Fitness On The Road - Tips for Frequent
FlyersBy Alison Maxwell -
For Michael Sena, it started with a Hollywood sex
In 1995, actor Chazz Palminteri asked the personal
trainer, now also United Airlines' in-flight fitness expert, to help him get
buff for a steamy shot with Linda Fiorentino in the movie Jade.
The difficulty: Palminteri was in another city. So
Sena sent Palminteri a set of workout cards, a simple set of elastic cords and
a video of exercises created just for him.
Business travelers don't usually have the luxury
of calling their personal trainers for made-to-order hotel room fitness tricks,
but health is often a neglected necessity for the road warriors who fill
''Average people aren't making movies. But they're
traveling several thousand miles a week, hustling through airports. They get to
the hotel room, close the door and forget about exercising,'' says Sena, also a
Chicago TV fitness personality and the director of corporate wellness for Sara
Topping the list of mistakes made on the road:
plopping down on the plane with poor posture, lugging overloaded luggage, not
drinking enough water, unrelenting sitting on long flights and forgetting
fitness when you land.
All that can cause soreness, fatigue, dehydration
and even deep vein thrombosis potentially lethal blood clots in the legs
caused by poor circulation.
They have been dubbed ''economy class syndrome''
because the cheaper seats in a plane have less leg room, encouraging minimal
Sena has frequent-flier tips:
- Do the advance legwork to find a hotel that
provides a good health club or in-room fitness program.
- Ask your hotel about a heart-healthy menu.
''Making the wrong food choices on the road is what sabotages all of us,'' Sena
- Travel with your own water, and drink plenty
of it. ''I bring my own because they can never bring enough water to you,''
- While flying, pay attention to staying
flexible and maintaining good circulation. Do periodic stretches and in-seat
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake in the air
and on the ground.
Suzanne Schlosberg, another on-the-road
fitness expert and author of a recent book on the topic, speaks often about how
difficult it can be to maintain an exercise routine while traveling. She
specializes in finding workout spots on the road, from airport gyms to spots in
Among her recommended exercise spots in an
airport is the 24 Hour Fitness center at McCarran International Airport in Las
Vegas. A visit costs $15 and workout gear can be rented for $15.
Jo Lichten, author of several books on the
subject of staying healthy on the road, suggests travelers with long layovers
get their hands on a phone book and find a nearby gym where they can blow off
steam and work out at the same time.
Better yet, base your reservations on the
availability of a fitness center and check the Fitness Center option in your
You can also look for a fitness event in the
area where you are staying.