There’s no better time than a vacation to get some physical activity and do something that you normally don’t do. From exploring the underground rivers in Playa del Carmen Mexico to whitewater rafting on the Watauga River even leisurely paddling a kayak through Rock Springs Run here in Apopka I try to make my leisure time count.
I enjoy exercise, but I find it tough to do on vacation. While I do take workout clothes with me I have a hard time getting up before everyone else in order to get to the gym, and by the end of the day, I’m usually too tired do much more than grab a shower.
When I’m on the road for work it’s a bit different, there’s always a few hours before the day starts and normally a few hours at the end of the day in which to plan a workout. The keyword in the previous sentence is plan, if I don’t plan, I have a hard time getting it done.
Hotels gyms have upped their game in the last few years, gone are the $200.00 treadmills and prehistoric steppers, and in their place is some solid gear. For example, the Hampton Inn in Sarasota, FL has a couple of C2 Rowers as well as dumbbells in their fitness center.
So what do you do if your hotel’s fitness center is a disaster? I happen to have a few suggestions.
- Buy a jump rope, small, lightweight and it’s a great cardio workout. I spent less than $20.00 on mine and it’s lasted 3 years. In case jumping rope brings you back to Elementary school here’s a quick tutorial on YouTube. ** Double check for any low hanging fire sprinkler heads, don’t ask me how I know that.
- I’m a fan of CrossFit; yes, I drink the Kool-Aid. CrossFit pairs nicely with travel, as they offer classes starting as early as 5:00AM and as late as 8:00PM. Most charge a $20.00 drop-in fee, not the cheapest option, but many locations will waive the fee if you bring them a T-shirt from your box, (Box = CrossFit vernacular for gym). I use Crossfit Maps for finding a place to work out when I’m in a new town. Just enter your location and the site displays the nearby boxes.
- I use the app FitDeck, it easily create new workouts, many of which you can do in a hotel room. Workouts can be set for time or number of movements. FitDeck is also available as a deck of cards for those that aren’t digitally engaged.
- Suspension trainers are fun, but a TRX system can easily run you $150.00. Make your own, for change back on $20.00 it’s very easy to do. Not something I’d carry on a plane, as clamps and straps make it way too easy for TSA to start asking questions.
- Some hotels offer a discounted rate for a local gym. I belong to Planet Fitness (groan) but for $20.00 per month, I can workout at any of their locations.
- Most hotels have stairs, so go stair climbing and do 10 air squats on each landing. Let me know how that works out for you on a 15-story building.
Before you book a hotel check out their amenities, you never know what you’ll find. I have a favorite Hampton Inn; I know it’s glamorous, in Columbia, SC that provides free bicycles and helmets so you can ride the paved trail around Lake Harbison.
Yes, there is room for fitness when traveling, it just needs to be fun as well as a priority, kind of like fitness at home.
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