Friday, March 8, 2013

Fitness on the Go

Bags are packed, where are you headed?

  I don't travel a ton. Sure, I'm away from 'home' a lot. But I would say I'm in a perpetual state of being 'home away from home', as opposed to traveling.

  When I do travel, usually it's long distances (across the pond, for instance!).

  Many of you travel on a regular basis for work, while some of you lucky ducks are able to travel frequently for pleasure.

  No matter the reason, traveling can put the hurt on your health.

  Flying is tiring. Being on a plane zaps your energy, and unless it's a short trip, it kills your day and puts you out of routine. Even road trips are exhausting!

  More often than not, once you get to your destination, you don't feel like doing much of anything. And do I even need to mention the selection of airport/plane food we have to choose from?

  While we might enjoy our destination once we arrive, it's getting there that provides us with some stumbling blocks. So today I offer up two websites that will help keep your health at the forefront, even as you travel!

Fitness While We Fly
  I've often wondered, usually during long, boring layovers, why there aren't gyms in airports. I know I would use it to pass the time during an extended layover, if one was available.

  I don't know about you, but I get a little stir crazy when I have to sit too long. After being on a plane for a few hours, and knowing I have to go back on a plane, the last thing I want to do is sit even longer. So to appease my nerves and my legs, many times I find myself walking the concourses. Whether I'm bored, tired of reading or listening to music, sometimes I just need to get up and move. Before I find myself stuck in the air again, I try to move my body as much as possible.

Usual airport 'entertainment' -- music and coffee.
  But wandering the airport terminal isn't exactly exciting either. Usually it just leads to stumbling into a Starbucks or an ice cream shop for an unnecessary purchase.

  For those of you who think like me, and long for airport fitness centers, apparently they exist. But we just never knew about them! Or I didn't, anyway.

  There's a website that posts listings of airport gyms, exercise centers, and fitness clubs that are either inside airport terminals, or within a short distance of the airport (in the US and Canada).

  I'm not so sure about the latter, however. I probably wouldn't travel outside of the airport to hit the gym between flights. It sounds too stressful (and who wants to have to go through security again, right?).

  But a fitness center or exercise classes, inside the airport? I'd be game for that!

  Instead of sitting in the airport lounge, wandering the concourse halls for hours, or spending gobs of money on airport food and drink, why not hit the gym? I think it's a great idea.

  I'd imagine they charge you a pretty penny for use of the gym facilities, but don't we already spend ridiculous amounts of money in the airport? This would be money better spent, and much better for us! It'd be a great mid-day pick-me-up, and a fabulous way to boost your energy during a long travel day.

  Nothing would make me happier than being able to squeeze a workout in while I'm killing time during a layover.

  Too bad there aren't a few more actually inside the airport (from glancing quickly at the website), and not a short taxi ride away. Maybe they'll start popping up more frequently in airport terminals, who knows!

  Obviously, airport gyms wouldn't be something I'd want to use every time I fly. Sometimes you do just want to veg out and take it easy. But isn't it nice to know you have the option?

  My next travel tip is something you can use once you've reached your destination.

Trail/Route Finder
  Imagine you're new to an area, and want to explore some hiking, biking, or running (even kayaking!) trails. Or maybe you're traveling, and want to get outside for an adventure day on the trails. Here's the website for you:

Searching for trails in Boulder, CO.
  Punch in the zip code you wish to search, and up pops a map with all the trails within short distance of the location.

  You're provided with the trail length, potential hazards, topography information, and a short summary. You're also able to view the trail map.

  If you find yourself in a rut, tired of doing the same trails and routes over and over again, this can be a great resource to help you find a new activity/route to explore.

  There's a similar website, from USA Track & Field, that allows you to search (by location and trail length) a huge database to discover new running/walking routes. It relies on users to add routes, so if you have a good trail in your city, add it to the collection!

  For me, if you're in an unfamiliar area, it's better to explore an already-proven route. You might not feel comfortable heading out on a run or a walk in an unknown place. But with these trail/route finders, you can do a little research before you head out, and see what you're getting yourself into!

  No matter if we're in the comfort of our own homes, or out seeing the world, our health should be near the top of our list of priorities. I think these two websites enable us to do just that. Pretty handy tools, as far as I'm concerned!



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