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Four ways to stay fit on vacation

Riddle Hospital June 5, 2014 General Wellness

When you’re packing for vacation, the last thing to pack on your list is probably your workout gear. After all, sneakers take up some valuable real estate in that suitcase and your kettlebell probably won’t make hauling your carry-on around the airport any easier, so you’ll just skip your workout for a few days, right? It’s time to shelve that excuse.

“Remember that, at its core, exercising is movement. You don’t need a gym membership or any complicated workout gear to get out and get moving,” says Katy Coughlin, wellness manager at the Riddle Fitness Center at Riddle Hospital, Main Line Health.

Although it may seem like a few days or a week away from the gym won’t take its toll on your health, it can decrease your motivation and willingness to go back once you return home and, within a few days, you might not notice the difference physically, but you may notice that you have less energy and feel tired throughout the day. To prevent setbacks like these, follow the tips below from Katy on how you can keep moving, even when you’re on the road.

1. Bring a workout video

Not many pieces of fitness gear are as small and easily packed as a workout DVD. Move around furniture to find some available space in your hotel room, and pop in your favorite DVD. If you won’t have a DVD player with you, use your computer or download workouts that you can watch on your phone or a tablet.

2. Use your smartphone

The phrase “There’s an app for that” applies to fitness, too. There are a variety of different smartphone applications available that will offer you ideas for workouts if you’re bored with your usual routine. Purchase one or download one for free and you’ll have plenty of workouts to choose from so you’ll never get bored.

3. Explore the area

Traveling to some place you’ve never been can be an exciting way to cover some new terrain if you enjoy walking or running. Ask the hotel concierge for nearby paths or a map of the area if you plan on exploring it yourself. Walking or running will give you a great cardio workout and, perhaps even more enticing, it’s free.

4. Be creative

One of the biggest obstacles to exercising while on the road is a lack of equipment. Rather than searching high and low for the perfect pair of dumbbells, use the materials around you, instead. Use books, cans, or water bottles to do bicep curls. Try bringing a pair of stockings along or grab a towel and use them as resistance bands