Many fitness enthusiasts find it difficult to follow their normal exercise plan while traveling. Unfamiliar environments, tightly-scheduled business meetings, or lack of exercise equipment may hamper even a fitness fanatics best intentions for staying fit while on the road. Kristal Richardson, a certified personal trainer and professional bodybuilder spends most of her time on the road competing in events and knows a thing or two about staying in shape when youre out of your comfort zone.


Kristal has complied her favorite tips and tricks for those who want to stay fit while flying and toned while traveling.


Eat Right Even on the Fly

If you've worked hard to establish a good fitness routine, going on a trip doesn't have to mean your healthy habits will be derailed. You can keep your momentum and endorphins flowing and maintain your fitness level when traveling.


·         Stay Hydrated. Drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Airport food, sitting on a plane, jet lag - all contribute to bloat. The best way to fight it is to stay hydrated, says Kristal.

·         Eat Balanced Meals. Even though you've left behind your daily routine, try to eat three meals a day, maintain a balanced diet and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. If you're going to eat a high-fat meal, eat a smaller portion, or order an appetizer instead of a main course. Split desserts with a friend.

·         Watch Your Alcohol Intake. If you will be drinking alcohol at business mixers, drink a lot of water between events.

·         Pack Snacks. Bananas and apples, yogurt, protein bars make great, healthy snacks. You can make meal replacement shakes in your room.


Fit While Flying

Air travel may be fast and convenient, but for many of us, it can be uncomfortable and restrictive due to cramped cabins and sardine-like seating. The following tips can help you make the most of your next airplane trip by helping you stay flexible and fit while you fly.


·         Deep Breathing is an instant-relaxer and can be done anywhere at any time. Try taking 4-5 deep, cleansing breaths several times during your flight.

·         Relax Your Shoulders by bending forward slightly, hands on knees and "rolling" your shoulders in a circular motion 5 or 6 times. Repeat the "roll" in the opposite direction, then finish up by "shrugging" your shoulders up and down 5 times.

·         Relax Your Back by reaching overhead, holding elbows, and bending side to side. Repeat 5 times in each direction.

·         Stretch Your Legs by alternately lifting your knees toward your chest and bringing your body toward your knee to the count of eight.

·         Release Your Feet by "drawing" the alphabet with one foot then the other.


Get Creative with Weight Training

Most hotels, resorts and cruise lines have fitness rooms with free weights, but when you dont have your full weight rack handy, theres plenty of ways to get around the I dont have my equipment excuse:


·         Fill up two 16-ounce water bottles to serve as one-pound dumbbells.

·         Jumbo-sized shampoo and conditioners can weigh up to 3 pounds each just make sure you have an equal amount in both sides!

·         Bring a resistance band in your bag. Most of them take up almost no room, and resistance can be adjusted to meet your weight needs.


Cardio Indoors and Outdoors

 Getting your heart rate up for about 20 minutes can help burn the extra calories from constantly eating out on vacation, says Kristal. Here are a few easy ways to spend 20 minutes of quality cardio:


·         If your hotel lacks a gym, 20 minutes of continuous swimming in the pool will burn about 250 calories.

·         Use the stairs spend 20 minutes going from top to bottom. Walking will burn about 100 calories, while running can burn as much as double that amount. Another smart idea is to skip the escalator in the airport. Adding in extra stair stepping throughout the day will burn calories gained while snacking on the go.

·         Walk everywhere- The best way to stay in shape while away from home is to stay active. Take a scenic stroll instead of using the bus or subway. Walk as much as possible and not only will you shed unwanted pounds but youll keep your fitness levels up so you dont have to start from scratch when you get home.


Kristal Richardson is a professional figure competitor, ACE-certified personal trainer and nutritional consultant, and Spokesperson/brand Vice President for BodyWell Nutritions Tight Curves product line. Kristal earned her Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Hillsdale College. She also earned an International MBA degree (IMBA) from Florida International University. Currently, Kristal has combined her natural athletic ability with her dedication to excellence to become a successful International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) figure competitor. As a fitness model, Kristal has appeared in the covers of Natural Muscle Magazine and Oxygen Magazine. Kristal writes a monthly column for Natural Muscle Magazine regarding training, nutrition and motivation.