Fit for the Road

By Lou Earle – May 1, 2013

During my corporate life, I logged a lot of airline miles. Most of my travel was global, so I usually found myself flying all night and checking into my hotel by midday. While airline food was no epicurean delight, it was certainly more robust in those days than the cabin class snacks that can be purchased a la carte in today’s sardined, in-flight accommodations. Ah, the joys of travel!

So, after wolfing down three closely sandwiched (no pun intended) meals in eight hours, I would stumble off the plane, bloated, to meet my client for lunch. In Madrid or Buenos Aires, we wouldn't eat dinner until after 10 p.m., so my American metabolism was completely shot for the duration of the trip.

Frankly, the exercise side of my travel experience was equally challenging. Hotel workout facilities were all but non-existant in those days, so anaerobic activities were limited to one's imagination; due to the time constraints of business commitments, a jog was as good as it got. Since GPS was not yet a consumer reality, I was constantly challenged to navigate my way back to my hotel and in many international cities such as Milan, Tokyo, London, and Paris, the uniqueness and beauty of the locale often works against you when its time to find your way back.

While things have changed a great deal since my globe trotting days, traveling and staying true to our healthy regime is still a significant challenge for most of us. Much has been written on this subject, but there are a few fundamental practices that are worth reiterating:
1. Stay hydrated as much as possible when flying.
2. Avoid consuming alcohol while on the plane if you can manage it.
3. Stretch periodically during your flight.
4. If workout facilities are not available in your hotel, do basic exercises in your room. I'm talking about exercise the good old-fashioned way: push-ups, lunges, crunches, and core stuff.
5. Try yoga. It can be done almost anywhere and is a wonderful method during travel for keeping supple.
6. Jogging is a great aerobic exercise and has the added benefit of providing a sight-seeing cornucopia. Just be careful about your security and your way home.

Despite the attraction to gluttony that travel affords, stay true to the fundamentals of healthy eating. It won't spoil the epicurean delights that await you on your trip and, when you get home, you’ll be glad you did.

Travel and fitness don't have to be in conflict, especially in today's world. You just have to plan a little and stay committed and they will blend delightfully into a memorable experience.

Good luck and bon voyage.

Keep Austin Fit,

Lou Earle, Publisher, CEO

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