A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Work outs on the road

on October 3, 2013

Maybe even literally on the road, depending on where you’re going!

Yesterday, we chatted about healthy eating on the road. Today, I wanted to talk about how I keep active when traveling for work and vacation. I’m in San Francisco this week for a work conference and as part of my planning for the trip, including my usual obsessive list making and fact checking, I made sure to plan for keeping up my regular workouts.

Things I find helpful:

– Be sure to pack your workout gear! Something as simple as a pair of sneakers can make it amazingly easier to be active when you’re traveling. With a pair of good shoes, you can walk and explore the area you’re visiting or go for a run. I also pack a couple of sets of workout clothes (shorts/shirts/socks/sports bras), depending on how long I’ll be there. If you need any other specialized gear for your preferred workout, you might want to bring it or look into options available at your hotel, which brings me to #2:

– Check out the fitness options at your hotel. This information is usually available on the website before your trip or you can call the concierge. Many hotels now, even smaller local places, will have a fitness facility of some kind with cardio equipment and maybe even yoga mats or free weights. The hotel I’ll be staying this week has a fitness facility and yoga available on your TV in the room, which will make things easier. Hotels that don’t have their own fitness facility often have a guest access agreement with an area gym or other hotel, so be sure to ask.

Walk around and explore the area. It turns out, walking around to explore the area isn’t just fun from a touristy perspective – it’s also healthy activity! Remember that all activity counts, so if you’re wandering around the neighborhood, you’re getting valuable steps in. With the comfy shoes you packed (above), you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground and get some nice scenery while you’re out there. For safety reasons, be sure that you’re very careful about finding out how safe you’re going to be in that neighborhood. Check online (I google “Is it safe to run in Union Square” or something similar to find where people have discussed this on message boards, blogs, etc) or talk with the cab driver/concierge/hotel staff. I like to talk to the hotel staff because it also means someone is aware of where I’ve gone.

I got 10,000 steps in San Francisco today just from wandering around!

I got 10,000 steps in San Francisco today just from wandering around!

– For runners, look into running routes near the hotel (or house where you’re staying). Again, you can check with the hotel staff or concierge. You can also look into websites like MapMyRun which will include user submitted routes or local road running groups. I checked with the San Francisco Road Runners Club and found suggested running routes of various distances from Union Square, as well as the times they’ll be hosting their weekend group runs that you could join. You can also look at trail or park maps for the town you’re visiting for options. At Thanksgiving, I’ll be exploring some of the trails in town near our hotel and am excited to see new parts on the city on the trail. Even though it’s a city I’ve spent lots of time in (my parents live near there), I’ll be seeing in different ways now that I’m a runner. Again, be sure  you’re safe! Be aware of your surroundings and be sure someone knows where you are, either the concierge or a colleague/friend on the trip or even someone back home. I’ll be updating my husband via the RoadID app even though he’s several states away, just so that he knows where I am. I also avoid running in the dark and don’t bring anything obviously valuable with me (jewelry, etc).

– Look into local fitness events, like 5Ks or other fun runs, that may be taking place during your visit (or when you get truly obsessed, plan your vacation around these events like my family is doing for the Princess Half Marathon this year!). You may also find guided walking tours, tai chi classes or other options through local parks and gardens.  One of the reasons I started running was to participate in the Castaway Cay 5K on my Disney Cruise during the spring, which was a great (if hot and humid) experience.

Online workouts can be a great option, if you have a smart phone, tablet or laptop with you on the trip. I’ve used several workouts (cardio, yoga, strength) from Spark People while I was traveling. There are also several fitness apps that can walk you through a workout in your hotel room.

– Many cities now participate in shared bike programs, where you can rent a bicycle for exploring the area (again, google is your friend!).

Not only does staying active when you travel help keep you on track for your overall fitness goals, it also helps free some daily calories to enjoy some of local indulgences you’ll encounter and helps counter some the inertia you get from hours on the plan or sitting in a meeting or conference room.

For this trip, I’m looking forward to lots of walking around San Francisco and a few new running routes! I’ll keep you posted!

How do you like to keep active when you travel?

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6 responses to “Work outs on the road

  1. […] on the road this week for work and so far, I’m satisfied with my food and activity choices so far. As I discussed earlier in the week, I brought my homemade oatmeal packets for […]

  2. […] on eating healthy & working out while […]

  3. […] holidays. First and foremost, drive safely! In the spirit of prior travel-related posts (food and workouts on the road), I thought road trips deserved their own discussion since they can be a little […]

  4. […] Tuesday on the Run link up topic is running on vacation. Check out my post on running on the road here and overall healthy tips while traveling here and here. I travel a lot for my job, so check out any […]

  5. […] I travel a lot for work and try to run wherever I can because it’s a great way to see the places I visit (see my 50 states goal here!). For more tips on finding places to run when you travel, check out this post. […]

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