Fit Family: Fitness on the Road–How to Stay Fit While Traveling

by Mike Levinson

Mike Levinson, fitness expert

Mike Levinson, fitness expert

Balancing a daily workout with your job, personal life and family is a constant struggle. This can be especially hard if you are required to travel for work. But traveling can be fun. You get to see lots of different cities and the best part is that you don’t have to sacrifice your workout program.

Many hotels and motels realize that travelers these days don’t just want to sit around and order expensive room service. Most hotels have a fitness center. It used to be that hotel gyms had just a few pieces of rusty old bicycles in a converted storage room. I remember trying to work out in some of these gyms back when I did a lot of traveling. Things have changed. Nowadays, hotel gyms usually offer modern strength training and cardio equipment and sometimes even have personal training as well as yoga and spinning classes.

Before you book your hotel, call or check the hotel’s website to see what kind of fitness facilities are provided. If there’s no gym on the premises, the hotel may have an arrangement with a nearby fitness club. If your hotel just doesn’t have a gym or you enjoy the privacy of working solo here are some simple ways you take your workout anywhere on the road.

Outdoor Workout: If you can’t find a hotel with a gym, try to book a hotel near a park or recreational area. Go for an exhilarating run or walk. That will get your endorphins kicking first thing in the morning and get you pumped for the day’s meetings. I prefer going for an early morning run while mixing in a circuit routine. All you need is a park bench and area on the grass.

Bodyweight circuit: This circuit doesn’t involve any equipment, just your own body weight. Start with a short warmup by marching in place or doing jumping jacks for three minutes. Then do one set of 10-50 reps–depending on your current fitness level–of push-ups, alternating lunges, dips, squats and sit-ups/crunches. If you’re up for it, repeat the circuit two or three times. I like to do a descending pyramid or 50-40-30-20-10 of the above exercises. Believe me—this will really get your heart rate up and work your muscles.

Bring your favorite fitness or yoga online workout with you. There are thousands of online workouts for free to use while in a hotel or motel.

Remember to be prepared to try different routines and exercises when you travel. You’ll have to be flexible. If the hotel gym doesn’t have the elliptical trainer you normally use, try something else. If you’re used to lifting free weights and the gym only has machines, try them. Changing up your normal workout routine is actually a good thing. But there’s no excuse for not working out.

Mike Levinson, a Calabasas resident, is a former amateur bodybuilding champion and registered dietitian who holds dual degrees in sports nutrition and physical education. He has worked extensively as a nutritionist with the California Angels baseball team and with famous athletes such as Charles Oakley, JT Snow and Sean Rooks. He also worked as a nutritionist for the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders. 

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