As a frequent traveler, I know there can be a lot to think about when you are preparing to hit the road again. A little planning can go a long way and keep your exercise program active. It has got quite a bit easier over the years to do this, whether what is necessary during the time away from home is cardio, resistance training or stretching. Most hotels have a fitness room, but you still have to pack right to take advantage of it. Also, just in case you end up not wanting to leave your room, it is good to have the necessary accessories so that you can still get exercise in. You are likely going to want to be extremely efficient about your time while on the road. Furthermore, packing in-room exercise gear gives you options.
As for travel-ready exercise gear, there are items to support all 3 categories of exercise. For cardio, thereâ€™s the jump rope. The problem with jump ropes is the overhead clearance required for swinging the rope! In many hotel rooms, youâ€™ll get about one jump in and then the rope bangs the ceiling (or something on the periphery). Nonetheless, itâ€™s a worthwhile option and you can always head into an open area like the hallway to do it. This is one cardio exercise you can do without bringing your sneakers, which takes up valuable packing room if you donâ€™t wear them in transit. I wouldnâ€™t attempt running or using hotel gym cardio equipment without sneakers. A little warning, howeverâ€¦ If you have not jumped rope ever (or in a long time), 5 minutes will feel like a long time! Youâ€™ll want to stretch this out by alternating rest and jumping. Oh well, as long as you bring sneakers, shorts and a t-shirt, the better option is the hotel gymâ€™s cardio equipment. Those so inclined and in an acceptable area (and weather) for it, can also hit the road for their cardio. Often the hotel staff can recommend a route.
For stretching, itâ€™s easy enough to bring a yoga DVD and play it through your laptop. Hereâ€™s one. Many yoga videos combine stretching, cardio and resistance training as well so youâ€™re getting all three in one. You need no other equipment. You donâ€™t even need to pack shorts â€“ just wear your pajamas. Also, DVDs can pack up to a couple hours of sessions, so you can pick and choose segments according to your energy, need and time allotment.
Resistance training is usually as easy as hitting the hotel gym although many hotel gyms have only cardio or just a few dumbbells. Using a travel band, like this one, allows you to at least do some resistance training in your room. You hook these to a leg of the bed or something heavy and pull away in all directions. Iâ€™ve been quite creative with this when the bed isnâ€™t bolted down. Last time, I had the ironing board wedged between a closet door and a dresser and the band stretched around it. It wasnâ€™t elegant, but heyâ€¦
As for timing of exercise, I know many are morning people, but do not care to go to a public hotel gym without showering first and since this will create 2 showers in the morning, it doesnâ€™t happen. Well, first, I would say not to worry about it. People are there to exercise and the business day hasnâ€™t started yet where you have to have â€śthe lookâ€ť on. Secondly, you can bring a ball hat and even sunglasses depending on the depth you wish to camouflage yourself. Youâ€™ll also need to eat something before exercise so pack a few protein or energy bars and call that breakfast. Of course, you can always do the in-room stuff I have mentioned here and skip the morning-hair disguise routine.
Finally, eating on the road is a whole different topic, but suffice it to say eating out each meal on the road indiscriminately can be counter-productive to exercise goals so be mindful of this as well.
Posted April 3, 2007 2:25 PM
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