Easy ways to stay fit while traveling…
For the past 39 years I have been quite a fitness buff. I don’t like to use the term ‘fitness nut’ as to me it conjures up an image of doing something wrong or being a bit crazy. My fitness passion started out as pure vanity as I was in my late teens, early 20’s and was following the traditional Bodybuilding crowd of the 80’s. I never really had the genetics for Bodybuilding, but I loved being in the gym. Fitness was and is my hobby, it’s what I do for fun. Whether it be a walk along the river, paddleboarding on the River Thames, running or biking in the park, or getting in a good training session at a local gym, or in my garage gym, I am happiest if I am moving and doing something to push myself physically.
As I grew older and progressed in my career, I kept the fitness routine going. In one job I had, my lunch hour was spent at the local gym around the corner from my office. Other jobs I’ve had, most in fact, the first thing I did at the end of the day was make my way to the gym.
I love the feeling of pushing myself, making myself stronger and seeing small, incremental improvements in myself. Being obsessive like I am, I track a lot of my progress and like to see things moving in the right direction. That may be my body weight going up or down depending on where I am, my strength increasing, or even my resting heart rate dropping. (Yes, I track my resting heart rate, don’t you? 😉
Sometimes I’ll even workout a couple of times a day. This will likely be an early morning walk along the river, then a session at the gym or my garage gym at the end of the day.
Travel, specifically business travel used to represent a challenge and disruption to my fitness routine. However, once I put my mind to it, I developed a routine of sorts to ensure that even if I was on the road for business, and not able to go to my normal gym, I would get in a good workout. Initially as I began to travel for work, the first thoughts that ran through my mind was “Oh crap, I’m going to be gone for a week and not get to the gym. Everything I’ve working for, all the gainz I’ve made will be erased!” This is ridiculous I know, but it was what was going through my head. I’ve told many people over the years, that yes, I do believe I’m addicted to exercise, I admit it. Could be worse things to have as a vice though! It’s the endorphins and the way I feel after a good session where I know I’ve pushed myself.
However, as I have matured, I have found several fairly easy ways to stay fit while traveling, for business or pleasure…
I used to think that I was ‘odd’ for being like this, that I was the only nut that wanted to workout all the time. However, as I began to chat with friends and colleagues I soon discovered that I was not the only one. There are others like me…
So, what does this have to do with the Fit Business Traveler?
Being a business professional who travels quite frequently for work, I have developed a set of routines and practices that I leverage to make certain that in almost all situations, I can get some form of workout in. All it really takes is a bit of preparation. This preparation makes it easy for me to stay fit while traveling.
My goal with this site is to share some of the ideas that I have developed, and used to maintain a respectable level of fitness, even while traveling extensively for business.
As soon as I know I’m going to be making a business trip, which for me is usually about 2 weeks before the travel, I start preparing. The first bit of preparation involves selecting my hotel. If the choice of hotel is flexible, my first step is to try and get a good look at the fitness center/gym of several hotels. I will look at both the hotel web site and also Tripadvisor.
Next step is google maps. Plugging in a simple term such as “gyms near Hilton Munich City, Rosenheimer Straße, Munich, Germany”, reveal that there are several nearby and one right across the street! (Innings Fitness, which by the way I have trained at several times and it’s a great gym!)
Step one of my preparation is complete, I now have a pretty good idea of where I’ll be training.
Now I need to decide what my training will be while I am on the road. What I mean by that is will I just continue my ‘normal’ routine while I am traveling, or will I try something different?
There are a couple of ways I could think about this;
1: Just keep into my normal program – If I’m going to be away Tuesday thru Friday, and my program dictates that I do Chest, Back and Arms on these days, then that is what I do. A couple of challenges with this approach is the visiting gym you’ll be training at may not have the specific equipment you’re used to, or you may not have the time to get your usual workout completed.
2: Use this as an opportunity to break things up and do something completely different than your normal routine. If you’ve been involved in any form of fitness program, you know that our bodies adapt rather quickly to the stresses we introduce. When we adapt, we plateau, and no one wants to plateau! Use your business travel as an excuse to vary your routine and shock your body, forcing you to adapt.
You need to make the decision though, how important is your fitness to you? If it truly matters, you need to make it a priority.
Skip the pre-dinner cocktails to go for a walk, run, hit the stairs in your hotel, creativity is your friend.
In future posts, I’ll give you some ideas on how to keep it simple. There is no need to make things complicated, or stressful. You will find over time that it is easy to stay fit while traveling and in fact, can be quite fun and an interesting way to break up your routine.