You're on the road, you're drinking with clients and friends, you're eating out more than usual. Avoid a total health blowout with our favourite fitness gadgets and on-road fitness tips.
The FitBit Zip is the easiest way to get into tracking your activity while you travel. It's great for telling you how many steps you have been doing and how that translates into calories burned. It's lightweight, easy to use and simple enough to just clip on your backpack and forget.
The FitBit One is like its younger brother, the Zip, but it gives you fitness stats in more granular detail. It has a tracker that figures out how many stairs and floors you've climbed to go along with your steps, and fits into your diet and exercise plan by syncing via Bluetooth 4.0 with your iOS and supported Android device. It also has a sleep tracker and a silent alarm so it's useful while you sleep, too.
The Mio Alpha is a revolution in heart rate monitoring. The most annoying thing about travel is the most annoying thing about fitness: fiddling with unnecessary crap. Normally, a heart rate monitor requires you to strap the thing to your chest and afterwards — if you're travelling — you have to stick that sweaty band back in your suitcase. Gross. The Mio Alpha just slides around your wrist like a watch and gives you all the data you need in a quick and easy way. There are two green LEDs that shine into your skin on the back, and an electro-optical cell that senses the tiny changes in the colour of your skin, indicating the flow of your blood and thus your heart rate. It’s basically the same tech as medical oximeters that are used in hospitals, but miniaturised and wearable.
Endomondo is a fantastic app for keeping you fit in the real world. It has a bunch of different courses, workouts and challenges that are location-specific, so that wherever you are, you can find fresh new ways to work out. Everything from running through to cycling, and even windsurfing is there, plus it can import data from your FitBit!
Runkeeper is a great app for marking and tracking your running progress. Don't let yourself get cooped up in the hotel gym while you travel. Get out there and run around the city you came here to see, and track your progress with Runkeeper while you do it. Afterwards, you can post to Facebook that you did 20 laps around the Eiffel Tower.
Make Fitness Appointments
Whether you're travelling or at home, the best way to ensure you stay fit is to make it part of your schedule. Set an appointment in your calendar for exercise, rather than just assuming you'll fit it in somewhere. Aiming for first thing is often a good idea: you'll be less inclined to hit the gym (or use all that gear you've packed) after a long day at a conference.
Walking is the one form of exercise that doesn't require any specialised equipment and can be done practically anywhere (weather and motorways willing). Hotels can often supply a local jogging map, and that's just as useful for walking as it is for jogging. At a convention, walk the breadth of the show floor during your lunch break.
Pack The Right Shoes
We've argued in the past that packing multiple pairs of shoes is a bad idea, but one of the few exceptions to that rule is if you plan to exercise. Throw in a pair of trainers so you can't use the lack of footwear as an excuse. (Though with that said, you can do barefoot sit-ups in your hotel room and no-one will know.)
Use A Good Exercise Playlist
Take The Stairs
A simple but very effective way to ensure you exercise: take the stairs rather than the lift whenever you have to get to your room. (This won't work in every hotel — some stairwells aren't accessible from the ground floor — but it's worth checking.) Photo:
Fitness image via Shutterstock