Make the most of your sojourn with an expert approach to staying in shape.
Globe-trotting can make adhering to a fitness regimen a challenge, but savvy travelers might find they can log more than their daily 10,000 steps with just a few tweaks or that exercising can help them see more of their host city. Two personal trainers and a wellness expert from the Mayo Clinic offer their advice for staying fit while traveling. These simple tips may be the difference between another trip with good intentions and one where you stay fit—and possibly raise the bar.
• Investigate airports ahead of time if you are flying commercial. Many airports offer yoga studios, and some, such as those in Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Quebec, map walking paths through terminals, complete with mileage, says Angela Murad, a wellness dietitian with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Arrive early to relieve stress and get your workout in all at once.
• Research your destination for wellness offerings. Look for fitness options near your hotel that offer the type of workout you most enjoy, from spin classes to outdoor boot camps, says Rick Hagaman of Blue Clay Fitness in Los Angeles. “Fitness is another way to experience the culture of your destination,” Hagaman says. Whether you take a popular local class or walk or run the streets, “you might discover an entirely new side of a city.” Steve Jordan, another Los Angeles–based trainer, recommends staying near a park when possible, or even taking a cab to a park in your destination city. “Diving into the natural habitat can provide obstacles and scenery that challenge your mind and body,” he says.
• Enlist the help of the hotel concierge. A concierge may assist in booking slots in studios or provide you with a running-trail map at check-in. When dining in, arrange to have the chef prepare a low-calorie menu to eliminate temptations at meals.
• Consult your regular trainer for a customized travel workout. Share the details of your trip with your personal coach so he or she can craft a workout that meets your fitness goals and includes your preferences. If you are flying private, ask for an in-flight routine, such as planks in the aisle or triceps dips off your seat.
• Explore the fitness amenities at the resort. Some hotel gyms offer classes and personal training sessions. Speak with a concierge to reserve a spot. Consider booking a class or committing to a training time before you arrive. “Setting an appointment will greatly increase the chances that you work out,” says Hagaman. Some hotels, such as the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, offer in-room iPads with exercise videos you can tailor to your needs. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will supply fitness apparel to its President’s Club members who book in advance.
• Get an early start. Jordan recommends working out before breakfast. “Vacations are spent sightseeing, relaxing, and exploring the new space, so exercising later in the day can be challenging or downright impossible, regardless of motivation,” he says. Hagaman suggests asking the front desk to point you toward the fitness center at check-in and taking five minutes to scope it out. “This will take the ‘I-don’t-even-know-where-the-gym-is-or-what-equipment-it-has’ excuse off the table,” he says. “Once you have time to exercise, you will know exactly where to go and what types of activities you can do.”