Tip-Top Shape: Stay Fit & Healthy on Vacation
When you’re at home, it’s easy (or easier!) to maintain regular workouts and healthy eating practices. Traveling, however, can sabotage even the most disciplined person’s fitness goals. Your schedule is disrupted, you’re exhausted after action-packed days and you’re presented with tantalizing treats at every turn. Whether you’re jetting off on a business trip or a much-needed vacation, you don’t want those New Year’s resolutions to simply fly out the airplane window. Fortunately, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts makes it easy to stay healthy and fit when on the road, ensuring you return home refreshed and inspired rather than frustrated over post-jaunt paunch.
Get Out to Workout
The key to maintaining your exercise routine when away from home is to plan ahead. Pack gear, and build workout times into your itinerary. Members of Fairmont President’s Club can keep luggage loads light by utilizing the Fairmont Fit program; Reebok running shoes and workout clothes are delivered directly to your room. And they can be replenished any time for the duration of your stay. An added bonus: if you love your Reebok gear, you can purchase new items at a 15% discount.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ fitness centers feature state-of-the-art equipment and many offer complimentary classes. “We have afternoon classes Monday through Friday, and guests can also participate in virtual group fitness classes through our Fitness On Demand™ program,” says Tony Nguyen, Health Club & Spa Manager for Fairmont Pittsburgh. In the fitness center, whenever classes aren’t in session, guests may select customized workouts based on class type, intensity and duration, then watch them on a 65-inch screen. “You can do everything from intense cardio to yoga to flexibility programs by just pressing play.”
Take advantage of specific and unique aspects of a destination to add a fresh spark to ordinary workouts. Try tai chi on the roof at Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel, floating yoga at Fairmont Orchid or an invigorating mountain hike overlooking spectacular panoramas at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Want something new? No matter your fitness level, Fairmont Kea Lani's recently launched Inspire Your Energy Program has something for everyone.
Get to know a new city by running through it. Your hotel concierge can provide area jogging maps and connect you with running clubs. The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver offers guided morning runs twice a week along the seawall, through Stanley Park and downtown areas. Your concierge can also set you up with a personal trainer or let you know which exercise facilities allow drop-in visitors. Maybe you’ll finally try that Bikram yoga class you’ve been meaning to, or return home with a new workout technique.
Prefer to Stay In?
If you’re short on time, or prefer exercising in your hotel room, Rod Macdonald, Reebok partner and vice president of the Canadian fitness organization, canfitpro, recommends these top five moves to get your blood pumping. Download our one-page guide here (right click to save) for your next in-room workout!
A great lower body workout. If your knees bother you, try keeping your back against a wall as you slide down between 45 and 90 degrees.
Keep knees in line with toes as you alternate legs. For an aerobic alternative, try jumping lunges, switching feet in the air.
A number of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts offer yoga mats as part of the Fairmont Fit program, but you can also use a towel on the floor. For lower intensity, place hands on the bed or against a wall. Nguyen suggests putting your feet on the bed and hands on the floor for higher intensity.
Keep your body aligned from head to ankles during this core-activating move. For lower intensity, drop your knees, and for higher intensity, try balancing on the bed.
Lie on your back with knees bent, then lift your hips up while squeezing your backside.
Nguyen recommends doing 10-20 repetitions and three to five sets of each exercise, depending on your fitness level. Both Nguyen and Macdonald suggest throwing a resistance band or jump rope into your luggage. They’re lightweight, take up virtually no space and vastly increase the intensity and number of exercises you can do.
When it comes to making good food choices, plan ahead by packing healthy, travel-friendly snacks: protein bars, nuts and dried fruit (no added sugar, of course). Read the hotel menu online and check with the concierge about healthy restaurants and shops nearby. Then you’re prepared when presented with that mouthwatering dessert tray. “Beware of the edge of the wedge,” Macdonald advises. In the same way cutting a wedge into a log weakens it, allowing it to split, making one unhealthy food choice often leads to continued unhealthy choices throughout the remainder of your trip.
One memorable aspect of traveling to a new place, however, is the chance to sample one-of-a-kind specialties such as Parisian macarons, Jaipur’s sweet mawa kachori or shaqima in Beijing. It’s fine to indulge on occasion, and too much deprivation only breeds resentment. If you’ll be attending an elegant dinner, plan for it by tacking an extra 15 minutes onto your morning run. Or enjoy a nice power walk back to your hotel after your meal.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts prepares dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients, but if you have specific dietary requirements, such as gluten intolerance or diabetic restrictions, simply let the hotel know. “Fairmont chefs are happy to accommodate these needs,” says Nguyen. Additional tips include skipping the bread basket and fried foods in favor of lean meats, chicken and fish served with steamed vegetables and salad. Stay hydrated and be wise when you imbibe. Drinking four or five cocktails surpasses the number of calories in a full steak dinner with cheesecake for dessert.
In addition to regular exercise and healthy food choices, reducing stress and getting plenty of rest provide benefits that will carry through even after you return home. Take time to pamper yourself with a spa treatment, such as a refreshing eucalyptus steam room visit at Fairmont Pittsburgh. Or indulge in Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa's sensual Ayurvedic-inspired body massage followed by a warm-oil treatment for the hair and scalp.
Bottom line: the best way to stay healthy and fit on vacation is to prepare in advance. Traveling often involves hectic schedules and constantly changing plans. “Do a bit of research beforehand, and contact your hotel concierge with questions,” Nguyen says. “If you do that, you’re going to make better choices when you’re on the road.”
Holly Bowne is a passionate travel writer and photographer. Her journeys have carried her from the Champs Elysees of Paris to the cenotes of Mexico and beyond. Her work has appeared on Everyone's an Original, You Go, We Go, and publications for luxury travel companies.
Planning your next Fairmont visit? Book by March 18 to take advantage of our Fairmont Moments Offer and enjoy up to 30% off.
Exercise images by Rod Macdonald, Reebok partner and vice president of the Canadian fitness organization, canfitpro.
*Before beginning any new fitness routine, especially if you are not used to regular exercise, or have a pre-existing health condition, it is important to consult with your primary care physician.