Finding the energy and time to work out is tough enough when you’re not traveling, so it’s no surprise that exercise can go off the rails when you’re on the road. With some planning, you can fit it into any trip, says Brian Housle, an exercise physiologist and fitness director at Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina. Here’s how.
Book the Right Hotel
Choose one with a gym or pool. If there’s no space for swimming, walk in the shallow end. “Water’s resistance offers an extra challenge for your muscles while protecting your joints,” says Housle.
Do Your Research
You can find nearby walking routes on MapMyWalk and hiking and biking paths on TrailLink. Or search for local gyms that offer day passes. If you’re a member of a national chain, you may be able to use another branch for free or a small fee.
Pack a Resistance Band
They’re lightweight, compact and are as good as weights for strength training, according to a study in The Journal of Strength Conditioning and Research. (Try these four moves: Hold the band taut in front of you at chest-height and pull your hands apart. Stand on the middle of the band, holding an end in each hand and do bicep curls, lateral raises and squats.)
Plan Active Adventures
“Combine sightseeing with physical activity,” says Jessica Matthews, an assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College in San Diego. Rent bikes or explore by foot. Remember to wear supportive sneakers, and take breaks when you need to. “It’s easy to overdo it when you’re having fun,” says Housle.
Exercise in Your Room
Download or live-stream a workout video on your laptop or phone. Or put together your own routine with bodyweight exercises, such as squats, forearm planks, lunges and marching in place, says Housle. “Even with a packed itinerary, you can always sneak in 15 minutes of exercise.”
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