Exercising While Traveling

Travel, whether for work or for fun, doesn't have to keep you from maintaining healthy habits.

Staying fit while traveling can be a challenge. You're far from your familiar exercise routine, and you often end up eating more than you should. But traveling doesn't have to put your workout plan on hold. There are many ways to fit in fitness when you're on the road:

Sit less. "Humans were not designed to sit all day," says Dr. James A. Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic/Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, and author of the book Get Up! When we travel, we sit in airports, cabs, trains, meetings, and even by the pool. Whenever possible, get up. Even if you can't walk or jog, stand — it's better than sitting.

Walk the airport. If you're traveling light or your carry-on has wheels, you're free to roam instead of sitting at the gate. Some airports help you out; for example, Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport provides lockers for carry-on luggage and maps to guide you on a 1.4-mile walk.

Reserve a fitness-friendly hotel. Many hotels have gyms or agreements with local fitness facilities, but some offer even more: The Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, provides jogging maps, complimentary bicycles, and even kayaks that you can paddle on the nearby Charles River.

Plan active vacations. Companies such as Backroads offer biking, hiking, and walking trips around the U.S. and the world for all fitness levels. Even if you're just looking for a relaxing time at the beach, take a walk and explore nearby nature to help shed a few of the calories from your last meal.

Alice Lesch Kelly is a freelance writer based in the Boston area.

Illustration by John W. Tomac

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