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Traveling can easily wreck your fitness routine. Changing time zones, fighting traffic, and arriving in an unfamiliar destination can leave you frustrated and tired.

But you shouldn’t use travel as an excuse to skip exercising.

Photo: Jim Twardowski

Forget the Magic Number

Corporate wellness expert Mark Verstegen is the founder of Core Performance, a company that educates professionals on staying fit while traveling. One of the major reasons travelers do not work out is lack of time.

Verstegen said,If people don’t have a full hour to train they end up skipping out on the workout altogether. Whether you have ten minutes or forty-five minutes, focus on getting active. A walk outside or twenty minutes on the treadmill will get your endorphins going and increase your energy levels to power you through long meetings or a redeye home. There is no ‘magic number’ for working out. Any time spent training will improve how you look, feel, and perform every day on the road.”

Know Before You Go

Before booking your hotel, call to discuss their fitness options. Do they have a swimming pool, work out center, or complimentary passes to a nearby gym? Ask what type of equipment or wellness programs are offered by the hotel.

Sheraton hotels offer 30-minute Video on Demand workouts that can be viewed anytime in the privacy of your room. Forgot your workout gear? No problem. Westin Hotels and Resorts will lend guests New Balance athletic shoes with disposable insoles and apparel for a nominal fee.

Go Outdoors

Get some exercise outside. Run or ride a bike at a nearby park or jogging trail. San Antonio’s bike sharing program, B-Cycle, has 14 downtown stations. Visitors can sign up online to use the easy and affordable service. At the Grand Hotel in Minneapolis, staff members serve as tour guides leading guests on “fun runs” past notable sights in the city.

Try something new like surfing or paddle boarding. The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel’s “Fit for Fun” wellness program offers lessons. Ask your hotel concierge for suggestions on outdoor activities or contact the city’s Convention and Visitor Bureau.

Jim Twardowski, BSN, RN, CMSRN, is a travel writer based in Louisiana. His work has been featured in AAA Home & AwayGlobal Traveler, and QUEST magazines.

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Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s just something special about summer. Even without a three-month break from work allowing us to be out and about until dinnertime every day like we did as kids, the warm weather still draws us outdoors every free moment — until the temperature spikes to near or above triple digits.

When the heat is on, it can be hard to keep your cool; however, you can feel relief in no time by following the tips and tricks below.

Your Environment

• Air things out. If you feel safe enough to sleep with the windows open, then let the night air cool things down. Come morning, shut the windows to keep the hot air out.

• Rearrange the room. When you move into a new apartment, make sure nothing is blocking the vents or registers that would prevent the air-conditioned air from circulating.

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

• Get fan-atic. Even if your housing has A/C, a ceiling fan or one on a base will distribute the chilled air, making things a bit more comfortable.

• Shut it down. Turn off appliances when not in use. Electronics like computers and printers generate heat that can warm your living space even in sleep mode. Avoid cranking up the oven, too. Instead, stick to the stovetop or microwave (or, even better, fire up your outdoor grill to cook dinner).

Yourself

• Check the clock. Avoid heavy duty exercising during the hottest time of the day, which is usually between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. Instead, get moving early in the morning or wait until evening. On days when the temperature peaks at 100, or when the humidity is overbearing, it’s okay to skip your daily jog.

• Mist away. Keep a spray bottle of water in the fridge. Spritz away the heat while enjoying the sunshine or right after you come inside.

• Layer on the cool. Pop your body lotions in the refrigerator for a bit before using. This will feel particularly refreshing on hot, tired feet.

• Pass on the caffeine and alcohol. These types of beverages will dehydrate you rather than offer relief. Instead, sip on some ice water with a squeeze of lemon to quench your thirst. (In fact, research from Ohio State University shows that the citrus scent can even improve your mood.)

With this cool-down know-how on your side, you can still have fun in the sun!

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Anne Baye Ericksen is a professional writer who has contributed to Healthcare Traveler since 1996. She resides with her family in Simi Valley, Calif.

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Photo: hin255

In Hot Springs, Arkansas, a city known as the official Birthplace of Spring Baseball, a one-of-a-kind attraction was recently opened to the public.

Starting March 29, the historical “baseball trail” will allow visitors to tour a series of 26 historical landmarks, taking tourists on a journey to where America’s baseball legends played and trained during the sport’s golden era.

According to an article on the Hot Springs website, Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, says that more than 45 percent of Major League Baseball Hall of Famers in Cooperstown, N.Y., either played baseball or were associated with baseball training in Hot Springs National Park. 134 out of the current 295 Hall of Fame members can now be associated with training, playing, visiting, or simply being in Hot Springs, Arrison says.

According to Arrison, five baseball historians worked to document Hot Springs as the birthplace of what eventually became known as the sport’s spring training. As the historians dug deep into newspapers, archives, and other sources across America, they uncovered increasing information about the popularity of spring baseball in the area. Now more than 300 players, managers, owners, journalists, and other famous names can be associated with the sport in Hot Springs.

On the trail, tourists can stand in the spot where Babe Ruth hit a home run that traveled 573 feet and landed in a pit on a nearby alligator farm; and flip a coin at the site of The Eastman Hotel, where Ruth did the same in 1921 to determine his salary with the Yankees for the following year.

Brochures are available to visitors who can independently tour the plaques along the trail, and smartphone users can access audio narration through a free mobile app.

For more information, visit the Hot Springs website. Fans of the national pastime might also like to read “Shining Diamonds in the April issue of Healthcare Traveler.

Jim Twardowski, RN, is a travel writer based in New Orleans.

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Zoos across the country extend their hours in October for the annual Boo at the Zoo.

Typically, the nighttime event is designed for families and appeals to kids of all ages.

Check each zoo’s website for times and pricing information.

  • Palm Beach Zoo provides a safe place for kids to trick-or-treat. Young children enjoy face painting, sand art, storytelling, bounce house, games, crafts, and roving animal encounters. Don’t miss the Paws for a Cause Animal Art Expo, where you can buy one-of-a-kind-pieces created by the animals.  Boo at the Zoo is October 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30.
  • Boo at the Zoo is a fundraiser for the zoo and the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, held October 21, 22, 28 and 29.  The Audubon Zoo‘s fun-filled night includes: trick-or-teat houses with candy, a Ghost Train, haunted houses (scary and non-scary), games with prizes, and entertainment.  The event is designed for children ages 12 and under.  A limited number of tickets are sold to keep the atmosphere relaxed.
  • The Philadelphia Zoo offers two spooky weekends of fun on October 22, 23, 29, and 30.  Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume, join the parade, and march around Bird Lake.  Take a stroll through the zoo’s not-so-scary Extinction Graveyard where you’ll be shocked to learn which animals could be extinct within 15 years.
  • Nebraska’s Lincoln Children’s Zoo hosts Boo at the Zoo every night from October 26 through the 30.  This “merry not scary” event provides 40 trick-or-treat stations.  The goodies are generously provided by local businesses.
  • The Milwaukee County Zoo on October 21 and 22 features carved illuminated pumpkins throughout the zoo, a musical light show, and a haystack maze.

Jim Twardowski, RN, is a travel writer based in New Orleans.


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