Travel Fitness – Taking It Out On the Road

Leaving town is such a big deal now, at least for me. It always seems like I have a thousand things to prep for – whether it’s arranging the reservations to where I’m going (hotel, car, etc) or just trying to remember all the friggen cables and outlet connector whatnots for the various stupid electronic devices I am obligated to cart around. Seriously, hotel rooms need to come with about 483 outlets just to handle the iEverythings we all have that constantly need charging. It’s insane, but it doesn’t stop there. No, I’ve got exercise to worry about too.

Limited Fitness Travel Options

Now whenever I go to book a place to stay I find myself enquiring as to their fitness facilities. “Do you have a gym? When is it open? What equipment does it have?” The big lie is that almost every property says “yes” even when the reality of what they have is patently ridiculous.

Sure, I’ve seen some pretty awesome set ups – the Four Seasons in Whistler comes to mind – but thanks to my usual choice of discount lodging the gym I get often looks like a re-purposed laundry room where the hotel manager stores two sets of mismatched dumbbells and the exercise bike her grandfather used. Add in a torn yoga mat that was probably used to wrap a dead body and a stained pitcher of room-temperature “water” and you know what I’m facing. Heck, even if the gym turns out well-appointed the treadmill is on the fritz or they have an elliptical trainer that makes more weird noises than “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” But does it matter?

Yes, I was mad when I saw the treadmill was busted. I had planned on doing my little twenty min. run morning and night – and when I was denied this plan I got more than a little ticked. In fact, I even complained to the front desk for no other reason than to act all sniffy about them letting me down. Oh no. I couldn’t be the bigger man and let it go. I had to let it be known I was not happy. Basically, I’m an idiot, and in more ways than one.

Walk for Travel Fitness

How foolish am I for complaining (or even worrying) about this kind of stuff? You don’t need a fancy, outfitted gym to move your body. You don’t even need a piece a crap gym to move your body. You don’t need ANY gym to move your body. How about actually getting off my pampered butt and walking to a restaurant for dinner? I get to save some cab fare first off, plus it gets things moving before I eat which is good. Walk home after and I’ll probably even sleep better.

Don’t take what I’m saying to mean that I think you should forget a hotel gym and go on some blind run through Crip territory in Los Angeles. No one said be stupid. But why not just go up and down the ding-dang stairs? Those work too don’t they? I get so angry when I realize how precious I’ve become about exercise. The best workouts I’ve ever had usually occur miles from a gym (no offense OPP). [OPP here…no offense taken some of our favourite workouts include running sprints at the track, Rutland stairs, sand dunes, triathlon & Tough Mudder training, workouts away at conferences…]The world around us is built to exercise.

Economical Travel Fitness

Yes, having big-dollar weight racks and swish rowing machines and groovy bikes is pretty cool but you don’t need them. Stuck in a hotel without a gym? Run around the building three times as fast as you can. Chase a hobo and run away with his shopping buggy – then see how far you can get before he tackles you. Aside from the thrill of the chase and the ever-present danger of getting smeared with homeless dude smell how is that any different from pushing that blinkin’ weight sled up and down the alley behind the gym? Not much.

Gyms are nice and awesome equipment rocks but we already have everything we need on board already. So skip the elevators on your next trip, flip the bird to the taxis and try running up and down the hotel hallways. Travelling doesn’t mean you need to spend more cash to exercise. It actually means you have a chance to try some new, creative ways to move your body for a few days. Who knows? It might even be fun.




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