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Travelling? Here's how to keep fit

Anita Mehta | October 17, 2005

The 2005 International Business Owners Survey, conducted by Grant Thornton International, put Indian business owners among the top five in the list of stressed out people across the world.

Is that surprising? Maybe not, considering the rate of travel, eating out and high-pressured lifestyles most employees, CEOs and middle management lead.

The best way to beat the stress blues -- on the move or on your own -- is to exercise.

All you need to stay healthy and fit is 30 minutes a day, say health experts.

Tasneem Mukadam of Talwalkars says matter-of-factly, "Anything helps to burn calories. Even swimming 10 laps in a hotel pool is a good exercise to keep fit. If you are stuck in a hotel without a gym or a treadmill, or a park nearby to walk in, then head for the hotel's stairways. Start at the first floor, climb up and come down. Then start all over again, but this time take two to three stairs at a time."

Here are some fitness tips you can use when on the road.

Things to carry

Experts recommend carrying simple exercise gear: runners, a tee shirt and tracks.

A skipping rope is also highly recommended; it comes in handy if you can't get to the gym and need to exercise in your hotel room.

In the air

In the air or on the road, get up at least once an hour to stretch and walk around.

It may annoy your neighbours, especially if you have a window seat -- but it will reduce muscle aches, joint stiffness and swelling.

An exercise routine

Begin with a 10-15 minute warm up session.

Follow this with floor exercises or stretch exercises for 10-15 minutes, followed by a five minute cool down period. 

It will help if you can get the postures, breathing and routine right for a few days with a personal trainer. "If exercises are not done in the correct manner, you could suffer from a injury," explains Mukadam.

Mukadam's mantra for those travelling: "If you are used to exercising with a trainer, try spot jogging, star jumps followed by floor exercises that will help burn the calories. Also, if you can't find an adequate way to cool down, just lie still on the floor till you get your breath back!"

If you can't get into such an elaborate schedule, then Satyajit Chaurasia who trains celluloid stars like Hrithik Roshan, Zayed Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji and Esha Deol recommends a 25-minute brisk walk on the treadmill.

"You can burn over a few hundred calories in 30 minutes. It may not help to lose weight, but will definitely keep you fit and trim."

Ramp it up

When you have limited time, work out at a higher intensity.

"You'll get a higher calorie burn for every minute. If you walk at a faster speed on your treadmill than you usually do, you will lose more calories. The same principle applies to higher intensity weights. Moving through your weights faster, with less rest between sets, will not only help you finish your workout in a shorter period of time, it will also burn more calories," says Chaurasia.  

If whipping through a weight workout is not your style, opt for heavier weights and fewer repetitions, a real time-saver that can also help build more muscle.

Break it up

There's no law that says you need to do your entire workout in one shot. At the beginning of your day, walk for 20 minutes and then try for an additional 10-20 minutes in the evening.

"You'll burn just as many calories, and studies suggest you will get about the same benefits you would if you did all your working out at once. Also, there's nothing like a good time for exercise -- any time is a good time, provided it is not immediately after meals!" he says.

Face resistance

Don't let your body be your only temple.

Asha Bachani of Face Gym, Mumbai, recommends face exercises: "Most people today think about the body and forget about the face. The best part about these face exercises is that they will tighten your muscles and keep your face looking healthy!"

Another USP: They can be done anywhere, anytime.  

Food watch

Exercise isn't the sole remedy for the ails of the travelling body. Eating properly is of utmost importance, especially while travelling.

~ Chaurasia recommends breaking your regular meals into seven or eight small meals in a day.

~ Don't drink water till 45 minutes after each meal. "You can have two or three sips during the meal. But skip water as a part of the meal,"  he says.

~ Avoid consuming carbohydrates at night.

~ Avoid too much oily food.

~ Don't have a combination of chapattis and rice in one meal. Stick to just one of these.

Tomorrow: Warm-ups, stretches, floor exercise, dissected


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Sub: Good tips - Keep them flowing!

Good tips - Keep the articles flowing!

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