Staying Fit on the Fly, No Matter the Trip

Lifestyle, Travel Tips

A vacation should be just that: a break from the grind of routine, stress, and work. And while it’s completely okay (encouraged even!) to take a break from diet, exercise, and other strict health habits, it can be a cinch to stay (mostly) on track while you’re traveling.

With modern airport amenities, mobile wellness apps, and a trend of healthy dining options, it’s never been easier to keep our nourishing routines moving. Ready to give travel fitness a try? Check out these three recommendations to help you stay fit on the fly—both at MSP and your final destination.

In-Airport Exercise

Instead of scrolling through your phone and working out your “tech neck,” get fit with what you have on hand: your suitcase. Try holding your suitcase in both hands to perform a few subtle sets of calf raises—this encourages balance and tones your legs while giving you a better look at the line ahead. You can also hold the suitcase in one hand and alternate between shoulder shrugs and side bends.

Ready to ramp things up with some mild cardio? MSP has a 1.4-mile walking path that starts at the intersection of Concourses C and D in Terminal 1—green dots above the route track your distance. Or hop on a Walkaway Workstation (Terminal 1, Concourses C and F) if you want to stay in place. Further work your legs with suitcase stair steps, gate-waiting wall-sits and, if space and wardrobe allow, some stationary high-knees or plyometrics. 

Phone-Supported Fitness

In the age of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you can get a guided workout just about anywhere. There are a variety of apps and quick workout videos designed to help keep you fit and accountable away from home.

The free version of the Sworkit app offers strength, stretching, cardio, Pilates and yoga routines, in a range of lengths from 5-60 minutes. None of the workouts require equipment and they are all demonstrated by real trainers.

If you’re a devout Yogi, try out Pocket Yoga, which allows users to choose between discipline, duration, and difficulty. The app includes a pose dictionary for newbies, along with tips for achieving proper posture and alignment.

For runners venturing out in a new town, MapMyRun tracks and stores individual workouts while also sharing local route recommendations. This app is great for travelers in training, helping them find a tested course for each day’s mileage goal.

Travelers who are more concerned about staying on track with their diet and general fitness goals should look no further than MyFitnessPal. This all-in-one app offers a free calorie counter (covering more than 5 million foods), a food journal, and the capability to sync with a variety of exercise tracker apps. 

Diet-Friendly Dining

Speaking of calories … they’re never too difficult to find when you’re out of town. Many of us see vacation as a chance to treat ourselves—which is great—but we should still practice moderation. To get off to the right start, swing by one of MSP’s delicious quick-serve options before takeoff. Easy snacks of fresh fruit and vegetables can be found at Cibo Food Hall (Terminal 1, Concourse G). Fresh, protein-packed, grab-and-go salads and sandwiches are always ready for the taking at Surdyk’s Flights (Terminal 2). If you’re in search of something heartier, try an organic, locally-sourced meal at French Meadow Bakery & Café (Terminal 1, Airport Mall and Concourse F).

To stay on track once you land, try allowing yourself one indulgent meal for every three days of travel. This means you can enjoy a few slices of deep dish during a weekend in Chicago or some fried walleye or a stuffed Juicy Lucy during a week in Minneapolis. By doing some research and determining your must-have meals before leaving town, you can help limit temptation.

Lastly, with the rise of home and apartment rentals, try visiting the local farmers market and cooking a healthy dish for yourself. You’ll not only get a better feel for the town—you’ll also avoid the price tag and oversized portions of the restaurant scene altogether. It’s a win-win.

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