The Everyman: Working Out On The Road

Many hotels have a gym, which is all you need to get in a quick workout when you're traveling. Photo:

Stuck on a work trip? There are plenty of workout options.

I was out of town on a work trip this week to the snowy and cold northeast. Knowing there was a mountain of snow en route, not to mention a full afternoon of meetings that were supposed to evolve into a dinner meeting, I had no idea when I would work out.

During the trip up Tuesday morning, I was all but convinced I would default on my pledge to exercise every day for 30 days.

And then the snow started falling.

The afternoon meeting was shortened so my co-workers could head home early due to the weather. The dinner was canceled.

Suddenly, I was staring straight into the reality that I’d be sitting in front of the TV in my hotel room all night, stuffing my face with room service.

Enter the hotel gym.

RELATED: 7 Hotels For The Fitness-Minded Traveler

I won’t reveal the name of this big chain hotel, but I will say that it boasted quite a gym — as far as hotel gyms go. There was a row of free weights ranging from five pounds to 50, an all-purpose machine, six treadmills, two elliptical machines, exercise mats, those big inflatable balls, ropes, elastic cords, and foam rollers. It was well-stocked.

I was able to put in a strength session Tuesday night, and opted for a 30-minute treadmill run Wednesday morning.

Have you ever been stuck on a business trip without a way to work out? Here are a few tips:

The Hotel Gym

Most hotels frequented by business travelers have a gym. Some have two treadmills and an all-in-one machine, while others (see my example above) have more options. But a gym is a gym. If nothing else, you can hit the treadmill for 30 minutes. If there are free weights lighter than you normally use, choose the heaviest pair and do more reps. Hold them at your sides and do squats or lunges. Hold them at your shoulders and do some shoulder presses. There are plenty of options.

Run Outside

Assuming you’re not in the middle of a blizzard, running outside is a fantastic option. Not familiar with the area? Ask the front desk for suggestions on where to run. Many hotels even have safe running routes plotted and printed out.

Join A Local Gym

Staying somewhere for a week or more? If you’re in or near a major city, chances are there’s a gym near your hotel or the office you’re visiting. Find a few on the Internet and give them a call before you arrive, and ask if they can provide a temporary membership. Some gyms offer free trials for a week, no questions asked.

RELATED: Adjusting Your Training For Missed Workouts

Run/Walk To The Office

Instead of driving your rental car or hitching a ride with the hotel shuttle to the office, lace up your running shoes and run to the office. If it’s only a mile away and you want to put in more miles than that, either walk or see item No. 2 above. Just make sure there’s a shower where you’re working — your co-workers will appreciate it.

Hotel Room

If your other options have failed, you can always exercise in your hotel room. You can fit a total body workout into a very short time. Try doing pushups and all variations thereof, crunches, planks, wall sits, lunges, squats using you body weight (trust me, you’ll feel it after a while), jump squats … and any of these.

After your workout, take advantage of your company credit card and order yourself a nice meal.

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