“But I’m on vacation!”

This is just one of the excuses we give ourselves when we decide to forfeit our fitness routines while traveling. But whether you’re traveling for fun or for work, it can be one of the best times to change or ramp up your exercise, because you’re not dealing with the time and obligatory commitments you have at home. Because we all know that one of the biggest challenges in fitting in a fitness routine at home is that we simply don’t seem to have enough time.

Try using this checklist to incorporate fitness into your travel plans.
1) Check your hotel before you travel to see if they have an on-site gym or affiliate close by.
If you are in a position to select your own hotel, make this one of your prime criteria. Also, review their gym hours; while many are open 24 hours, some are not, and if your travel schedule won’t fit the gym opening schedule, that’s a problem. Contact the hotel to see if there is any leeway, or enquire about gyms nearby.

2) Some hotels offer running concierges, or gear you can borrow.
Ask first! This is a great option if you are new to your destination, plus it forces you to run at a certain time, and you don’t have the excuse of not having the appropriate work out gear.

3) Pack your workout clothes.
Runners take up space; you’ll want to use them. There’s nothing wrong with a little guilt-inspired motivation looking at those clothes every day, sitting clean in your suitcase.

4) Create a routine for 15-, 30-, 45- and 60-minute-long work outs and fit in what you can.
If time and budget permits, hire a personal trainer to get you started and to build the routine for you.

5) Make room in your schedule and make it a meeting with yourself.
Schedule one more workout than you ideally want to do, in case plans change unexpectedly.

6) Talk to your travel companions about your fitness plan to stay accountable.
Even if they don’t work out with you, they’ll ask if you did.

7) Take the opportunity to work out during a different time of day.
Just because your schedule won’t let you do your traditional early morning run doesn’t mean you can’t try out an afternoon or evening option.

8) Check the weather forecast where you’re traveling to.
If you’ve planned outside runs but the weather isn’t cooperating, make back-up plans before you leave (checking for a gym, finding in-room fitness routines, etc.)

9) Invest in good running shoes.
Not in the budget? Check your reward programs to see if you can cash some in for a gift card and treat yourself.

Post your workout plans on social media to make yourself more committed. Find other affiliated fitness folks by searching hashtags such as #fitness, #running, #workout, or for one specific to your sport.

The biggest benefits? You’ll have more energy for day-long conferences if you’re traveling for work, and if you’re traveling for leisure, that extra food and drink won’t be quite as noticeable on the way back home.

This blog was originally run on “What She Said” on Sirius/XM Canada,Canada Talks Channel 167, as part of Kathy’s “How She Travels” column. Tune in to hear Kathy’s travel tips Fridays at 10:45am.

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