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Staying in Shape while Traveling

If you travel frequently, one of the easier ways to stay in shape on the road is to make the preparations while you're home. You are a perfect candidate for membership with one of the major national health club chains. Be sure to sign up for a membership that offers you unlimited access to all the club's locations. Then, whenever you're leaving home, jump on the Internet or call the club and find out where the nearest facility is to your destination.

If this isn't a possibility, or if you're just looking for a way to work out during your annual vacation, many hotels in major cities have some form of exercise room with cardiovascular machines, weight machines, or free weights. You will even find some hotels that provide guests with in-room personal trainers or a selection of workout videos.

You may have better luck finding these amenities at hotels that book a lot of business travelers.

If the hotel you're staying at doesn't provide this type of service, check with the desk clerk to see if they have an arrangement with nearby health clubs or a YMCA. Many fitness facilities have exchange agreements with hotels and motels across the country.

If you're lucky to find even an alarm clock as a room perk, or if you prefer to do your own workout while you're traveling, that's okay. You can still work out while you're on the road.

One great workout investment is an Exercise Bar, which is a great fitness tool to use whether you're on the road or at home. It's easy to pack and convenient to use just about everywhere. The bar is lightweight and made of wood and should come with instructions that outline a variety of exercise options. The Exercise Bar is very versatile, allowing you to work out both your upper and lower body by doing exercises, such as squats, leg lifts, shoulder presses, rows, and arm curls, among other things. You can unlock and separate the Exercise Bar into two small pieces for easy packing.

Bands, abdominal balls, jump ropes, and lightweight dumbbells are all also portable and could easily fit in your suitcase during your travels.

Your hotel may have an exercise room with cardiovascular machines like treadmills, stationary bikes, and stair steppers, but if not, here are some alternate exercises that can keep your heart strong while you're away from home:

  • Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or at the local mall. Just make sure you know where you're going and take any necessary safety precautions before venturing into unfamiliar neighborhoods.

  • Some hotels offer trail maps of their property or the surrounding area. You may want to try a running trail or a hike if weather permits.

  • Check to see if your hotel or local merchant offers outdoor bike rentals and a bike route.

  • Try jogging up and down the stairwell inside the hotel.

  • Use the hotel pool to swim laps, or if your hotel has access to a lake or ocean, take advantage of it.

If none of this appeals to you, remember your middle school gym class? Stay in your room and do some jumping jacks, pushups, or other calisthenics. These exercises seem to have fallen out of vogue in recent years, and while you won't get the same quality workout that you would in a gym, it's better than nothing. You may actually be surprised and find out that calisthenics aren't so easy. When was the last time you tried to do jumping jacks for two minutes? It's a harder workout than you probably think.

Whatever you choose, be sure to have fun and enjoy your travels.

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