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SOURCEBOOK 2007 | KEEPING FIT

Find a gym or just take your own

February 04, 2007|Kathleen Doheny | Special to The Times

STAYING fit on the road requires planning and dedication. Here are 10 ways to stay on track during your next trip -- whether it's for business or pleasure, in Iowa or Indonesia.

1. Stay at fitness-oriented hotels

Several chain hotels have begun to focus on fitness. At some Hyatt properties, there are 24/7 gyms with cardio and strength-training equipment. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is starting a program called Fairmont Fit that delivers workout apparel, footwear and other gear at no charge to guests for use in-room, in the gyms or outdoors. To find other fitness-oriented hotels, try www.healthytravelnetwork.com, which reviews hotels for their fitness options.

2. Search for a workout place at your destination

If your hotel has no workout facilities, ask where the nearest health club is and inquire about a day or week pass. Or check out running routes for 100 North American destinations on www.athleticmindedtraveler.com, a subscription site. Go to www.runtheplanet.com for descriptions of where to run and walk in 3,320 cities.

3. Tote your own gym

Hand weights are a pain to pack, but you can easily tote exercise DVDs. (Yoga and in-room workout DVDs are offered for sale at www.healthytravelnetwork.com.) Fit Deck (www.fitdeck.com) illustrates numerous workout routines and requires no equipment.

4. Book it

Know ahead of time the hours at the hotel gym so you can work in that workout before or after meetings or sightseeing. Check sunrise and sunset times so you can book your outdoor exercise during daylight.

5. Incorporate fitness into your day

Walk around the museum. Ask a business associate to walk while you discuss business. Or suggest a meeting at the hotel gym.

6. Buddy up

Before a business trip, ask around to see whether anyone would like to share your workout routine. On family vacations, make a family walk a pre-dinner ritual; let everyone share their impressions of the day.

7. Hydrate

Travel is dehydrating. Drink water on the plane, during business meetings and while sightseeing. Aim for six to eight glasses a day.

8. Take your own foods

If you're too hungry to work out, candy bars and chips from the hotel vending machine aren't the answer. Pack a few energy bars or packages of sports gels in your checked luggage, or buy them when you arrive.

9. Get a sneak peek

Avoid nutritional minefields by checking out restaurant menus ahead of time online and visiting websites such as www.dietfacts.com, which lists nutritional info for more than 400 restaurants, or www.dwlz.com, an independent site that includes downloadable nutritional information for 488 restaurants.

10. Ease up

Maintaining fitness is the name of the game. So if you slip a little, forgive yourself. You've probably done better than most of your fellow travelers.

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