As a travel writer and rabid foodie, I know firsthand the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the road. Busy schedules of work-related trips and a lazy mentality I often acquire during vacations often railroad my workout mojo.
According to Remembrance Staber, personal trainer and wellness specialist with 25 years under her belt, keeping up with a fitness routine while traveling is easier than you might think.
I got to chat with her recently about ways to reboot my travel and wellness mindset. I gleaned so much information during my time with Remembrance, I decided to share the entire interview with you. In addition, at the end here I’ve included a list of three hotels with stellar health and wellness programs.
Why is it so important to stay on track with your workouts when you travel?
There are several reasons. First, you don’t want to fall off of your at-home fitness routine. The body can fall out of shape within 10-12 days of neglecting your workouts. As a result, when you go home, it’s like you’re starting from scratch.
Another good reason to stay on track is that you eat and drink more when you’re on vacation. To combat the higher caloric intake, you want to increase your activity.
In addition, exercise is an enjoyment for the body. Your mind maybe not so much, but your body loves it. Let your body enjoy vacation, too!
Finally, the trend in fitness and adventure is huge right now and continues to grow. When you travel, you have more opportunities to get involved in fitness. It’s the perfect time to try something you’ve never done. Try a spin class, take a hike, or do that sunrise beach yoga session. Try something new!
So, we have varied exercise options. What are ways we can keep our food and drink in check while traveling (without feeling deprived!)?
Lots of bars and restaurants offer a skinny cocktail option. Go for that. Other ways you can cut back on sugar is to ask the bartender to make your drink with Agave instead of simple syrup. There are quite a few gluten-free beers out there, too.
A good idea for food is to keep hard-boiled eggs in your mini fridge. You can buy them by the bag in most grocery stores. Boiled eggs are a staple in my diet when traveling. They’re great for breakfast or as a quick snack. I always travel with Kind Bars, too. Just throw them in your suitcase or carry-on. They’re ideal for snacks or as breakfast.
I also try to pump up my fruit and veggie intake when I travel. Order sautéed spinach as a side dish during meals. Even if it isn’t on the menu, they can make it. I also nosh on cucumbers (instead of crackers) with hummus. Just stash them in your room fridge. You can even add a couple of slices to your eyes and pretend you’re in the spa! Add some to your water, and you’ve created a private spa treatment in your room!
When you’re dining, make sure to take time to enjoy your food. Slow down and smell the aroma of your meal. Chew slowly and let your body enjoy it. Your brain sensors will be more responsive and you’ll feel fuller faster.
Another thing to try is to drink a glass of fresh lemon water first thing in the morning. It’s good for digestion and excellent for your skin!
In addition to hitting the hotel’s fitness center, what are other ways to work out?
Running hotel stairs is one of my favorites. I’ll stop at each landing and do ten squats, lunges, or jumping jacks. Recently, I stayed at the Marriott in New York City, which has 75 floors. Wow! That was a great workout!
If you can do so safely, running or walking around the city or town you’re visiting is a great way to get a workout in while touring the area.
Don’t forget to slow down a little. Do a quiet meditation in the evenings. Take time to recharge and relax. Controlled breathing is just as important for your body as working out is.
What are your favorite fitness apps and resources?
You definitely want to follow Chris Freytag’s Instagram. She’s the fitness editor for Prevention Magazine, and posts a new work out every day. Her posts also include nutrition helps and encouraging quotes.
Apps I’d also recommend include: Hot5fitness, which offers quick workout videos designed by personal trainers and Calm.com which provides seven guided mediations sessions with varied background scenes and sounds to help you relax.
You should also check out Acefitness.org, website for the American Council on Exercise. It’s a huge resource.
A little more about Remembrance: She founded Fab4Fitness, a program that embodies the components of fitness, fashion, food and fun. As a wellness consultant, she also helps resorts and country clubs create fitness and wellness programs for their guests. Currently at Mountain Air Country Club in Asheville, North Carolina, Remembrance crafts fitness and adventure programs and organizes fitness camps for kids.
You can find Remembrance on Twitter at @memfitwellfit or on Instagram (@fab4fit).
Where to Stay
Whether it’s business travel or a an extended getaway, here are a few hotels that help make staying on track with your workouts super easy – and really fun.
Wellness programs differ from hotel to hotel, and include things like complimentary in-room yoga mats and their own fleet of PUBLIC bikes (free for guest use). Some properties also offer a morning jogging station equipped with fruit-infused water and chilled towels – a perfect a.m. run refresher.
Has runWESTIN, which provides guests with detailed map of three- or five-mile runs. Go it alone, or run with a group led by the hotel’s run concierge. In addition, hotel menus include SuperFoodsRx – low calorie dishes that are nutrient rich and flavorful.
Rooms in this InterContinental brand boast luggage racks that double as workout benches. They also offer varied fitness equipment you can borrow for use in your room. Business travelers will appreciate a clutter-free rolling desk with ergonomic chairs.
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