Taking Fitness on the Road

Dr. Adrian Pujayana

Summer is a great season for traveling, whether you are alone or with others – but nothing kills a good activity and fitness streak like being away from home.

Traveling takes you away from your familiar resources, such as having a gym or place of exercise. Being away also means you are away from your familiar food supply, such as home-prepared meals, supplements and healthy ingredients.  A limited wardrobe while on the road can limit your activity choices too, since there’s only so much laundry you’ll want to carry, especially on a flight.

Here are my minimalist packing suggestions for clothing and exercise equipment when you are on the road, in addition to whatever else you might need for vacation or professional attire.

2 quick drying shirts

Wear one for exercise or activity for the day, then hand wash and hang dry overnight. The second shirt can be a backup as the first one dries out.

Running shoes

Whether you are a regular runner, running shoes will protect you when you are exploring your surroundings, and you may want to take them on short jogs (or long runs) to explore your area.

Elastic bands

These are giant rubber bands with different widths that can pose various tension levels. I suggest taking medium-weighted elastic bands rather than heavy, in order to work on postural and stabilizer muscles for the shoulder, spine and trunk. There are hundreds of uses for these bands, and they can anchor to hotel furniture or park benches.

Zip-loc bags

You may need an ice bag at some point, and these come in handy. By the way, a folded hotel bath towel can turn into a great moist hot-pack with a half-ounce of water and about 60 seconds in the microwave.

Swim suit

Being in the water is a great non-impact activity you can enjoy while traveling. If you are not a swimmer, this could be a good time to access your hotel pool to do laps, or even to be challenged by treading water for a period of time. Swim trunks make a great quick drying workout shorts as well.

Being away from your resources, including doctors and therapists in your hometown, makes aggressive or ambitious fitness routines a bit more risky for the traveler.  Remember that when you are on the road, you may have a greater priority to maintain familial duties or professional obligations than to maintain a superhero’s workout regimen.

Rather than focus on your usual routines, focus on maintenance-level activities, such as emphasizing postural correction exercises, flexibility training and calisthenics.

Have fun in your travels this summer, and when you get back, work up to your normal fitness routine rather than jump right in. This is a much more reasonable plan than having to nurse yourself back from a travel injury.  Stay hydrated, stay flexible, and stay adventurous … it’s travel season!

Dr. Adrian Pujayana has been providing drug-free solutions for health and wellness to adults, athletes and youth since 2000 through his private practice at Family Chiropractic Center of South Pasadena, a place for strength training and nutrition-based health care.