Staying Fit on the Road

Balancing a daily workout with your job, personal life and family is a constant struggle. This can be especially hard if you are required to travel for work. But traveling can be fun. You get to see lots of different cities and the best part is that you don't have to sacrifice your workout program.

Many hotels and motels realize that business travelers these days don't just want to sit around and order expensive room service. For instance, the Hilton Hotel now offers "health-fit rooms" which have exercise equipment inside the room.

If you're not lucky enough to stay in one of these "health-fit rooms," don't despair. Most hotels have a fitness center. It used to be that hotel gyms had just a few pieces of rusty old bicycles in a converted storage room. I remember trying to work out in some of these gyms. A few still had posters of Charles Atlas on the wall. What a challenge that was!

Things have changed. Nowadays, hotel gyms usually offer modern strength training and cardio equipment and sometimes even have personal training as well as yoga and spinning classes.

Before you book your hotel, call or check the hotel's website to see what kind of fitness facilities are provided. If there's no gym on the premises, the hotel may have an arrangement with a nearby fitness club. To find the best hotel gyms in the city you're going to, check out this website: www.fitforbusiness.com.

If your hotel just doesn't have a gym or you enjoy the privacy of working solo here are some simple ways you take your workout anywhere on the road.

Outdoor Workout: If you can't find a hotel with a gym, try to book a hotel near a park or recreational area. Go for an exhilarating run or walk. That will get your endorphins going first thing in the morning and get you pumped for the day's meetings. I prefer going for an early morning run while mixing in the circuit below. All you need is a picnic bench and a positive attitude.

Space-saver Circuit: This circuit doesn't involve any equipment, just your own body weight. Start with a short warm-up by marching in place or doing jumping jacks for three minutes. Then do one set of 10-50 reps--depending on your current fitness level--of push-ups, alternating lunges, dips, squats and sit-ups/crunches. If you're up for it, repeat the circuit two or three times. I like to do a descending pyramid or 50-40-30-20-10 of the above exercises. Believe me--this will really get your heart rate up and work your muscles.

Bring A Video: Most hotel rooms have DVD/VCR machines. Bring your favorite fitness or yoga video with you. I'm in the process of putting together workout videos for this purpose. Keep checking my website at www.Joe-Decker.com.

Remember to be prepared to try different routines and exercises when you travel. You'll have to be flexible. If the hotel gym doesn't have the elliptical trainer you normally use, try something else. If you're used to lifting free weights and the gym only has machines, try them. Changing up your normal workout routine is actually a good thing. But there's no excuse for not working out.


Active Expert Joe Decker is an ultra-endurance power athlete and renowned fitness trainer who has helped thousands of people get into shape. He has completed many of the world's toughest endurance events, including the Badwater 135, and the Grand Slam of UltraRunning. In 2000, Joe broke the Guinness World Records? Twenty-four-hour Physical Fitness Challenge to help inspire and motivate people to get fit. He is recognized as "The World's Fittest Man." Visit his website at www.joe-decker.com .

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