How to exercise during a business trip and stay fit while traveling

How to exercise during a business trip and stay fit while traveling

If you’re traveling for work these days, keep your fitness goals in mind.

Your itinerary could include early-morning sales calls, late-day business meetings—and also long lunches, late-night meals entertaining clients, and even late-night wrap-ups in your hotel room.

Research from the American Council on Exercise states that exercise increases alertness and productivity, and also boosts mood — which can lead to better attitudes for business travel.

As you travel, fitness experts say you don’t need fancy gyms, expensive equipment, or lots of free time to fit fitness into your business travel schedule. Try these clever tips to make sure you get some exercise while you’re away.

1. Take advantage of the hotel’s amenities when you can

Aim for a hotel with a gym, pool and one in a walkable location.

You can swim laps in the pool, use cardio and weight machines in the fitness center, and go for walks in the area surrounding your hotel.

A traveler is careful to book a hotel with a fitness center.

You can swim laps in the pool, use cardio machines, and work out with weights in the hotel's fitness center.
You can swim laps in the pool, use cardio machines, and work out with weights in the hotel’s fitness center.
Getty Images/500px

As a fitness professional who travels across the country to certify trainers, Cary Williams, CEO of Boxing & Barbells in Santa Monica, Calif., said she does her best to book a hotel with a gym when she travels.

However, if you can’t find a hotel that offers all of these amenities, don’t worry.

“If there’s no gym or the gym is closed, there are a lot of exercises you can do in your room without the equipment,” Williams said.

To get your steps in, skip the elevator and use the stairs, she advised.

2. Do an in-room workout

The best plan, Williams said, is to set the alarm an hour earlier when you’re out of town so you have at least a good 30 to 45 minutes to get in a workout.

She recommends interval training with about six exercises: three bodyweight exercises and three cardio exercises.

If you can’t use your hotel’s fitness center, there are many exercises you can do yourself in the hotel room.

“Find a timer app on your phone and set it to 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest between exercises,” she said.

Williams curated an example of room training. She said that each of the following exercises should take six minutes (aim for five rounds): squats; knee-ups (high knees in place); Pushups; skipping rope (bring your own); lunges; and sit ups.

Plus, you can add some weights to your workout if you have your own, or you can use free weights from the hotel’s gym.

3. Explore your surroundings

Chelsea Cohen, co-founder of SoStocked in Austin, Texas, said fitness is an essential part of her daily routine. When traveling for work, her goal is to ensure the same.

“Exploring keeps me fit,” says Cohen. “Every business trip presents a new opportunity to explore and indulge in exciting activities.”

She added, “Anytime I’m in a new city, I make sure to walk around a bit, whether it’s for shopping or to find a good restaurant.”

Outside of work meetings, bring a pair of sneakers and stroll around to learn about and explore the new city.
Outside of work meetings, bring a pair of sneakers and stroll around to learn about and explore the new city.
Getty Images

Cohen said she prioritizes walking to her work meetings.

“It helps keep my body moving,” she said. “Best of all, walking takes my mind off my usual workouts and gives me some much-needed exercise without having to put in the extra time.”

Outside of work meetings, pack a pair of sneakers and wander the area to learn about and explore the new city.

4. Embrace technology

As CEO of MediaPeanut, based in Brooklyn, NY, Victoria Mendoza said she travels frequently for work; Technology has helped her keep her fitness and health on track.

“I’ve recently learned to incorporate technology into my own fitness regimen,” she said.

She uses several apps that help her count calories, measure calories burned during exercise and daily activities — as well as measure her daily steps and monitor her exercise activity.

“Some of those popular apps are Fooducate, Strides, MyFitnessPal, and Fitbit, aside from the health trackers in my phone,” she added.

Additionally, Mendoza said she has hired virtual fitness trainers who monitor her fitness activities and schedule her workouts at least two or three times a week, even when she travels for work.

“If I take an hour for a session with a virtual fitness trainer, I can’t deviate from my fitness goals and get my workouts done correctly even with limited equipment.” She said the virtual trainers create “exercise schedules dependent on location, time and space that are available to me”.

5. Cycle your way to health

Jarelle Parker, a Silicon Valley-based personal trainer in Menlo Park, California, suggested booking a bike tour of a new city.

“This is a great way to meet people and be adventurous by exploring a new environment,” she said. “It’s also a great way to incorporate fitness into your journey.”

She mentioned that Washington, DC, Los Angeles, New York, and San Diego “offer amazing bike rides for the fitness traveler.”

If indoor cycling is more of a preference (along with others to motivate you), Parker noted that the ClassPass app can be helpful.

It’s a membership app that connects users to workouts and wellness experiences. It is currently available in 30 countries on five continents.

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