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Staying Fit While Traveling

It takes some serious commitment to develop and stick with a fitness routine. Habits, so they say, take at least 30 days to form. Once you've done that initial hard work to establish a good routine, it's imperative that you keep it up on a regular basis. Unfortunately, today's careers often involve copious amounts of traveling, and while that can be a pleasant diversion now and then, any regularity in travel can mean an end to your hard-earned workout routine. But it doesn't have to be this way. Many hotels have small workout facilities, precious few would actually qualify as gyms, and if you have the time and have access to these, they're a great idea. If you can't spare the time to suit up and head down there, you still have options. With nothing more than a personal fitness mat, any space big enough for you to stretch out in can become a suitable workout space to keep you on track to your fitness goals.

Why bother with a workout when you're on a business trip? I mean, it's only a couple of days, and you'll be back home at your own gym soon, right? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise can improve cognitive function, helping you think more clearly and use better judgment. And according to a study published in 2005 in Neuroscience Letters, people who exercised were shown to have improved reaction times to those who were sedentary. So you do the math. You're on a business trip and you have the opportunity to improve cognitive function, make better choices, and be at the top of your game - if you get some exercise. No brainer.

A few simple in-room exercises might be the difference between a successful trip and a waste of time, so grab your exercise mat and try a few of these focused activities.

First, the Superman. Who wouldn't want to be a superhero on their next business trip?? Lie on your stomach on the mat with arms stretched in front of your head. Raise arms, legs, and head slightly, hold briefly, and lower. Your back, butt, hips and shoulders will thank you.

Second, to give the abs some attention, the front plank can't be beat. Still on your stomach, elbows directly under your shoulders with forearms on the mat and fingers pointing forward, lift yourself onto your toes and forearms. The duration of the hold can vary with your ability, but let's just say that when you start to shake, it's a good time to release. Feel the burn, baby...

Finally, the tried-and-true. If you hated P.E. in middle school, we've got bad news. Those calisthenics and boring exercises actually have significant value. Push-ups. Crunches. Squats. All these and more work your body in functional ways that strengthen the muscles you use everyday in mundane activities. Getting out of bed, picking up the toddler who's happy you're home, unloading the dishwasher; all of these are activities the boring old stuff from middle school can actually still help with today.

Don't give up on the workout when you travel - you're a hard worker and you deserve to keep the level of fitness and health you've achieved even when you're on the road.

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