Staying Healthy When Traveling

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Being a road warrior doesn’t mean you can’t be a weekend warrior.


Physical therapist Brett Bousquet sees all kinds of patients at his Park City, Utah, hospital — from Olympic athletes recovering from injuries to everyday folks easing their way into an exercise program or wondering why their back hurts.


One thing he believes: Everyone can find a time and place to get moving, get healthier, and feel better. Even busy professionals who spend a lot of time traveling and sleeping in hotels can stay fit enough to keep up with the kids on a weekend mountain bike ride.


“It doesn’t have to be a traditional exercise program,” Bousquet said. “If you’re staying in the hotel, ask for a room on the sixth floor and take the stairs. Park in the farthest spot away and walk. You’re only limited by creativity.”


Thinking differently


As a young athlete traveling Canada for work during college, Bousquet found several ways to get pumped up in his hotel room. Activities included pushups, lunges, burpees, even jumping from a standing position up onto a bed or chair or lying under a desk and reaching up to grab the desktop for some makeshift pullups.


“One of the fun things is changing things up,” he said. “Say you travel 10 days and you have 10 different workouts. You keep track and see if you can revisit them every 10 days to see if you’re getting better. It’s about mobility and being active and moving. There are tons of exercises and tons of ways to do the exercises to keep them interesting.”


That doesn’t have to mean hours on a treadmill or lifting weights. Bousquet says by focusing on intensity and quality, travelers or busy professionals can cram a heart-pumping workout into 10 minutes in a pinch.


In addition to his physical therapy certification, Bousquet holds certifications as a doctor of physical therapy, sports clinical specialist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist. And he practices what he preaches, taking advantage of the terrain around Park City to ski, cycle (mountain and road), and take part in Crossfit workouts.


Ask for help


Before people get off the couch, Bousquet recommends they check in with someone who knows what they’re talking about — and not the latest fad.

“There are all these pseudo-experts out there trying to make money off this information,” he said. “It’s all taglines and fads to get people to pay attention and buy their products.”


A professional can help newcomers understand how exercise affects their body, how to avoid injuries and perform the exercises correctly, and how to measure progress and see the big picture.


“It’s like the stock market: If you look at it every day, it’s hard to see where it’s going,” he said. “But if you look at it over time, you see those little daily ups and downs didn’t affect the overall outcome. Exercise is like that. Don’t worry about how you did one day. Sometimes you have a bad day; look at how you’re doing month to month and you’ll see progress.”


Getting started:


  • Understand why you’re starting a new routine. What’s a win? Make it feel meaningful so you have something to work toward.
  • Set a reasonable goal (not something like transitioning from couch potato to marathon winner in six weeks). Set little goals, reach them, and then set them again.
  • Keep track of your progress. Record your daily results. When you look back a month later, and you’ve been faithfully working, you’ll see progress.
  • When traveling, be creative. We all know about pushups and situps, but there are many ways to use your hotel room as a gym (business hotels across the country are cringing right about now).
  • Reward yourself. If money motivates you, pay yourself something for every week you exercise at least four days. Agree at the end of six months of unmissed payments, you get that money to spend on whatever you want. As you get closer to that goal, you won’t want to miss a week and lose it all.

Brett Bosquet, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS, is originally from Calgary, Canada, and currently sees patients in Park City, Utah. Clinical Interests include injury prevention, strength, and conditions, and return to play progressions. He has treated athletes of varying abilities ranging from weekend warriors to professional and Olympic athletes, helping them return to their sport and activities. His passions are baseball, hockey, and Crossfit, and he loves leading an active lifestyle. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Utah Physical Therapy Association.


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