All The World’s A Gym (Even When Traveling on Business)

By: Stacey Wilcox

My recent business travels took me to Tokyo, Japan. I discovered my hotel was just a half mile from The Imperial Palace where the Emperor of Japan lives. A 3-mile paved path goes all the way around the palace which is surrounded by a water-filled moat and tree-covered grounds. It made for a scenic morning jog that I learned was popular at all hours of the day (if you do find yourself in Japan, remember to run on the left!).

The author on her recent business trip in Tokyo.

The author on her recent business trip in Tokyo.

If you’re like many business travelers, morning is likely the only time of day you can squeeze in some exercise. I know, I know…its tough dragging yourself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. after the previous night’s dinner with the seemingly bottomless glass of Cabernet. However I guarantee you will be rewarded many times over throughout the day if you make the sacrifice and get moving before that first meeting.

Now the big dilemma: Should you hit the (overcrowded) hotel gym treadmill or get outside for some fresh air, and maybe even do some sightseeing along the way?

My advice is to ask the front desk if there are any established running routes near the hotel. I’ve stayed at hotels where they provide business card size running maps, so you just never know. You may find you’re just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, the Brandenburg Gate, or Pike Place Fish Market where you can see the daily catch coming in from the fishing boats.

It may require a bit more planning when packing your suitcase to include clothes suitable for running outdoors (especially if it’s cold outside), but it’s well worth ditching that extra pair of dress shoes to make room.

If you decide to venture out on foot, pay attention to street names, landmarks, etc. so you can get yourself back! I’ll be the first to admit I have a terrible sense of direction, and have in fact gotten lost on a morning run and in a foreign country where I did not speak the language. It made asking for directions very challenging!

Have you found a good exercise route on any of your travels? Tell us about your adventures by commenting on this blog post. Remember…all the world truly is a gym.

Read this month’s gear guide for the best tools for keeping hydrated on those summer runs.

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