Workout anywhere

Susan Dawson-Cook

110 degree summer temperatures in Tucson tend to incite packed suitcases and hasty departures for cooler climates. Escaping the heat can be rejuvenating, but leaving workout routines behind can lead to a loss of physical conditioning, gain of unwanted pounds and difficulty getting back into the swing of things upon return.

Why not travel the smart way with a workout plan in hand and the right equipment? It’s easy, really. A few minutes browsing online and a few prudent items packed in the suitcase and you’re good to go. I’m not just saying you can do it without having actually done this myself. I’ve traveled to most of the 50 states, South America, the Caribbean and Europe and managed to stay active on every trip, even when it was work related. Some of my trips were activity based tours such as hikes and cycling trips. Others were sojourns to swimming competitions where I raced every day. Many were business trips where I rushed to the hotel gym early in the morning for a quick recumbent bike ride before starting the day or walked laps around the parking lot at lunchtime, if you’re not wanting to do that all that much, have a look at Best Recumbent Bike of 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparisons so you’re able to have your own recumbent back at home. Whether you’re working, visiting relatives or taking a cruise, below are some tips to help you stay in top shape on the go.

1. Take it with you (active wear). Pack a swimsuit, workout shorts, workout crop tops, tee shirt or tank top, gym shoes and exercise bands. Portable exercise equipment can be purchased at a sporting goods store or from online companies such as Power Systems or Fitness Wholesale. I often formulate exercise band workouts for clients pre-trip since these items weigh almost nothing and are so effective and easy to use. Unlike the bands and gym shoes, you may not be able to pack slam balls in your suitcase. But maybe this part of your routine is best left to when you’re at home. You can incorporate this before you head off on your trip and when you get back to, just to make up for it. Saying this though, as long as you have some form of workout equipment, that’s what matters.

2. Select hotels with on-site exercise facilities or that offer complimentary passes to a nearby gym. When staying with family, browse online for a nearby YMCA or workout facility. People are often surprisingly kind to visitors. We dropped in to swim at a Boulder YMCA three years ago and the front desk attendant kindly welcomed us and wouldn’t even accept a fee from us. Swimmers can browse the Places to Swim section on the U.S. Masters Swimming website ( I have trained with Masters teams in several states over the years. Walkers and runners have it the easiest since walking and running can be done almost anywhere. We frequent hotels near multi-use trails.

3. Plan your workout schedule ahead of time. My husband and I recently traveled to Seattle to visit our daughter, husband and new granddaughter. Before leaving we Googled a Masters team near our relatives’ home, found the practice schedule and planned to attend on days and times that best fit into our schedule.

As you plan for your upcoming travels remember why you exercise – to approach each day with health, optimism and vigor. Have a great trip!

Susan is an AFAA certified group exercise instructor, personal trainer and freelance writer. Her SaddleBrooke employer is Vital Moves (850-4089). You can email Susan at [email protected]