Those of us that like to hit the road on our bike, jog, lift weights, or some other type of exercise will often stress out about how we are going to get our workouts in when we have to hit the road for work. Will our fitness level go down because of a lack of exercise? Will we be able to get in our normal workout regime? Does the hotel have a workout room and is it free? Are there alternatives that I can substitute that will enable me to at least maintain my fitness level?
Before you go into panic mode, know that your overall fitness level will not decrease because of a few days off. Studies have proven that our body does not start to decline until at least an entire week has been taken off from exercise. In addition, to merely maintain your fitness level, you only need to work out a couple of times a week.
Runners probably have it best. As long as they have a road and a pair of sneakers, they are ready to go. However, there are some concerns that should be addressed before you go running out the front doors of the hotel. For instance, are there safe running routes close by? Is there are park or a trail that is recommended for running? If not, you are best advised to use the fitness room at the hotel or inquire if there is a gym close by that has treadmills.
Cyclists can use this time to cross-train, unless they are taking their bike with them. Just as was recommended for the runners, call your hotel to find out if there are safe roads for riding or an actual bike path nearby before packing your machine for the road. If not, consider using a stationary bike at the fitness center or taking advantage of the other machinery to create some muscle confusion.
If you are weight lifter and the hotel has no fitness room and there is not a gym nearby that you can use, not all hope is lost. While it may not be the same as lifting free weights, a tension band will give you a great workout. Plenty of athletes are actually using these full time now, instead of weights. At the very least, you will give your muscles a nice change of pace while still being able to maintain your current level of fitness.
Something else to consider is bringing a workout tape for Pilates or something like the 10-Minute Workout. These types of workouts take very little time to complete, yet they are quite challenging. In a pinch, they will more than do the job to help keep you in shape while you are on the road. You may even find that you love them so much you continue to use them as a regular part of your workout routine.
When traveling, there are plenty of options available that will allow you to maintain your current level of fitness. Depending upon where you are staying and what your normal routine is, you may not be able to improve your overall fitness, but you do not have to worry about going backwards. Take the time to do some due diligence before your trip and your fitness will be the least of your travel worries.