Stripped of exercise equipment, routine —and, well, discipline — it’s not always easy staying fit on the road. The life of a travel writer is random, with little opportunity to spend a night in the same hotel, let alone maintain a monthly gym membership.
For the past few years, I’ve struggled with how to stay in shape while travelling but as I prepare for my upcoming stint abroad, I’ve finally enlisted the help of a professional.
Nathan Mellalieu is founder of Studeo 55, a boutique health club in the heart of Vancouver. This former college football player turned gym president has worked with the likes of Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, whipping them into shape with a series of specialized workouts.
Appreciating the fact that I roam around like a gypsy without the luxuries of a trainer, treadmill or weights, Nathan assures me there are ways to stay fit while I travel. He offers the following advice:
>> There are many exercises that can be done on the floor of your hotel room: Squats, lunges and push-ups, the ultimate upper body exercise.
>> Running is a great way to burn fat and keep the body trim. Run hard for three minutes, rest for one minute. Repeat this 5-7 times.
>> If you don’t mind carrying a few extra items in your suitcase, buy a heart rate monitor (to work out within your desired target heart rate) and an elastic band (for resistance training). There are a variety of arm exercises that can be done with a simple, lightweight band.
>> People often say they’re too tired to exercise. Remember that you don’t have to conquer the world with every workout. Take a 15-minute walk, then stretch on the pool deck. Make your routine realistic but it’s important to do something active, even if it’s just a half-hour’s worth of moving around.
>> While waiting for connecting flights in the airport lounge, go for a walk around instead of just sitting.
>> When coming home from a long day of sight-seeing, walk up the stairs to your hotel room instead of taking the elevator.
– Freelance writer Julia Dimon is host of Word Travels, airing on OLN. Contact her at www.thetraveljunkie.ca