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Fit On-The-Go: The Ultimate Guide to Staying Active on Your Travels

Are you planning to travel soon and wondering how to maintain your workout routine?

Years ago my husband went on a business trip to Philadelphia where Rocky Balboa the boxer played by Sylvester Stallone ran up the stairs and punched the air above him. He had been training for the one big fight to prove himself. I asked my husband if he went on a run to do this. He gave me a look and said, "No and I would not go out since it is in the middle of winter." On one trip in Mexico, we went for a run in a remote town and the locals had confused or concerned looks on their faces as to why this couple was running by. I love to go running in cities and observe people, and architecture and get fresh air. This hasn't always been the case, when I got a fellow runner and colleague at a Physical Therapy conference in Las Vegas to go on a run. Running through the heat, we found a way to include stairs and find our way around people but I would honestly always prefer a forest trail. Getting your cardio in each day, can happen in the hotel gym treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike. Strength training can happen anywhere but most prefer the hotel room or weight room. Here are some tips to get it done and not be too bored while doing it.

Tip #1 Participate in a local running or walking event while you are visiting a new place.

This is a great way to get yourself out and exercise. Plus you get to explore the area and learn more about where you are at. My husband and I participated in a run in Enis, Ireland to honor a person from the community who died of cancer after years of setting up sport & running events for his community. It felt great to support someone who had a cause to help others and to feel like a part of the community. We had great memories around this event with my husband's parents and our young daughter who were also traveling with us.

Tip #2 Challenge yourself by completing a distance or relay using various types of cardio equipment.

Some people may get into a mindset to stay on a treadmill at the same pace for 30 minutes. That may work for you with a goal of endurance to low strenuous rest day activity. Another way to beat the boredom or increase caloric burn would be to use equipment that has a distance or race that you can choose on the screen. I once attempted the Tour de France on a stationary bike in a gym. I learned my lesson with finding the right resistance and that they made the hills too realistic! The other option is to split your workout time between a treadmill, elliptical, and bike. This depends on all these are available to you. I like warming up on a bike and increasing intensity on a treadmill running or walking. You can use a pre-program on a treadmill involving hills or you could do your intervals. Intervals could be as simple as slower speed or walking for 20-60 seconds and running for 30-60 seconds faster. Don't forget the warm-up and cool-down!

Tip #3 Bring your own equipment and/or use what you have in your hotel room.

I prefer to bring a yoga mat since I don't trust that the floor is clean. I can do floor exercises like planks, bridges, and quadruped (on hands and knees) exercises. I will do squats, and lunges in multiple directions. If I have a small resistance band and tubing with handles then I can add to the previous exercises and add bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, lateral arm raises, etc. You can use a chair or bench if the room has these for adding effort for bridges or add dips for triceps or modified push-ups or planks. I also bring a tennis ball or massage balls for mobility and self-massage as well. Please see my website resources in the shop tab for examples of equipment.

Tip #4 Find out the information regarding the operating hours and locations of the weight room and pool.

If you are at a location with a pool and feel comfortable exercising in a pool, go for it. I like utilizing the pool noodles for arm, core, and leg exercises. If you can take 10 minutes to relax in the hot tub, great to utilize as well. Please make sure if you have chronic health issues that you ask your Physician if it is safe for you to be in a hot tub.

You can usually get a good idea of when the popular times are from the front desk or by walking by for the pool and the workout gyms are in my experience usually not utilized. That is unless you are attending a fitness conference! I have attended ACE and IDEA fitness conferences mostly in California and have had a blast in the hotel workout rooms. It's great to be inspired by others and meet other people.

Tip #5 Work with your Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist to create a plan before you go.

If you are working with me, you have the Personal Trainer and Physical Therapist all in one! Creating a plan before you go will help arrive prepared, stay on track with your fitness goals, and ensure that you are doing exercises that are safe and effective for your body. If you have questions while you are away you can communicate with me. That may be through email, phone, text, or via communication apps.

#Live Inspired,

Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, LMT, CMP, Owner Garage Training & Rehab Gym


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