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Publication: Travel Tips
Ending Exercise Excuses

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Tips & Advice for the Seasoned and Armchair Traveler Alike! 

Oct. 16, 2007 

When it comes to staying fit through exercise, there's no 
shortage of excuses. I know, because I've used most of 

One of them in particular, however, is both very common 
and pretty relevant to this newsletter: 

"I'm always traveling."

Yeah, O.K., my wife likes to point out, so are professional 
basketball players, major league baseball players, Olympic 
athletes, tennis champions … Well, you get the picture.

This week's topics include:




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Staying fit on the road is always a challenge. People who
have done it assure me that it's basically a matter of
setting your mind to it and making it a priority. 

"Uh-huh, that's very interesting," I respond. "Are you going
to finish that Black Forest cake?"

Thank goodness there are Internet resources out there to
help former athletes like myself keep from becoming little
more than listless bags of fat and bones taking up space on
airline seats.  

One of the most helpful is the website of fitness authors
Bill Tulin and Rebecca Johnson, whose site shares the name
of their book, "Travel Fitness".

The book is aimed at travelers who feel they don’t have the
time or means to exercise properly while traveling. And
those travelers make up roughly half of all people polled by
USA Today in a recent survey.

Some of Johnson and Tulin's travel tips are:

* Don’t arrive at bedtime

Book a daytime arrival, especially if you are on a 
west-to-east flight and have the time zones gong against

Once you get to your destination, drag yourself outside and
do something active in the daylight. Go for a jog. Walk
through your new, temporary neighborhood. Check out the
exercise room in the hotel.

These will all help you recover from jet lag more quickly.
Unless, of course, you arrive at night and try to do
something active right before you crawl under the covers and
hope for sleep. That plan all but guarantees six-digit sheep
counting and bags beneath your eyes the next morning.

* Listen to Adam Sandler

He played "Canteen Boy" in Saturday Night Live skits and
starred as the title hero in "Waterboy." Sandler was
obviously on to something.

Cabin air is drier than a Bob Newhart sketch.  Before you
hop the plane, make sure you've glugged down a lot of H20.
Buy a bottle of water from a kiosk after you pass through
security to take on board with you. 

Dehydration causes fatigue. Fatigue makes you not want to
exercise. Exercise is the point of this newsletter.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you, and
try to drink a clear liquid every hour while flying.

* Walk while flying

Yeah, I know. You’re thinking about the Wile E. Coyote and
Fred Flintstone era of cartoons where a character would run
off a cliff and hang there, suspended in space, with their
legs churning furiously beneath them. A couple of seconds
and one funny mug at the TV audience later, gravity would
take over.

What I'm talking about is walking around on the plane. It's
not just for travelers with small bladders.

Walk the length of the plane every hour or two to keep your
back happy, your muscles supple, and your blood circulating.

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* Prepare for emergencies. Sort of

If you're not traveling first or business class, book an
emergency exit row aisle seat to enjoy a roomier seat with
extra leg room.

* couch potatoes are carbohydrates too

Even if you think Dr. Atkins was a nut (ironic, since nuts
are high in protein), you should be aware that carbohydrates
can make you lethargic. 

Moderate your carbs - breads, pastas, fruits, and non-green
veggies). They can make you feel full and drowsy. Eat more
high-protein, low-fat fare such as poached eggs, low-fat
dairy products and grilled fish to boost your alertness. 

Reverse these strategies - maybe a plate of fettuccini
alfredo and a loaf of bread - if you plan to hit the sack
soon after you land.

* NASA napping

Everyone needs a quick power nap every now and then,
especially if they are traveling and fighting jet lag. 

If you need to grab a handful of Zs, do so, but don't
oversleep. Limit it to 45 minutes. NASA research has shown
that this amount of time will improve alertness. Longer naps
leave you groggy when you wake up.

* Order blind

When eating out on the road, try ordering without looking at
the menu. 

Arrive at the restaurant with a healthy meal in mind, like
steamed vegetables or broiled chicken, and just order it.
Pay no attention to the smell of grilled sirloin or the
sound of cracking lobster claws coming from the neighboring
table. Reading the entrée description in the menu, or -even
worse - seeing it's picture, just makes resistance that much
more difficult.

* Something is better than nothing

To preserve your hard-earned fitness level, exercise at
least every third day while on the road. 

Do at least a third of your aerobic routine at your typical
level of intensity and complete your strength training
program at least once a week, using the same amount of
resistance. Keeping at least part of your routine in tact
will keep your energy level up.

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Some people actually train for the train

Or for the airplane coach section. Or for the driver's seat
of the family mini-van.

The authors recommend some exercises to help get you in
shape for traveling.

* Step-lunge

This works the butt and thigh muscles to help strengthen
legs for going up multiple flights of steps or long walks
through museums, along hiking trails or (shudder) the 
start-stop-pay motion of shopping malls.

Stand in front of a 6- to 8-inch step with a light dumbbell
in each hand, arms at your sides, palms facing in.

Step with your right foot so your right knee is directly
over your ankle, thigh almost parallel to the floor. Hold
for two counts, then drive yourself back to the starting
position using your right leg.

Complete eight to 15 reps with your right leg before 
switching to your left. Work up to three sets.

* Lower-back stretch

This helps keep your back limber and minimizes the chance of
spasms, crimps or other problems from extended periods of
cramped quarters.

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the
floor. Grab the back of your thighs with your hands and pull
knees in toward your chest.

At the same time, contact your stomach muscles and curl your
head, neck and upper back off the floor. Hold, then slowly
lower to starting position. Repeat three times.

* Reverse dumbbell fly

This Strengthens the upper back and rear shoulder areas,
which will help you carry heavy suitcases and backpacks.

Sit on the edge of a chair, legs together, knees bent and
feet flat on the floor. Lean forward and rest your chest on
your thighs. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and raise the weights
up and back in an arcing motion until they are near shoulder
level. Pause and lower weights. Repeat for eight to 15
repetitions, then work your way up to three sets.

Well, that's it for this week, group. Thanks again for 
reading, and please keep those comments, complaints and 
questions coming in. 

You can send me an e-mail message at: Email Pierce

Until next week, thanks for reading.   

Your Tipmeister,   



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