Early morning meetings and late-night business dinners make it almost impossible for Trisha Curtin to fit in a workout on the road. "It's been a huge challenge to do any type of exercising other than walking from building to building," says Curtin, who works in planning and distribution for a department store.
She's not alone. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates Americans take more than 400 million long-distance business trips each year. Many of the travelers skip their workouts. Curtin acknowledges: "It's going to be me taking the initiative to get motivated."
Personal trainer Brent Brinkmeier of Atlanta, Georgia, says there's no excuse for not exercising, even when you're traveling. He has some basic advice for people like Curtin who are looking to stay in shape. (Watch how to stay fit when you're traveling. Video )
Before leaving town, he recommends checking with your local gym to see whether they have an affiliated facility in your travel destination. Call your hotel ahead of time or go online to see whether it has a fitness center or offers equipment that can be brought to your room. Be aware that many hotels charge extra for this. (A sampling of hotel chains' fitness offerings )
If you're staying in a larger hotel, Brinkmeier suggests taking the stairs to get some cardio exercise. Walking or running outside may be an alternative, but check with the concierge first about safety concerns before going off the property. Swimming laps in the hotel pool is another option.
Brinkmeier has developed a short routine that will allow travelers to work out in the room. It's centered on interval training and involves little or no equipment. "This is enough that it will help you maintain what you've done in your normal workout routine so when you get home you don't feel like you've lost an entire week," he says. (Fast and easy hotel-room workout )
Brinkmeier begins with lunges. The deep knee bends are repeated 15 times for each leg. He moves on to 15 to 30 seconds of jumping jacks. He says these should be interspersed throughout the workout. Upper body work is next. He likes to build strength with modified push-ups, knees resting on a towel or mat.