Readers: Many of us try hard to stay healthy and fit on the road, but sometimes it’s hard to make it work. (I don’t know about you, but when I pack my running shoes, I never have time to run; when I don’t pack them, I have free time!) So, I turned to one of the fittest people I know to give us a few tips – personal trainer Ben Prescott, who has for years been one of my talented adult gymnastics instructors at the University of Maryland’s Gymkana program. He recently spotted me on a back handspring, which I never accomplished as a kid; how awesome is that? So please welcome him on “Travel Update” and watch for his insightful articles every now and then. Enjoy! – Barb

By Ben Prescott


Are you someone that is constantly on the move, yet can never seem to find a way to stay in shape? Perhaps the most common complaint I get from frequent travelers is that their busy schedules make following any consistent workout or diet plan feel almost impossible. Although I can imagine that it’s challenging, my response to them is that it’s not impossible with the right preparation. Arm yourself with the tools – in this case, mobile apps – that make fitness accessible wherever you go. Here are five of my favorites.

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C25K Free (iOS and Android)

As far as fitness activities go, running is about as simple as it gets. You can run just about anywhere. A pair of trusted running shoes and a route (or treadmill) and you’ve pretty much got it covered. For a frequent traveler, simple is key! Now, running has become even simpler for the novice runner with the help of apps like C25K (Couch to 5K). This app helps guide beginning runners to safely run their first 5K. For the more advanced runner, Zen Labs, the creator of the C25K app, offers similar apps for distances of 10K, half and full marathons.

7 Minute Workout Challenge (iOS)

This is a great app in its simplicity. If you have limited space, time and equipment, the 7 Minute Workout Challenge app gives you a no-nonsense body weight strength workout that can be scaled to your ability.

FitBlok ( and iPad)

Don’t have a personal trainer who can travel with you everywhere? FitBlok may be your next-best option. This app, available for the iPad and online at, gives you access to expert trainers from around the world. Schedule your workouts or access videos on demand to experience workouts that fit your style.

MindBody Connect (iOS and Android)

Want to find a great group strength or yoga class near you? How about book your next massage before the Big Meeting? MindBody Connect taps into a huge network of fitness studios and spas across the country, which makes finding and booking your next fitness or wellness appointment easy.

HealthyOut (iOS and Android)

Eating right while on the road is one of the biggest challenges for frequent travelers. This app helps solve the problem of ignorance for healthy meal choices. Search based on a number of filter settings including dietary needs, caloric limit, cuisine, ingredients and food type, and HealthyOut finds the restaurants and even specific dishes that match your preferences.

Readers: Do you have a favorite health and fitness app that you use when traveling?