|Fifteen or so years ago, at the height of my "career" as a dedicated, middle-of-the-pack 10k runner, I arrived rather late in a midwestern metropolis and was greeted by pouring rain. The automaton within chanted mercilessly, "Must run." My corporeal self was numb, laden with airplane-air-induced sluggishness, and was lobbying hard to click on HBO. But compulsiveness reigned, and I plunged into the teeming urban wilderness — for about three blocks. Shivering but not defeated, I returned to my hotel and, ignoring askance glances from civilized folk in the lobby, proceeded to bound up and down a dozen flights of stairs until my quads burned, my shins nearly splinted, and at last I was satiated.
Since then I've become more creative about working in a workout when I'm out of town. For one thing, I'm less monomaniacal about running: I've come to see time away from my routine as time to mix things up. Still, athletes and trainers who know the physical cost of racking up frequent-flier miles hold that it's actually quite doable to stay in shape on the road.
Short of shelling out for a health-club session or dealing with your hotel's likely-to-be-decrepit Universal machine, there are three good ways to maintain fitness when traveling: exercise in your room, hit the pool, or head outside. But you need a plan. To that end, we've culled advice from seasoned road jocks that'll keep your muscles from shriveling. These options should keep you busy each traveling day. At the least, they'll satisfy your habit, root out that sludgy road feeling, and leave you peppy for whatever has you away from home in the first place.
Turning Solitary Confinement into Serious Training
Taking Advantage of Your Hotel's Pitiful Pool
A Balancing Act for Shoulders
Round Out Your Workout
Magnet Therapy's Strong Attractions