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Am I A Fit Boomer Travel Girl? Well, Almost.

After 6 weeks or so of working on my travel fitness, I still can’t claim the title: Fit Boomer Travel Girl. But they don’t call me Determined Donna for nothing. Using Nora Lynch’s (Fit Travelers Have More Fun) expert guest posts on boomer travel fitness as my guide — you are reading them, right? —  I’m making progress.

Getting Ready For Cairo

In my last boomer travel fitness update – uh, confession – I reported about efforts to move more, calm my brain and get better quality sleep in preparation for a trip to Cairo. How’d I do?

Working with Nora has taught me that making too many changes at one time backfires, so I concentrated on moving more to provide my body with plenty of stamina for Cairo. I was doing great at increasing the mileage on my daily walks — one week I managed two 6-mile walks. But then, the Bitterroot Valley filled with smoke from area forest fires. No more walking outside for me. Since our house isn’t air-conditioned, the smoke even seeped into our home gym, forcing me to cut back on my workout. Who wants to fill their lungs with smoky air? Not me.

When Presented With An Obstacle — Change Tactics

The smoky environment forced me to choose another goal. I decided to focus on getting quality sleep. This required that I make trip preparations way ahead of time including writing and scheduling blog posts, taking care of financial obligations, making sure Alan wouldn’t go hungry, actually packing — you know the drill. What did this have to do with getting quality sleep? By spreading travel preparations out, I didn’t experience a couple of exhausting days right before the trip trying to cram in everything that I needed to accomplish.

A couple of nights before any trip, my mind starts to race faster and faster, refusing to turn off at bedtime. This time, I found that taking an over-the-counter sleep aid helped shut down those racing thoughts. *Do not take any sleep aid without consulting your doctor.* When I reported this new revelation to Nora, she suggested that mediation provides the same result. Here’s my challenge for the next trip — learn to meditate.

So, How Was The Trip?

I’m happy to report that I did have more energy on this trip. Even though I had to curtail my walking plan, it had been in place long enough to work. Although the AuthentiCity tour in Cairo required a lot of walking, I had plenty of energy for it. But the improvements in sleep quality produced the best results. I didn’t start out the journey to Cairo tired and exhausted.

A quirky incident that helped — when I made my plane reservation to fly from Missoula to JFK, I discovered that the Missoula airport would be closed for repair on the day that I needed to meet the Egypt Air flight in New York. So, I had to fly to JFK a day early, which gave me time to get a good night’s sleep before departing for Cairo the next afternoon. The end result — I had no jet lag during my time in Cairo.

Boomer travel tip: if you’re flying internationally from the U.S., arrive at your departing airport the day before. The extra cost of a one-night hotel room is well worth it.

What Needs Improving?

Okay, I’m giving myself a C+, maybe even a B-, on boomer travel fitness preparations. But what about during the trip, did I exercise or get enough sleep? Uh, that would be a big D-. Actually, I didn’t do so poorly in the sleep department but exercise — nada. I’m sure glad that Nora’s guest post for October is about how to keep travel oomph during the trip.

Oh, and because of that heavy revolving door at the Safir Hotel, I’ll be adding weight training to my boomer travel fitness regime.

Have you tried any of Nora’s suggestions to improve your own boomer travel fitness? Or maybe you’re already a fit boomer who would like to share travel fitness tips. Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email with your comments or questions.

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