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The Traveler's Dilemma: How to Stay Fit While Traveling

Fitness is a very important part of our lives, isn't it? We look forward to working out to maintain our physical condition, protect our health and to look good.

Hitting the gym for a workout also relieves a lot of work related or personal stress.

If you are a regular traveler, either for business or pleasure, you have to come up with a plan so as not to miss any workouts.

Even a sporadic business traveler, or one who travels a couple of times a year for visiting family or to take a vacation, needs to have a plan to keep up their fitness routine. Here are some training suggestions for business travellers and vacation goers.

Most resorts and many hotels have some sort of fitness center. In the case of hotels, this is often a small area near the swimming pool that has a few pieces of equipment and a treadmill or two. This is certainly not enough equipment to get more than an inadequate warm up, let alone a total body workout.

As a former "road warrior" who spent more nights on the road than I did at home, for years I was able to maintain my workout schedule with a little planning.

I was fortunate that I traveled frequently to the same cities at home and abroad.

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I compiled a list of health and fitness clubs and bodybuilding gyms in every area where I traveled to help me in choosing a gym. I always made it a point to book a room in a hotel that was near a club where I could workout.

I tried to be prepared and would always travel with my workout clothing and shoes.

Many clubs have arrangements with nearby hotels so that guests may avail themselves of the gym facilities at little or no cost.

Other than that, many clubs will let your purchase a day membership for a small fee (usually about the price of two drinks in the hotel bar).

The International Physical Fitness Association, is an organization of non-affiliated health clubs who honor each others memberships for travelers.

If your club is a member of this association, you may acquire a member directory from them for a small fee.

There are thousands of clubs in the IPFA and it would be hard to find a major city where there wasn't an affiliate. If your home club isn't a member, encourage them to join.

It gives them something to offer their members, plus they may pick up new members when someone is relocated into their market area who is a member of an affiliated club.

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When traveling, don't give in to the breakfast buffet. Make sure you maintain your healthy diet. This is key: Never forget that 80% of your success will be determined by your diet.

To make sure that you know exactly what you should be eating to maximize your results, got to:

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If you travel into an area where there are no health clubs or gyms, don't despair. Prepare a workout routine that involves body-weight resistance exercises.

The only equipment you might need can be readily packed into your luggage.

Some items that will help with this sort of exercising are: A jump-rope for cardio exercises. A pull-up bar that fastens into a doorway. Handles on which to perform specialized push-ups.

Elastic exercise ropes for a number of resistance exercises.

These items, plus your workout clothing can be kept in a small bag that you can easily place in your larger bag when you pack for your trips.

If you find yourself without your gym bag, you can resort to performing several different types of push-ups, with your hands placed differently and your feet elevated at different levels.

You may also do sit-ups, crunches, leg raises and squats.

A long, brisk walk can also help with the maintenance of your conditioning. It will also help with any stress.