When you're traveling for work, you can stick to your fitness routine. Use these simple travel workout tips to maintain your fitness program.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If work keeps you frequently away from home, it can be challenging to maintain your fitness program. Travel time and meetings might leave little room in your schedule for exercise. But dedication and planning can help you stay in shape — and ease the stress that work travel can cause. Consider these travel workout tips.

Before your trip, research the hotel or nearby fitness facilities and pack accordingly. Your travel workout essentials might include:

  • Athletic shoes
  • Exercise clothing
  • Swimsuit
  • Jump-rope
  • Resistance tubing
  • Hand grips
  • Headphones
  • Yoga mat

Whether you're traveling by car, train or plane, work travel can force you to sit for long periods, which isn't good for your health. To fit some physical activity into your travel days, wear your walking or running shoes. If you're traveling by plane and time permits or you encounter a delay, stroll through the airport terminal rather than sitting at the gate. When traveling by train walk through the cars occasionally. If you're driving, take breaks to get out and stretch.

If you know you're going to have a long layover at an airport, check to see if the airport has a gym and pack your carry-on bag accordingly. Keep in mind that equipment varies and fees might apply.

When you arrive at your destination, set the tone for your trip by working out right away. If that's not possible, schedule time for your next workout and treat it as an important appointment.

Consider these ways to work out or be active:

  • Use the halls. Walk the hotel halls — or, if possible, to one of your meetings. Take the stairs or get off the elevator a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.
  • Skip rope. Use a jump-rope in your room or the hotel gym.
  • Do jumping jacks. Try a few sets in your room.
  • Try aerobics or yoga. If you've got space in your hotel room, use your tablet or smartphone to find a workout and follow along.
  • Use resistance tubing. These stretchy tubes, which can be used virtually anywhere, offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them. Use them to strengthen nearly any muscle group.
  • Take advantage of your own body weight. Try pushups, planks and squats.
  • Get wet. Swim laps in the hotel pool.
  • Check out local parks and trails. Ask the hotel staff about safe nearby routes for walking or running.

If jet lag or schedule changes leave you exhausted, make your workout shorter or lighter than usual. It's OK to take it easy once in a while. Because travel can be so disruptive to how you sleep and what you eat, it's also not the best time to try to increase your fitness level.

Remember, however, that regular exercise can help reduce stress and feelings of low energy, which might be just what you need to get down to business.

May 04, 2016