Travel Fitness: American Council on Exercise (ACE) Offers Tips for Staying in Shape on the Road

Posted: Jul 24, 2001 in

SAN DIEGO--Airline price-wars, family reunions, annual conventions—there are infinite reasons for traveling and numerous ways to forget healthy eating and exercise habits when on the road. Whether it’s a weeklong stay at a five-star resort or a two-day meeting at an airport hotel, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has tips for keeping fit and healthy.

Big City Fitness
There is no excuse for not finding places to exercise when every city has a great staircase, stadium, or tall buildings where you can master the stairs without a machine. If stairs aren’t your thing, cities have lots of places—such as parks, malls, or walking paths—ideal for walking or jogging. (Walking will increase your fitness and decrease your taxi fares.)

Prior to departure, find out if your hotel has a workout facility and a pool, and remember to pack your bathing suit and workout clothes. If they don’t have a facility, they may be affiliated with a local gym where you can get a one-day pass for a small fee. If you are strapped for time or no facility is available, most hotel rooms have enough floor space to allow you to do some push-ups, crunches, lunges, and stretching before starting your day. Plan a specific time each day or every other day to do your strengthening and cardiovascular routines (a good plan is to alternate days between the two).

Fitness on Vacation
If you are planning your next vacation, why not make fitness a theme. With some good logistics, you can get in a daily workout without it feeling like a chore. Skiing and backpacking are both activities that get you outside and get your heart pumping. If you aren’t into scheduling your own events, check with local environmental organizations, recreation clubs or university programs to see what group vacations they offer. Kayaking, trekking, and scuba vacations are all very popular, and will incorporate fitness, fun, and adventure. Just make sure you plan ahead so that you are in the proper shape, and properly trained, to take on these activities. So hiking the Himalayas isn’t your thing. Even if you choose to relax at a resort or on a tropical beach, you’re still steps from a good workout. Hit the pool or the ocean for a swim, walk the golf course instead of renting a cart, or challenge your travel partner to a jog down the beach (save the strolling for sunset).

Indulge, But Don’t Bulge
Traveling often means eating what is available, and what’s available isn’t always healthy. A vacation is a time for indulgence, but keep these simple tips in mind, and you will be able to enjoy your meals without taking home extra baggage:

·Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, particularly if you are flying or are on long road trips.
·Eat at least three times per day to keep from feeling famished and overindulging. This will also give you energy for all of your vacation (or work) activities.
·Visit the local market to pick up healthy snacks to carry with you during the day.
·Go ahead and splurge on regional dishes or local cuisine, even if they might be higher in fat and calories than you are used to. Just maintain a balance. If you splurge one night, make sure you add some extra activity and eat healthier the next day.

In 2002, ACE will introduce a new consumer book devoted to the topic of travel fitness. More information about the book will be available later in the year.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s workout watchdog, ACE conducts university-based research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at

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