May 10, 2007
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?