PHOTOS BY ROB C. WITZEL/NYTRENG
Fitness counselor Karen Coley demonstrates hotel-room
exercises by performing lunges using a phone book.
Fitness tips for travelers
1. Drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of
water each day. Airport food, sitting on a plane, jet lag -
all contribute to bloat. The best way to fight it is to stay
2. Use good body mechanics when you lift your
suitcases up to the check-in counter. Lift from your knees,
not your back. Be aware of your posture as you carry your
3. Even though you've left behind your daily
routine, try to eat three meals a day, maintain a balanced
diet and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. If you're going
to eat a high-fat meal, eat a smaller portion, or order an
appetizer instead of a main course. Split desserts with a
4. Rest. If your schedule is shot and you're
not sleeping enough at night, take cat naps whenever you get
5. Stretch in the morning and evening,
especially if you've been sitting all day.
6. If you
will be drinking alcohol at business mixers, drink a lot of
water between events.
7. Pack snacks: bananas and
apples, yogurt, protein bars. You can make meal replacement
shakes in your room. No, you don't need a blender, just a
container with a tightfitting lid, large enough to shake the
_ Karen Coley, fitness
On the road to fitness
Maintain healthy habits and your workout schedule when
By Julie Garrett
If you've worked hard to establish a good fitness routine,
going on a business trip doesn't have to mean your healthy habits will be
You can keep your momentum and endorphins flowing and
maintain your fitness level when traveling.
How? For one thing,
Maura Moore, 44, of Gainesville, Fla., travels half
the month in her job as a pharmacy recruiter for Cardinal Health. When she
maneuvers through the Atlanta airport it's on her own two feet, not on the
''When you walk from terminal A to E, it's quite a
hike, especially when you're lugging your computer bag,'' she
When she arrives at her destination she takes advantage of
the hotel's gym - ''some of the bigger hotels really do have nice workout
facilities now, especially downtown hotels in Atlanta and L.A.'' - or she
finds a nearby health club where she can pay a day fee (typically $10 for
a day pass or $25-$35 for a week).
To find out if your gym
reciprocates its membership with a gym where you'll be traveling, log onto
the International Physical Fitness Association's Web site, http://www.ipfa.us/, or ask at
your home health club before you leave town.
Moore said if she wants to go for a walk or a run in an
unfamiliar place, she chats up the concierge. That's how she discovered
Town Lake Park, a beautiful, safe spot in Austin, Texas, frequented by
When you' re traveling, you're typically in unfamiliar
territory, out of your daily routine. That can mean more
''Exercise when you're on the road helps you unwind,'' said
Karen Coley, who has been a fitness counselor and educator at Gainesville
Health and Fitness Center for 25 years.
Coley said three to five
days off from a strength routine can give your muscles a rest. But you
wouldn't want to go a week or more without serious exercise, and a short
respite for your biceps doesn't mean you should ever let your cardio
For more fitness options, place in your luggage a
Resist-A-Tube or any of the home exercise tubing, a stability ball, jump
rope or exercise video.
''If you like classes, make your own class
in your room,'' she said. If you work with a personal trainer, ask him or
her to design an exercise plan before you leave town. When you're sitting
on a plane or in a conference room, take deep breaths occasionally,
tighten your stomach muscles, then relax.
Travelers need to
periodically flex and stretch the hamstrings and hip flexors, the muscle
at the upper part of the leg that connects into the pelvis.
women who spend the day in high heels, a walk around the room toe-up,
heel-down will stretch the calves muscles. Or, do toe raises by putting
the heels on the floor and stepping up onto a telephone book.
often complain of being cramped when traveling, Coley said. They need to
stretch their lower back and legs. She recommends the cat stretch. Get up
on your hands and knees, arch your back for 15 seconds, then release.
Other fitness professionals point out that the more
comfortable you are with operating fitness machinery at your home gym, the
easier it will be to set up unfamiliar equipment when you're on the
And consider Thera-Bands, which you can buy online and at
most sporting goods stores. Thera-Bands are heavy-duty elastic tubing,
graded by color according to elasticity and tightness, that you can use in
resistance exercises. They are easy to pack and you can do a complete
maintenance workout with them.
Coley performs standing
Gary Schneider, 52, is on the road four or five days a month
for his marketing business in Gainesville. When he's in a hotel without a
gym, he does a 20- to 30-minute cardio workout on the stairs. His
hotel-room workout consists of push-ups, sit-ups and dips.
usually do it like a circuit,'' he said. He jumps rope at the end of each
circuit, then starts the whole series over again. ''I'll do that for 30 or
He's run in London's Hyde Park, and the Lake Trail
along Palm Beach.
''When you're traveling you get a chance to run
in some of the most beautiful places in the world,'' he said. ''There's
always something you can do. It's just a matter of doing
(Julie Garrett writes for The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun.)
Coley exercises using items
commonly found in hotels, such as this towel.
For more information
Check out these Web sites for more information about staying
fit on the road.
Tips for exercise,
muscle fitness and home exercises you can do while traveling. Top 10 tips
on a variety of topics, free fitness analysis, fitness
Fact sheets about many aspects of fitness, from choosing
the right sneakers to eating well and exercising correctly.
Last modified: June 16. 2003 3:39PM
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