I’m off to Los Angeles this weekend for a delightful mix of business, pleasure, networking and fun. As much as I love to travel, I dread and loathe the inevitable hours of sitting on my butt, motionless and stuck, be it on a plane, in a car or at the airport.
I have written extensively on eating while travelling however as well as trying to maintain healthy eating habits while travelling, that pesky little thing known as exercise should not be ignored.
So how do you ensure you clock up those exercise hours while on the go? As a start, try to fit in a workout before boarding your flight. Getting a run in or a nice long cycle will compensate for all those hours spent keeping still while cramped in an airline seat. If that’s not possible due to an early flight, try the following things to keep you moving:
Keep those muscles lean and strong during and after stepping off a flight by treating yourself to a quick stretch session. Even if you have to do it in the cramped plane bathroom, lengthen your limbs as much as possible. Your body will thank you for it.
Pack a Theraband
Therabands are cheap and highly transportable. Traditionally designed for use in rehabilitation sessions for those with injuries, Therabands are now used for resistance exercises for almost any part of your body. Stretch a tight band around your wrists, extend wrists outwards parallel to the ground and pull wrists apart to work your triceps and deltoids. Alternatively, put your hands behind your head and pull hands apart again, using your latissimus dorsi muscle, triceps and biceps. If standing up, step both legs in between the band and extend one leg out to the side. Repeat until a desired number of repetitions is achieved, then switch to the other leg. The variety of exercises this little thing is capable of is limitless so get creative and get muscle building now.
Use the hotel gym
This one is obvious but often goes unlooked. Hotel gyms these days are generally well equipped – even the smallest ones tend to have at least one treadmill and some free weights. Even if you hit the gym for 30 minutes post flight, you will leave feeling refreshed, more awake and ready to explore your new destination.
No gym? Use your body for resistance. Do a few sets of push ups, sit ups and squats in your hotel room. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Remember, it all adds up so move when you can.
This is the ultimate catch-all behaviour that can be returned to over and over. Do you have to catch that cab to dinner? Not only is walking a gentle form of exercise, getting around on foot can be a great way to explore your new surroundings and get acquainted both with locals and restaurants in your neighbourhood.
Staying fit while on the go doesn’t have to be long, arduous, expensive or complicated. Just remember that the more you move, the more your body will love you for it so treat it with respect and give it what it wants.