Staying Fit on the Road

When you're travelling, keeping your exercise plan alive can be hard. Follow these tips to stick to your routine.
Published March 4, 2016

Willie Nelson must not have been on a weight-loss plan when he crooned about how enthused he was to be on the road again. Because when you're trying to exercise and eat right, the rigours of planes, trains and automobiles can be downright irksome. That is, if they don't throw you off the wagon altogether.

Then there's the horror of hotels. How are you supposed to stick with that exercise plan if the path you always walk after work is hundreds of miles away? Or your gym doesn't have a branch near where you're staying?

"For the busy traveller, obstacles like gym-less hotels, jet lag and late-night business dinners can get in the way of maintaining a fitness regime," says Bonne Marano, certified personal trainer and coauthor of The Road Warrior Workout. But that doesn't mean it can't be done.

If you make a point to stick to it, you can work out while you're away from home, too. We asked Marano for some tips.

Your gym away from home.
Before you leave, find out if your gym has a branch where you're going, or if it has a partnership with any of the gyms in the area. If not, or if you don't have a membership, ask the concierge at your hotel if there's an in-house fitness centre, or if he or she can recommend a gym in the area that offers daily or weekly passes.

See the sites.
Take advantage of where you are, and look for reasons to exercise. Touring downtown? Skip the bus tour and walk instead. On business? Forget the taxi! Leave ten minutes early and walk to the office.

Packing tricks.
Some equipment can be easily packed into your bag. For example, says Marano, "it's very easy to pack a pair of running shoes and a jump rope." Just seeing them there in your bag may be all the motivation you need when you're getting bored sitting in your hotel room.

Walking on the run.
"Call the visitor centre in any city and request maps and running paths," says Marano. "But keep your outdoor activity to a well-lit local path, and try to carry a cell phone in case you get lost."

Pencil it in.
The trick to exercising on the road is finding the time. Make sure your health is as big a priority for you as seeing your extended family or making it to that meeting. Schedule it just as you would any other meeting.