My job requires that I travel several days a week. Is it fair to blame any weight I might gain or a lack of conditioning on my travels?
Hardly. Extended travel is no excuse for missing a workout and letting yourself go. In fact, exercise while traveling is actually very important. When you’re confined to an airplane o a car for several hours at a time, your muscles will start to shrink and restrict your range of motion. Confinement impedes blood circulation as well. If you can stand and walk around a bit while in the air, you should. In a car, obviously, you don’t have that “luxury.”
You can see how exercise (that includes stretching) is so important on the road. Most decent hotels these days have fitness rooms with equipment (so, remove access to the gym from your list of excuses). But, maybe the fitness facility is closed when you’re ready to work out. Okay, fine. Try exercises you can do right in your hotel room with no equipment required. Use your own body weight for resistance, keep an eye on your form and keep it real. Your modified road workout should also include exercises for your chest and shoulders (push-ups), triceps, gluteal muscles, abdomen (stomach crunches) followed by a few relaxing stretches.
While a well-equipped hotel gym is nice to have, there is an upside to spending 30 minutes doing a muscle-toning workout in your room: privacy (assuming you’re traveling solo). Tune the TV or radio to any channel and enjoy yourself.
After your workout, do more stretching—deep, slow stretches—then follow that up with a relaxing warm bath or shower. That workout-stretching-warm shower combination is a sure-fire recipe for a great night’s sleep, too. And you’ll no doubt need one to be ready for your next big day on the road.
A few more thoughts about working out on the road: first, when you’re packing for travel, always include workout clothes and a good pair of running or walking shoes.
Lastly, road workouts can help you fight off two other traveling pitfalls: fatigue and a bad diet. When you exercise during your travels, you will rest better at night. When you’re rested, your resistance is stronger and you are less likely to succumb to night-food cravings (a symptom of fatigue) or other dubious food choices.
So, no more excuses. Traveling doesn’t give you a get-out-of-a-workout-free card. On the contrary, it can contribute to your travel enjoyment and success.