Travel and Exercise: 26 ways to include exercise in your travel itinerary

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Americans travel. A lot. In fact, according to the US Travel Association, Americans took 1.7 billion trips for leisure and 452 million trips for business in 2014. That’s a lot of nights away from home. And, travel can be challenging. One of the many challenges that come with travelling is staying healthy. A key to healthy travel is to exercise.

Why should you exercise on travel?

Over the last month or so, I have been on travel about 50% of the time. When I travel, I make it a priority to stay active. Why? Exercise helps me focus, keeps my body, and even prevents me from getting sick. That’s right: regular exercise strengthens your immune system —an important thing when you are exposed to germs on an airplane.

According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can help you:
• Feel more energized
• Manage your weight
• Prevent chronic disease (like high blood pressure, certain cancers, and even arthritis)
• Handle stress
• Boost happiness
• Improve your sleep

Why exercise on travel

How much exercise do you need?

For adults, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That averages out to about 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week. And, it is recommended that adults strength train 2 times per week.

Preparing for exercise

While packing for your trip, be sure to pack a pair of shoes, socks, an exercise shirt, and a set of shorts. If you think it will be chilly, pack long pants and a cover up. While this might take up room in your bag, it’s worth it. One way to gain some space in your bag is to wear your exercise shoes on the plane—not only they are more comfortable, but they also make it easier to run to your gate.

When you book your accommodations (if you have a choice), choose a place with access to a gym. A gym provides a lot more possibilities for exercise.

When and how to exercise on travel

The options are limited when you don’t have much time and are stuck in a hotel. Here are 26 ways to squeeze in exercise when you are travelling:

Take advantage of the hotel gym. You will be amazed at what you can do.

Basic cardio equipment offers many exercise options:
1. Interval with speed
2. Interval with incline
3. Tempo workout
4. And more workouts with walking sideways, and other funky steps.

Lucky enough to have free weights? There are endless possibilities here.
5. Here’s a whole body workout to get you started
6. My favorite? The Bikini-Ready Workout by Valerie Waters, featured on The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises

No equipment or a gym? Try a body weight workout in your room. Put a towel on the floor for…
7. Pushups and
8. Pushup variations
9. Body Weight Squats and
10. Squat variations
11. Sit-ups and
12. Sit-up variations
13. Lunges and
14. Lunge variations
15. Plank and
16. Plank variations
17. Burpees

Take a walk or a jog near the hotel. This is one way to explore a new place! There are a myriad of trail and parks in most major cities. To learn more about getting outside, check out my blog post on finding trails and parks. For example:

18. Riverfront Park along the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee
19. Discovery Park along the Sacramento River in Sacramento, California
20. White House to the Washington Monument trail in Washington, DC
21. Harborwalk in East Boston, Massachusetts
22. White Rock trail in Dallas, Texas

And, you can always do little things to incorporate exercise into your day.
23. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
24. At a conference? Stand in the back instead of sitting in a chair
25. Stretch in your chair
26. Instead of delivery, find a place near the hotel and walk to pick up your order.

How do you include exercise in your travel itinerary? Let us know by commenting below!

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