May 10, 2007

Road Trip!

Loyal readers may miss the presence of one of our favorite commenters, Leah, over the next few days as she has announced she's off on a serious retreat but also on a Road Trip.

Road Trip! Road Trip!

These words conjure up many happy images in Crabby's mind, not many of which involve health or fitness. Yet she does, for the most part, try to stay healthy while on the road. So if you'll bear with her, she'll try to make this a post about Exercising while Away from Home. (Eating while Away from Home is an even better topic and will be the subject of a future post).

So here's the obligatory barely-related research. You can file this under Department of the Obvious. Yet another recent study has concluded that: "people who consistently engage in high levels of exercise over the long haul are the most successful at losing weight and keeping it off." The study went on to show, however, that hardly anyone actually did stick with it.

So this may seem like a stretch, but Crabby is going to attempt to tie these two ideas together. Because part of the difficulty in maintaining a lifetime of consistent, vigorous exercise is figuring out how to deal with all the obstacles that come along. Travel, for business or pleasure, can be one of those obstacles. Like bad weather or injuries or family or work demands or any of a million other perfectly legitimate reasons to stop exercising for awhile.

It is Crabby's contention that most successful lifelong fitness freaks don't just drop their devotion to exercise while on the road. Nor are they completely inflexible--they allow themselves some slack, because it's not realistic or healthy to turn vacation into drudgery, or make work-related travel even more stressful by being too demanding on the fitness front.

But once one gets into the habit of daily exercise, missing it just feels wrong and icky. Crabby has donned her workout clothes and grabbed her Ipod in any number of unlikely, and on the surface, inhospitable locations, and she has almost never regretted it. She suspects many of you have done the same.

Crabby and her Most Significant Other have, over the last few years, discovered a valuable resource: day passes at local gyms. If one is not staying at a Fancy Hotel with a Well-Appointed Fitness Center, one can still work out. In big cities, it can be a bit expensive (but still worth it). However, in the middle of nowhere, there are lots of local fitness centers who will be happy to accomodate you for $5-$10. (Sometimes a bit more, but $15 seems to be the limit). One has to get over feeling a bit self-conscious and awkward--not knowing where things are or how they work. But we've stopped at dozens of gyms and the locals have always been very friendly and helpful.

So how about you, dear readers? What do you do about exercise when travelling?


  1. I mostly just plan on running wherever I end up on the road. I also take my jump rope and stretch cords.

    I also try to make sure we stay at hotels with a gym and that we do active things on our vacation, like hiking. But in a pinch, I've been known to run up and down stairs in a stairwell, if that's what it takes.

    And yes, it really does feel "icky" to not work out, once you're in the habit, especially if you've been sitting around all day.

    It's almost as bad as feeling dirty. Yuck.

  2. I bring my stuff but more often than not I end up NOT working out. And getting crabby then.

  3. Hi bunnygirl!
    Hey, jumprope, I never thought of that. I'm a total klutz at it, but it might be worth a try. Stairwells are good, but then if you have bad knees you have the Down issue. No way to go back up again with out either racing to the elevator all sweaty and riding down, or causing lots of ouchy knee compression on the way back down the stairs. But for you Healthy Runner types, great idea.

    Welcome Vickie! Yeah, it's slightly harder to motivate on the road because there are so many barriers. (But I clicked on your profile and I'm guessing with all your triathalon-ing and other impressive stuff, you could probably use a break every now and then.) And thanks SO much for stopping by and saying hello.

  4. Crabby, I'm one of those miscreants who barely exercises while at home, let alone on the road. However, as your blog is fast becoming a Must Read I suspect I'll become a convert before long.

    Besides, I've already had a heart attack and am overweight. I am now diligently walking for 20 or so minutes nearly every day except on those increasingly rare days when I don't. Which, for all intents and purposes, is pretty much practically never. Ish. As long as the weather isn't too-too horrible.

  5. But Frank, on your blog you sound so outdoorsy and virile and healthy! I suspect it's in your true nature to climb mountains and run marathons and wrestle grizzly bears and ford raging rivers barefoot and such. Walking every day is a great start to reclaiming your Inner Caveman. Keep up the exercise, okay, 'cause we lose too many Suave but Rugged Dudes to heart attacks well before their time.

    (Sorry to get so serious all of a sudden. It's just I'm now addicted to your blog so you have to stay healthy so I can always go back to it).

  6. I normally just go for walks when I am out of town. I like to go places that I can walk allot and see the sites.


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