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2010 Physical Activity Symposium Logo
Click Here For Printable Version Fitness on the Fly

Too little time is the number-one reason people give when asked why they don’t work out. This excuse will probably never lose its ranking considering most of us truly are time crunched by life’s responsibilities. Staying fit is tough because each year brings with it more work and less downtime.

You think you’re busy

It’s hard enough getting our workouts in with our local 9 to 5 job—what about those frequent flyers that must continually crisscross the country for business? Traveling for work poses a greater challenge that even fewer conquer. Basically I believe there are three types of exercisers—those with plenty of time but only work out if the stars align and everything goes according to plan; those with ample leisure time and fitness opportunity who generally make a consistent effort; and finally, those with limited downtime, but who make the most of it by creating a fitness opportunity. These people don’t let anything stop them and work out no matter what!

Ironically, some of the busiest people are also the fittest. They get it that being fit doesn’t just happen. Striving to improve one’s fitness level has to be high on the priority list and once there, it is earned every day. It’s about priorities. Take, for example, the two business travelers who check into their hotels. One heads straight to the hotel restaurant/bar and the other calls the front desk to ask for directions to the hotel fitness center. There is a big difference in the mindset of these two.

Encouraging news

Fortunately, for those busy men and women who won’t compromise their health for the sake of their job, there are a growing number of interesting options that take the guesswork out of their day and make exercise the easy choice. After all, staying active doesn’t have to be complicated, cost prohibitive or even time consuming. Keep in mind that the sum of small active habits add up and can make a tremendous difference in a person’s energy level, body composition, strength, mental health and overall health.

A little prep goes a long way

Here are just a few examples of the value of planning ahead during a hectic travel schedule. When booking your stay, look for hotels that have fitness facilities—most do these days but inquire to make sure their hours of operation match your downtime. Some also have pools which are perfect for any level workout as well as the ultimate place to unwind and distress. And, be sure to pack with activity in mind—shoes, workout clothes and swimwear are a must.

Some hotels may not have their own dedicated fitness space but have an affiliation with a nearby gym that welcome hotel guests for a minimal fee. If neither of these options is available to you, and you prefer to stay within the hotel, there are plenty of efficient body-weight exercises you can do right in your room. These require no equipment—30 minutes of squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and burpees will cover most of the bases for a great workout. If you’ve really prepared well, you may even have a jump rope or an exercise tube tucked inside the athletic shoes you packed which will no doubt, add variety.

For those who like to take a walk or run at the end of their workday, make the most of the trip and get to know the city on foot. There are no limits to the exercise you can get while exploring. More and more hotels are happy to assist in your request about activity. The hotel concierge can tell you if there are parks nearby and if so, will provide you with a map of all the hiking and walking trails. Many will also have a city map where you can check to see which of your destinations are reachable by foot—good for your heart and your pocketbook.

No excuses

Of course, every hotel has staircases—the ultimate Stairmaster. They are safe, well lit and temperature controlled so use them to your benefit. This type of activity can’t be beat—burns calories while it strengthens your heart, lungs and legs. There are many hotels that even have running tracks on their rooftops which is a practical way to turn dead space into healthy, usable space.

The hotel industry understands busy travelers and realizes that some may need more of a push. To make physical activity an easy choice for these guests, business-friendly hotels are actually adding active options right in the room for a nominal charge. A portion of the room looks just like a mini fitness station complete with weights, resistance tubes, mats, fitness videos and cardio machines. Imagine these amenities situated right next to your bed. Just wake up and work out!

They say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Whether you need fitness served up on a silver platter or you are driven to train regardless the circumstances, the opportunities are there and multiplying every day.

Cindy Boggs is an ACE certified healthy living expert and wellness writer. She is the author of the award-winning fitness advice book, CindySays “You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World.” Send your questions about fitness, training and health to

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