Hello everyone. You will remember (I hope) my last post was the first of a series about getting fit at the gym, on the road and at home. Today we will be talking about keeping fit while on the road.
As a performer, I spend a lot of time on the road. For many performers, this leads to sitting around the hotel watching TV and eating junk food or other not-good-for-you stuff. Whether you are on the road for business or for pleasure, I will try this round to give you some ideas.
When I am performing out of town, I try to find out as far in advance as I can where I will be staying. This gives me a chance to look up the hotel on line and see what they have in the way of fitness facilities.
Hotel “fitness centres” used to be, for the most part, pretty poor. There would be an old weight bench with a few weights or one beat up universal gym. Hotels are changing that because these days, more people are wanting proper facilities.
One hotel I stay at once a year or so is the Cincinnati Airport Marriott in Hebron Kentucky when I got to the Ventriloquists Convention. They have a very nice set of fitness facilities with a gym and a pool. Check out the pictures. These are actually from the hotel website. It is like a small health club.
It is sad to me to see hotels put in these nice facilities and to see them so under utilized. In the time I stayed there I would often have the gym or pool to myself. This is not always a safe situation especially in a pool but if I waited for someone else to be there, I might get to work out or swim at all.
Whether I am at the convention or at another hotel because I am performing in the area, I try to get in an early morning workout. This depends on my performance schedule of course, but I find if I do it at the end of the day, my energy is down. Performing can be draining. I find an early morning workout gives me an energy boost.
Now when you are travelling for pleasure, you are often (though not always) more active. We go to the beach, go for walks, play tennis or golf or other activities. It seems to me that business travelers need to seek out a time to workout and energize.
So what if your hotel doesn’t have a gym or pool? Check out nearby facilities. Check local health clubs for example. Many offer a drop in rate for out of towners. Check recreation centres. Not my favourite places to work out but in a pinch they will do.
Depending on the time of year, check the local outdoor facilities. Do you have time for a round of golf? Is there hiking or swimming nearby? At the very least, you could go for a walk and explore the neighbourhood parks or shopping.
When I work at carnivals and fairs, I try to get out and walk between shows and explore the fair. Just be careful of fair foods. All I can say is thank goodness the fair only comes around once a year.
If the weather is not so great, and the hotel doesn’t offer a gym or pool, what can you do? Workout in your hotel room. I have a few links here to some great workouts you can do in your hotel room.
From the website Nerd Fitness (I love the name) https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/12/20/the-20-minute-hotel-workout/
From Men’s Fitness magazine: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/the-vacation-workout
From Men’s Health is this great video: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/hotel-room-workout
You can find lots more online. Just search “Hotel room workout”.
When I do travel, something I always tuck in my bag is exercise tubing. It is a great little piece of equipment you can take anywhere. It takes up hardly any room but allows you to do a good workout with just that piece of equipment.
If you aren’t familiar with exercise tubing, it comes in varying strengths (coded by colour) and can really give you a good workout. It is helpful to beginners but I know serious lifters who always take one when travelling.
One thing I strongly suggest you buy to go with it is called a door anchor. This allows you to
loop it at the centre of the tubing and it allows you to anchor it at the top, side and/or bottom of the door.
Having that anchor allows me to do more types of exercises like chest presses or overhead tricep presses etc.
There are also fitness bands which are the same idea but are flat bands, again coded for strength by colour. I prefer the tubing but it is all a matter of personal preference.
Another thing that is important when on the road is your food. When I do fairs, they often give me free tickets for food. I may have a burger or something once or twice but if I am there for a few day, I look for other options.
In the rider of my contract for these type of events, I ask if it is possible to get a small fridge for my room. I try to find if there are grocery stores nearby and stock up on healthy options.
When I go to my convention every year, the first thing I do after checking in is find someone to drive me to the nearest grocery store. I buy foods so I can make a lot of my own meals.
I generally have breakfast in my room while having my morning quiet time and reading my Bible. I then have my workout, and at the lunch break, I make something from my food supply then come down and eat in the lobby to socialize. I also bring my portion plate just to keep an eye on portions. I have found that in the United States, hotel food portions can be crazy big!
I will have dinner in the hotel restaurant so I can again socialize. It is my treat of the day when I have dinner, but making my own breakfast and lunch also saves me a lot of money.
Just remember when you are on the road, don’t just sit around the hotel. Get out, explore, get active and have fun!
Next time we will talk about home workout equipment – the good, the bad and the complete waste of time and money.
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.