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Running on the beach
Running on the beach

How to keep Your Diet During the Holidays

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Often times, I’ve heard friends or colleagues say how they fell off the fitness wagon due to a business trip or vacation they just came from. Though I certainly understand that business trips can make for long days and that it’s way more fun to relax on the beach, I still think squeezing in a workout in is possible despite not being in your normal schedule or surroundings. Here are some ideas for fitting in fitness while traveling:

Sightsee by foot.  Rather than signing up for a tour bus to explore a city, why not research the areas you’re interested in and sightsee by foot?  By opting to walk, you can take in the surrounding smells, noises, and energy far better than being enclosed in a tour bus.  Also, you can go on your own pace to capture the sights rather than just whizzing by a place, which makes for better pictures and really being able to take the culture in.  Ashley and Mrs. PoP take it a step further and run around the new surroundings to familiarize themselves with the area.  Sightseeing on foot is great exercise and, provided that you do a little research to learn about the area’s history, can make for an overall greater experience, especially if you’re able to converse with locals.   But please, learn from my “Blisters Debacle of ‘02” and break in your sightseeing shoes a couple of weeks before your travel plans.  Your tootsies will thank you!

Walking in general.  Going along with sightseeing by foot, some of my friends who travel a lot for business opt to walk to their destinations instead of take a cab, whether it’s going to their meeting, attending their conference, or grabbing a meal.  Though their schedules might be too demanding to include a workout in, incremental steps to and fro can add up to a lot at the end of the day.  You also save on ground transportation expenses as a frugal bonus, and you might even get to your destination faster in heavily congested areas.

Hotel amenities. I’m often surprised how empty gyms at a hotel are, especially when they’re free to use.  Some hotels that feature gym amenities might not be as large or have the latest equipment as regular gyms, but they still offer a great selection for both cardio and strength-training workouts. Since bathing suits take up such little space, he always makes sure to pack some along even when there there might not be a pool available.  Some hotels have even taken it a step further and introduced gear lending programs, where you can rent running apparel and shoes to squeeze in a running workout.  This program is handy for fitness-minded folks who also like to pack light, especially as more airlines are charging extra baggage fees.

Calisthenics and resistance bands.  On a trip to Japan, the hotel we stayed at had a gym available, but at the cost of $30/day.  After grumbling under my breath, “How do you sleep at night with those outrageous fees?!” as I walked back to my room, I opted to stay in my workout gear to do some calisthenics instead.  Whether it’s push-ups, squats, ab crunches, planks, or burpees (my favorite), you can still get in a great workout using just your body weight, and it’s even a choice workout while traveling for a bad-arse Marine.  Plus, it can be done anywhere, whether it’s in your room, the beach, or park.  Bringing along resistance bands can also take it a notch further, as they’re reasonably economical, great for long-term use, and compact enough to fit in a carry-on.

What are some frugal ideas you get your fitness on while traveling?

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