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To stay active and healthy, you need to find ways to make physical activity part of your daily routine. But when you travel because of work or for other reasons, you lose that routine. Fitting in your exercise habits can be hard.

But as with so many things, a little planning can go a long way toward helping you keep your healthy habits on track. Try these tips to keep your physical activity going when you travel:

Preparing for your trip

* Take the time to think about your trip and how your routine will be affected. Identify the barriers that might keep you from your regular physical activity, such as long meetings, a busy schedule, or weather extremes.  Plan ahead on how you will get around those barriers.

* Try to find a hotel that has an exercise room, exercise DVDs, or a swimming pool. Or look for one that is close to a park, walking trails, or a gym.
* Get walking maps of your destination city, and look forward to seeing some sights on foot.

* Schedule exercise time on your daily calendar.

* Pack items that will help you exercise, such as:
o Exercise clothing, including a swimsuit or your walking/running shoes. Remember that exercise clothes made of synthetic fabrics will dry faster—an important thing to think about when you’re living out of a suitcase.
o A jump rope or resistance band, either of which will fit easily into a suitcase.
o Anything else you routinely use for exercise, like an MP3 player, a radio, or your favorite exercise DVD.

At the airport

* Walk laps around the airport terminal. It’s a good way to pass the time while you’re waiting for your flight.
* If you have a long layover, find a gym close to the airport so you can work out between flights.

On your trip

* Use the hotel workout room or swimming pool, if available. If your hotel doesn’t have a workout room, find a nearby gym. Use a Web site, such as HealthClubs.com, to see if your local gym has a branch in your destination city.
* You may be more likely to exercise if you do it first thing in the morning.
* Wear a pedometer to motivate you to add steps throughout your day.
* A hotel concierge can be a great source of information about local parks and walking/running trails.
* For meals, walk to local restaurants instead of driving.
* If the hotel is large, turn its hallways and staircases into a “track,” and do “laps.”
* The Internet is full of advice for exercises you can do in your hotel room, for beginners as well as exercise experts. You can also jump rope or run in place. If that’s too boring, do it while you watch TV in the morning or evening.


Author Debby Golonka, MPH
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Heather Chambliss, PhD – Exercise Science/Weight Management

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

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Filed under: Traveler Tips

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