can purchase a few items to keep in your room so that you do not have to eat every meal out. If you do have to dine out I always ask for a "to go box" right away and put half my meal in the box before I start eating. Then I take half the meal back to the room with me and keep it in the refrigerator for later. I not only save money but I save calories as well.
It does take some time and maybe some planning when you want to stay on your diet and continue to exercise while traveling but it is possible. With a little effort and some research of the area around your hotel you might be amazed at the activities that are available that you might not have considered trying before.
So happy traveling and keep up the great work of continuing to exercise while away from home.