Traveling and Health, Part 3: Avoiding the Sedentary Trip

Note: This is the third in a series on travel and health. Click here for Part 2.

In most instances, I find that people’s movement routines get thrown out the window when they travel. The possible exception to this would be those folks who do adventure travel, involving activities like rock climbing, kayaking, running a marathon, major hikes, and the like. So if you are reading this and fall into that category, feel free to skim right through this.  😉

For the rest of us, whose travel activities may be a tad less movement-oriented, we may find that we return from travel feeling like we’ve been even more sedentary than usual. We are usually sitting to get somewhere, sitting to get back home, and possibly sitting a lot in between (in meetings, or at people’s homes, or at restaurants chatting, or on tour buses, etc.).

Here are 3 tips on making the most of MOVING while traveling.

1. Walk. A lot.

Okay, so this one seems simple. And it can be, depending on your locale and daily schedule. However, it can be a huge challenge in other instances. Either way, I find that it’s best to keep it as a goal rather than to hope that it happens. If you are staying in a hotel, find those steps instead of using the elevator. Spending the day at a theme park? Great! Lots of walking potential there. Just make sure to do several laps around the place rather than just walking to the next attraction line in order to get some of those steps in. If you have some freedom to explore your place, park the car and walk to as many shops, restaurants, museums, and other points of interest. In the middle of nowhere? Find a suburban neighborhood and walk through the streets while chatting with family or listening to a podcast. Really in the middle of nowhere? Great, take a hike! Wide open spaces with nothing around work great for this. Walking is a great way to build in movement without having to do anything different than what you are used to in your regular life. However, if you want to take it up to the next level, see the next tips….

2. Take It Outside: Find ways to move outdoors.

This is different than just walking. I’m talking about pumping it up to the next level here and really getting your heart rate up. Of course you can do the usual, like running, or playing a sport. However, I’m going to guess that you have lots of other things to do with your time, so I’m operating under the assumption that you’re looking for ways to be quick and effective. Find a building with a lot of steps, and run up and down them as long as you can. Chase your kids around a park, or better yet — join them on the slide, swing, monkey bars, etc. Sign up for a walking or cycling tour of the city you are visiting.

3. Take It Inside: Find ways to move indoors.

Maybe the weather where you are isn’t motivating you to be outdoors. That’s okay. You have indoor options. Are you the gym type? If you are staying at a hotel you may have one included in your room rate. You can also contact local gyms in the town for a day or week pass. Find out if the city has other types of studios that allow drop-ins, such as dance, yoga, Zumba, pilates, Cross-Fit, etc. And if you don’t want to leave the comfort of your accommodations, all you need is a device, and you can find tons of sources for workouts with the touch of a button on your phone/computer/tablet. I highly recommend a membership in the Quickie Workout Club. Workouts like these are quick, easy, and effective in terms of getting your heart rate up and making sure you’re moving those body parts.

So there you have it. Try one of these options the next time you are out and away from your usual movement routine. And remember, your body will also thank you for moving *while* getting wherever you are going. If you are on a train, plane, or boat, get up and walk around from time to time during the journey. If you’re driving, utilize rest stops whenever possible. Jog around, jump up and down, do whatever you are able to do.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a few laps around this coffee shop to do. I’ve been sitting here writing this article for a while now….

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