If you're a road warrior, then you know staying fit isn't easy. I've embarked on 10-day travel benders, so I've learned that I have to be very strategic about how I'm going to fit in my workouts—both for pant-fitting purposes and my mental health.
My work schedule puts me away from home at least one night a week—if not more—forcing me to learn how to stay fit on the road. The challenge actually has benefited me a great deal (especially when race training) by teaching me to schedule my workouts for the week in advance, while still remaining flexible enough to change plans when necessary. Oh, and I'm also really good at packing. Here are a few strategies I’ve learned to adopt—and accept—along the way.
The two-night rule
Assess your schedule for the week. Are you only going to be gone one or two nights? Can you get workouts in on the days you are home and afford to skip days while on the road? If I know I will be gone two nights or more, I plan to get a workout in at least one of those days if at all possible.
If you have to be somewhere at 7 a.m., are you really going to run at 5 a.m.? Probably not. You also are not going to go to the gym after your plane lands at 6 p.m. because travel is a different kind of exhausting. Look closely at your schedule before you even pack your bag to see if there are options to hit up the gym in the morning or fit in a spin or yoga class before dinner.
Look for nearby classes and sign up in advance
Search the area where you are staying, or ask for recommendations from fellow travelers or friends. Most Pilates, spin, or yoga studios will offer a free class to first-timers (bonus!), and many gyms will offer trial or 24-hour passes. Yogis: Download the MindBody Yoga App. Almost all studios have mats for rent. Runners: I swear by MapMyRun for finding local routes in whatever city I may be visiting.
Always pack your running shoes
I didn't bring mine during my last trip to New York, and I would have paid an obscene amount of money to have those shoes appear in my bag. While there have been many times when I brought shoes but never wound up wearing them, they're worth adding just to play it safe. Plus, there are several lightweight shoes, like the Nike Free, that weigh next to nothing. (Mini-hairspray also fits perfectly inside shoes, just saying.)
Roll all of your pants and shirts.
Trust me, you can cram a lot more in this way (this goes for non-workout stuff, too). And pack multi-purpose workout wear. Also plan on re-wearing some of your pieces—mainly the pants.
Don't eat garbage
If you are going to be traveling and have no way possible to work out, then don't eat garbage. You will just feel like garbage. Get the veggies instead of fries; eat as many greens as you can get your hands on (especially at lunch); and pick healthy, protein-rich foods such as almonds to snack on at the airport. If you are in a packaged-food emporium situation (read: airport "news" depots or any gas station in America), then look for anything with less than five ingredients on the package—all of which you should be able to pronounce.
Confession time: things I have done on the road that I am not proud of—any of these look familiar?
- Worn hotel slippers on the elliptical machine in the gym at the Wynn in Vegas because I didn't bring shoes.
- Lied and said I was vegetarian at a conference so I didn't have to have the heavy lunch.
- Went bra-less during a yoga class at a resort in Scottsdale because I had no sports bra.
- Called a hotel to assess the size of their pool for lap swimming and made the concierge look up the yardage.
- Stolen hotel towels because I had to wrap my workout clothes in SOMETHING.
Check out more stories like this from Kat at FitGirl Wellness!