Start getting ready for May Term early

Start getting ready for May Term early

by Laura Dillavou

As students send away for passports and professors organize pageafter page of information, there is an aspect of May Term tripsthat is often overlooked: physical fitness.

Many times, the point of a May Term trip is to get away fromlandlocked Iowa, see the great sights of Rome or China and (gasp!)get a little education out of it. While these are all very validreasons of the May Term trip, the rigors of traveling are all toooften forgotten when visions of haut culture shopping, warm beachesand rowdy bars cloud the eyes of college students.

Traveling, in any form, is an expenditure of the body. Althoughjet lag sounds like a small price to pay for the beauty ofAustralia, that is only a small part of the May Term fitnessequation.

More than likely, a May Term trip will involve extensive sightseeing; after all, that’s a key reason why people travel. Whilesight seeing, most groups find it easiest to walk from destinationto destination. A short block may not seem daunting, but an entireday of short blocks and trips up and down hills can leave painfulblisters, swollen feet and wrecked shoes.

While the thought of dressing up for France’s finest may soundlike a good idea, in theory, it is not. High heels and mini skirtswill not fair well with dusty roads, mile-long hikes, and hundredsof stairs.

Take a look at the people who live and work there everyday. Moreoften than not, they are dressed just as we are with practicalityand sensibility in mind. Save the strapless shirts and stillettosfor the clubs.

In order to save havoc on your body and feet, begin a lightfitness regimen now. Take things easy, as you have atleast threemonths to prepare for the big journey. A walk on the treadmill is agood start, remembering to keep it at an incline and brisk pace;tour guides will not slow down for one person. Once the weathergets nicer, walking on streets will further condition yourbody.

Aside from walking or jogging, lifting weights is also a goodidea. Heavy suitcases are often the cause of strained backs andsore muscles. Do yourself a favor and pack lightly, as well asprepare for what you have to carry. Most airlines, as a generalguideline, allow suitcases to be 50 pounds and under. According anything above that will have a fee attached depending onweight.

And just like your professor, your mother, and your roommatetold you, pack comfortable shoes. Although the thought wearing thesame shoes for 17 days straight may appall you now, sore, blisteredfeet will remind you what a good idea it was.

Packing shoes to wear on occasions other than sight seeing is agood idea, just to give your feet variety in pressure points andstress areas. As always, don’t forget flip flops for the shower orbeach!

It is clear to see that May Term travel involves a lot more thansigning papers and attending required meetings. It is anopportunity to see another part of the world, interact withdifferent cultures and experience something outside the norm.

Start the physical preparation today and be ready to go byMay!

For specific information on how to prepare for your May Termtrip, talk to your professor.