By Mark Chesnut
Combining business travel with a fitness regimen is always a challenge, and when you throw in the festive holiday season, it can be even harder to stay in shape. So here—just in time for that list of New Year’s resolutions—are some travel tips for feeling good the road.
1. Get wet. This tip comes straight from Olympic Gold medalist Misty Hyman, who serves as the swim coach at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain near Scottsdale, Arizona. Multi-tasking your workout by getting in the pool can be a great time saver, she says. “In the water you can accomplish your cardio, strength training, build your lung capacity and meditate—all at the same time.”
2. Use the space you’ve got. Rina Jakubowicz, health and fitness consultant and yoga instructor at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami and Hotel Beaux Arts, reminds travelers to stretch while en route and after check-in. “Whether you’re at an airport gate waiting to board a flight or at a pit stop amidst a road trip, take five minutes to stretch your muscles,” she says. “Doing basic stretches for your shoulders, neck, legs and spine will increase your circulation and allow your muscles to relieve tension and relax.”
“I frequently do a few sets of push ups and sit ups,” says Chris McGinnis, Best Western’s travel trends expert and business travel blogger for YouMustBeTrippin.com. “If I need to blow off some steam but the weather outside is bad, I’ll huff and puff up and down hotel stairwells.”
When visiting an area you may not know well, John Forrest Ales, senior director of global brand relations for Hilton Hotels & Resorts, recommends that you speak with the staff for ideas. “Ask the concierge for recommended running routes,” he suggests. “To keep it interesting, I always try to pick a local sight and plan a running route that lets me discover the city and soak in the local flavor, too.”
3. Don’t skip meals. “I bet you’ve heard someone, whether friend, family member or co-worker, tell you they are skipping lunch to “save room for a feast,” says Sean Piazza, fitness manager at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, California. “Remember that your body burns more calories when it’s being fueled constantly throughout the day. If you skip meals, your body tends to slow down the amount of calories it burns. Instead of skipping meals, try to eat smaller portions leading up until the ‘big feast’ that way your body doesn’t slow down the calories it burns and you don’t go into that feast ready to eat everything on the table.”
4. Eat clean. “If the body is fed garbage it will feel like garbage,” says Katie Brauer, the resident yoga professional at Rancho Valencia. “You are what you eat! Consume a diet rich in organic, fresh produce, hormone free meats, and plenty of anti-inflammatory foods. Avoid refined sugars & processed foods. My mantra: Green is good!”
5. Use common sense. “Let your clothes be your guide,” says road warrior and Iron Man competitor Peter Shankman. “I rely on my clothes to tell me how I’m doing. Jeans starting to get a little tight? That’s my answer: Time to scale back my eating and increase my workouts.”
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He at least considers using the gym in every hotel he visits.