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Travel doesn't mean you give up exercise
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Sondra E. Z. Hines, AILT, is an adjunct professor of health & wellness and is certified to teach group fitness exercise and Zumba. Wednesday Wellness - Fitness News You Can Use is published weekly. Email: sondraezhines@yahoo.com.

Let’s be honest: Exercise isn’t always a priority for busy professionals, especially those who travel.

For 16 days over the holidays, I vacationed in the New York City area. But despite being away from home and my normal routine, I didn’t want my eating or exercise habits to suffer.

And with a little preparation, it didn’t.

Here’s how I did it:

Seek and you shall find
Every city – small, large or in between -- has places to get in a little exercise. For me, I got in a modest workout going up and down stairwells to catch the NYC subway. Not every city has a subway, but all have malls, hiking/walking trails, museums and parks that provide an excellent backdrop for exercise. Walking journeys are terrific opportunities to explore a city and burn calories.

Walk the Runway
Depending on my flight schedule, I like to walk through airports rather than sitting at the gate waiting for my flight to board. My return flight was delayed nearly an hour. So rather than sit, I walked the concourse. Along the way, I found interesting airport stops. The best part? I replaced boredom with exercise.

Be prepared
This time of year, Mother Nature is unpredictable. Don’t allow inclement weather to deter your exercise routine. On a particularly chilly morning in the New York area, I slid on my warm, comfortable Ugg boots, bundled up and hit the streets. If walking isn’t your thing, jump ropes and exercise bands tuck easily into luggage for quick workouts. To pump up the heart rate, alternate your routine with a few jumping jacks, squats or crunches, which don’t require any equipment. If staying in a hotel, schedule time to use the workout facility. Don’t forget to pack your sneakers and include gentle stretches.

Eat for Health
In anticipation for my trip, I stocked up on healthy snacks and fresh fruit. These items easily tucked into my carry-on luggage. This eliminated the temptation to buy airport junk food, so I saved money as well as calories. (This tip came in handy when my flight was delayed. Luckily I had packed enough snacks.)

In addition to fitness, I enjoy reading and found travel tidbits in Fitness for Travelers: The Ultimate Workout Guide for the Road. The book includes: tips to overcome workout obstacles (be flexible, schedule exercise), mini-workouts and travel nutrition tips, including:

• Drink plenty of water, particularly when flying.
• Envision a healthy meal prior to dining out and stick to an eating plan when possible.
• Avoid overindulging by eating three daily meals.
• Keep handy, healthy snacks so you won’t be caught hungry.
• Splurge on regional dishes/local cuisine, but balance by choosing lower-calorie foods at other meals. (Two of my favorite NYC delights are pizza and warm caramelized cashews, both sold on the street. So I balanced those cravings by eating healthy at other times.)

If your 2013 plans include travel, remember to include exercise to your itinerary. It’s one gift that keeps on giving!

Until, next time, I wish you good health, joy and wellness!
Editors Note: For more health/fitness content, visit our health page at Qcitymetro.com/health.

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October 4, 2015
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