Fit To Travel

by Country Inns & Suites
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

images Traveling doesn’t mean your training program has to go on hold. These gadgets and Web sites make it easy to maintain your workout and eat healthy on the road.  By Melanie Klinck.

Veteran travelers know that sticking with a fitness regimen while on the road can be challenging. To stay on track, trainers recommend turning to the Internet and new electronic gadgets—essential workout gear for the modern traveler.

Personal trainer Kelli Calabrese, co-author of the multimedia fitness program Feminine, Firm & Fit, says the best technology provides accountability and feedback. Calabrese offers an online fitness program that lets clients download customized workouts, record their progress and keep a food journal.

Her workout plan is ideal for people on the go, and it works even better with thoughtful planning. When her clients are preparing for a trip, for example, Calabrese recommends they find out what fitness equipment is available in their hotels.

“I will send exercises for the equipment available, or I can give them workouts to do in the hotel room,” says Calabrese.

Travelers without personal trainers can get similar, though less personalized, assistance through Web sites such as GymAmerica.com, which use interactive software to create workout routines for subscribers based on their age, abilities, goals and experience. Web sites run by Weight Watchers and other weight-loss programs also offer support to traveling dieters.

Gadgets Galore

Numerous gadgets help travelers eat right and stay in shape. Portable electronic calorie counters, PDAs, or even cell phones offer nutrition information. Diet.com’s Nutrition on the Go lets users text a restaurant name and food item to “Diet1” and receive calorie and nutrition information via text message.

For fitness buffs, there are packable exercise kits, pedometers and heart monitors, many with high-tech twists. The JumpSnap ropeless jump-rope, for example, gives you the feel of jumping rope without the rope, and it has an electronic monitor in the handles. And then there’s Nike’s version of a pedometer: It uses a sensor in a running shoe to record your pace, time, distance and calories burned, which you can display on your iPod or Nike Sport Armband.

MP3 players are a key workout accessory among travelers, too. Now, companies such as iTRAIN  and PumpPod offer downloadable MP3 workouts that combine music with fitness instruction. Train With Me Online sells video workouts for iPods, and trainers like Calabrese use animated illustrations to create workouts for video-equipped iPods.

For some, these gadgets and online services are the next best thing to smuggling in a personal trainer.

Melany Klinck wishes someone would invent a gadget to improve her tennis lob.