Hello, my name is Rebecca but my friends call me Becca – though I suspect you might not be doing that because I might be about to ruin any chance of friendship nice and early.
First off, I’m sorry in advance!
Secondly – how am I going to achieve this? Well, by ruining business trips and holidays for you.
Like I said, I’m really sorry!
As you know, my job involves me travelling all over the world, all the time, which is, by and large, awesome. I get to see amazing countries and work with awesome people. It’s a great life and I love it – every part of it that is, apart from one aspect.
It was killing me.
Ok that was a little dramatic!
No, my job wasn’t outright killing me, but it also wasn’t very good for my health. The hours I worked meant that I was in and out of different cities, there was a lot of flying and a lot of hotels where I would only see the room to sleep in and not much more – trust me, this was a tragedy on multiple levels.
It also meant that I was not bothering to look after my health properly.
Look, we’ve all been there, right? Whether it’s a business trip or a holiday, the desire to raid the mini bar for a giant Toblerone, order room service or hit the bar for a gin-based night cap can be hard to resist.
As for exercise? Forget about it! Who wants to go for a run when you’re sat in a hotel room hundreds – maybe thousands – of miles away from home?
Well, me for one person.
Well for one thing, I found that my poor diet was beginning to affect my job. It’s well documented that a poor diet can affect concentration – and oh my can I agree with that!
But exercise – or lack off, as the case may be, can be just as bad. You see, I found that even when I tried to make changes to my overall lifestyle, unless I backed it up with an exercise program, it was hard to make it stick.
Why not slip down to the bar for a cheeky Gin and Tonic, no one is going to know. If you have willpower like me (i.e. absolutely none) you can understand how hard it can be to ignore those nagging voices.
Exercise makes it easier to say no. You say no to that red wine, that basket of complimentary bread, the free bowl of crisps at the bar because you know you’ll be hitting the gym in an hour, and that stuff is just going to give you heartburn like you’ve swallowed a cup of broken glass.
Also, as I am about to be a maid of honor – I do need to look my best. So, things had to change.
How do you exercise in a hotel room? Jump up and down on the bed?
Well, there are actually quite a few things you can get up in a hotel room to burn a few calories. I’ll give you a second to get your mind out of the gutter before I talk about some of the tricks I found to get up.
That still doesn’t sound right, does it? Never mind.
What I found worked:
Body Weight Exercises
You are certainly not going to be packing dumbbells in your carry on luggage. Some hotels come with a gym, but many don’t – and those that do are often just a sorry room tucked away somewhere with a couple of ancient running machines.
Instead, slip something comfortable into your luggage – some yoga pants, tracksuits, – whatever you would wear to the gym back home.
Just that and 20 minutes or so is all you need for a bodyweight workout that will do you the world of good. Mix in some squats, a plank, a leg lift and some push ups (look online for easy tutorials on all of these exercises) and you’re all set to go.
You know what else hotel rooms have lots of?
You know what you can use them for?
Fully body workouts.
Seriously – check it out!
Who would have thought that such a standard part of any hotel room could double as a key piece of workout equipment?
Hit the Streets
If you have the room in your luggage for a little extra stuff, chuck you running shoes in there.
What I found was that, obviously, running is a great exercise, full stop – that goes without saying. But it’s also a great way to get out and explore even a little corner of the city that you’re staying in.
Especially on business trips, but even on holidays, it can seem that everything is so carefully time managed, there is always a place to be and an itinerary to stick too.
Going out for a run gives you that space to explore by yourself and see little pieces of activities, peer into corners and run past and closely observe the shops and bars and the people that actually are the heartbeat of a city.
I’m not going to tell anyone how to live their life.
All I’m here to say is that just because you are staying away from home is not necessarily an excuse to go crazy in the mini bar and the hotel restaurant – if you don’t really want to.
Just because you are staying in a hotel doesn’t stop you exercising – if you want too.
The next time you’re staying away in a hotel, I just hope I’ve given you a few things to think about – and if we happen to bump into each other, maybe you’ll call me Becca.