Why you should be exercising while traveling, and why you’re not

Why you should be exercising while traveling, and why you’re not
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Unless you’re a professional athlete, “travel” and “exercise” are not normally the best of friends. From poorly equipped hotel gyms to junk food that leaves you sluggish, there are endless reasons why a workout might not be at the top of your to-do list. But after a long flight or day stuck in a boardroom, a workout can work wonders: aiding sleep, helping you relax, and restoring your energy levels.

Chris Heuisler, a sub-three-hour marathoner and Global runWESTIN Concierge for Westin Hotels & Resorts, believes working out on the road is the best way to combat the stress and exhaustion of travel. “By moving our bodies on a daily basis,” he says, “we are doing what our bodies are designed to do and, at the same time, producing the wonderful endorphins that come along with the movement for which our bodies and minds are grateful.”

So why do so many of us put exercise on the back-burner when travelling? To find out we turned to Twitter, and you told us your top reasons for not getting up a sweat while on the road.

“I’d rather be exploring than stuck in a hotel gym!”

Naturally, who wouldn’t?! But, there’s no reason you need to be in a dusty hotel basement. Instead, there’s a number of ways to incorporate exercise into your sightseeing, particularly if you have limited free time.

If you’re a runner, finding the best routes in a new city with limited time can be tough. It’s worth searching out programs like runWESTIN, a series of scenic three- and five-mile curated running maps that explore the sights and sounds of the most exciting neighborhoods to help you run like a local.

For those of us that still need a little more motivation, some hotels are even offering guided group runs that take in iconic parts of cities. “Running affords you the opportunity to see sights that many are not privy to, says Heuisler, “and that’s a nice perk of choosing to be healthy, fit, and adventurous on the road,”

“Exercise? I can barely get out of bed!” 

Sorry, but jet lag is no excuse for that third order of bedroom fries. While travel fatigue is undeniably real, one of the most scientifically-sound ways to combat it is by moving your body. Multiple studies have shown that moderate exercise allows your circadian clock to adjust more quickly to a new time zone. Even more effective? Taking that workout outside, where natural light sends the signal to your body that it’s time to wake up.

If you’re away on business, it’s usually worse–between travel fatigue and meetings, it can be tough to find time for a lengthy workout. For an effective routine you can squeeze in between conference calls, look for quick, HIIT-based exercises that maximize your time while boosting energy. The Scientific 7-Minute Workout routine is easily accessible from your laptop or phone; for more tailored options, look for hotels that offer in-room workouts. Westin has partnered with Peloton for fitness routines you can do in the privacy of your own suite, so your workout is ready when you are.

Oops, I totally accidentally forgot my workout gear!

Mmhmm, sure you did. We get it: with the hassle of checked luggage, your fitness gear is the first to go. Luckily, new, lightweight options for bulky runners, like sneakers with stretch-knit or neoprene construction, are perfect for tucking into tight suitcase corners. Better yet, search out a hotel that caters to fitness needs. Westin’s Gear Lending program delivers a freshly laundered set of New Balance sneakers and workout clothes directly to your room, so you don’t have to worry about making sure you’ve packed to perform.

So now you have no excuses.

Discover more ways Westin Hotels & Resorts can help you move well enhance your business trip here.