When you travel frequently, balancing fitness can be a tumultuous task. Sure, it’s ok to take one week of the year off of exercise, especially when it’s on vacation, but for those constantly on the go – the balance is essential. Those Piña Coladas with the cute umbrellas really add up, you know. With jet-lag, never ending food and alcohol looming at every turn of the exciting travel experience, here are a few tips to stay fit and healthy while jet setting.
Finding the time and motivation to hit the hotel gym regularly can be a struggle. No judgement here. Carry a resistance band in your luggage (they’re cheap and don’t take up much space) so you can do simple but effective exercises in your room, especially if you’re on limited time. Even ten minutes a day will make you feel much better about those lovely luxury dinners. Especially when you’re not buying! Here’s an example of some upper body exercises using the band.
We cannot emphasize enough how important this is. Flying is dehydrating to both your body and skin. While this may seem like an obvious tip – once you’re behind the curve, it’s too late. Not only does staying hydrated keep you from over eating, it’s the single greatest jet lag preventer. Start hydrating in the days before your travels, and keep it going throughout. You need at least one glass of water for every glass of whatever else you may enjoy.
Before And After
Unless you’re on an early morning flight, try and get some exercise in before you head to the airport. Using your muscles and making the body feel tired will help you relax and get some rest whilst you fly. Equally, when you land and get settled at your destination, get out for a gentle jog, walk or light exercise, this will help fight the jet lag and loosen the muscles after sitting for hours on the plane.
Run, Cycle, Walk
Whether you’re traveling for tourism or business – take advantage of public opportunities, such as bike rentals. As a tourist, it can be a fantastic way to discover a city and see parts you would not usually see, while also burning off some fancy coffees. Basically, before hitting any new destination, do a deep search for cool hiking routes or bike tours, offering a unique experience. For example, you can run around more than half of San Francisco along the water on running paths. Oh, and always pack your running shoes – and don’t forget socks too.
If fitness is important to you – and outside exercise opportunities are limited (like the jungles of Bali), exercise facilities should factor in your hotel choice. Most hotels will have a fitness facility of some kind, but naturally, not all will have a pool. Swimming is an excellent, low impact sport and if there’s a decent hotel pool available – that can be a game changer. A good few lengths to start or end the day is a great, refreshing feeling – even if you’re not much of a swimmer, it’s fun to relax and good for the muscles.
Has anyone ever mentioned that jet lag isn’t always a bad thing? If that pesky time difference has you up and wired at 5am, use it to your advantage before the day “officially” starts. Hit the gym, go for an early run or just do a home workout in your room – the hotel breakfast will taste even better for it and you’ll feel good for the rest of the day.
Travel can lead to unforgettable one-of-a-kind experiences, and exercise can too. There are countless clubs, groups and pop up exercise opportunities anywhere you go. Doing yoga in India, surfing in Australia, hiking a mountain for sunrise, or even Park Run in London can be a cool, unique experience, blending exercise with magical travel memories – it’s a win win! Research lessons, classes and activities in your destination to see what fun things you can do.