How Gym Rats Can Travel without Becoming Fat Cats2 min read
Traveling for pleasure can be a lot of fun. In fact, sometimes too much fun—especially if you’re trying to get in shape or stay in shape. The general stress of traveling and one-too-many trips to the buffet can make your waistline expand in no time.
More than 36 percent of Americans said they try to lose weight before they go on vacation to give themselves some buffer room, according to a recent Trip Advisor survey. One-third of travelers start a new diet when they return home – all to lose the average 3 to 5 pounds that most people gain while on vacation.
Unfortunately, the story for business travelers isn’t much better. According to an Extended Stay America survey, the average weight gain for someone traveling for business is 1.5 pounds per week away from home. If you’re a road warrior traveling for half the year, you stand to gain as much as 25 pounds over the course of a year.
If you’re a hardcore gym rat, health conscious traveler, or just someone who doesn’t want to battle the bulge after a trip, follow these tips:
Ask about the Hotel Gym and Pool
Before booking your hotel, call the front desk to learn about their exercise facilities. Ask them to be specific about how large the gym is and what it includes. Some hotels will list “a full range of up-to-date exercise equipment” on their website. When you arrive, however, you find out that this translates to one lonely, broken-down treadmill in a poorly ventilated room.
Bring Your Exercise Routine with You
Many popular exercise routines travel well and require little more than a yoga mat and gym shorts. Go to your destination prepared to maintain your normal regimen. It’s fine to cut yourself some slack and take off a day or two, but don’t skip out on exercise entirely. One-third of travelers bring their exercise gear with them, but only 3 percent actually use what they brought.
Make Walking Part of Your Trip
Exploring your vacation destination is one of the most rewarding parts of traveling. Instead of renting a car or taking a tour bus, do as much walking as you can to maintain your fitness. Walking daily for exercise improves your mood, increases your metabolism, and helps to prevent muscle loss.
Skip the Free Cookies and Beer at the Hotel
Some hotels offer amenities like free cookies in the lobby or free daily happy hours. While the word “free” is always hard to pass up, you’ll be avoiding a costly calorie trap. The extra cookies and beer that you consume won’t add much to your vacation or business trip, but they will add to your waistline.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Instead of loading up on candy at the airport, pack healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. Fruits and nuts are satisfying and aren’t full of empty calories like some of the other options you’ll find. When you go on an excursion during your vacation, throw a few healthy snacks in your backpack or purse to keep hunger, and the temptation to indulge, at bay.
Image courtesy of: The New York Times.