Wellness Tips from MobiPT Founder Hamish Ganga
Too often, traveling—for work or play—gets in the way of our workout routines. And while we’re all for exploring new places, we were continually frustrated at how much a trip can set you back exercise-wise. No more, though. We’ve partnered with MobiPT, a new app from expert personal trainer Hamish Ganga. The app connects users with trainers in hotels around the world, including Refinery Hotel. “Clients kept saying, ‘Sorry, I couldn’t work out whileI was traveling,’ when they came and trained with me,” says Ganga, born in the Congo and educated in the U.S. after a few years in Paris. “I started connecting clients with trainers when they traveled, and I would give each trainer the client bios so that their workouts were consistent, he says. “It worked so well, I decided to make an app for it.”
With MobiPT, guests can request a session in our fitness center, or take to the streets of the city for a running lesson. And anyone looking to relax both mind and body can use it to book an in-room massage as well. We spoke with Ganga, MobiPT’s founder and CEO, to get his tips on staying fit.
What makes continuing your workout routine while on the road so important?
With all the things that happen when youŕe airborne, it’s always good to keep the consistency of exercising. One of my clients was traveling from the US to France to Germany and then Australia, so because of her travel schedule, it was very hard for her to workout. But once she kept her routine as she traveled, she was feeling less tired and had more incentive to eat healthy. And working out consistently can also help combat jetlag.
A lot of people “fall off the wagon” with their workouts in the winter; what’s a good tip to motivate people in the spring?
People say “I want to be in shape for summer,” and I always ask, “And then what?” It’s not about the seasons, it’s about a lifestyle. I really see it as our job to try and stay as healthy as you can, so you can be there for your kids and grandkids. You work out in your 30s to be healthy in your 40s. And you work out in your 40s to be healthy in your 50s. And so on and so on.
What can travelers pack to work out while traveling?
You don’t need much…a set of workout clothes and sneakers will do. You have your body, Your body is your equipment you just need to know how to use it. If the hotel doesn’t have a gym, the first thing I tell people is get out and run, and you don’t need anything else.
Any in-room tips?
You can use the bed for push-ups and get on the floor for planks. If you’re really looking for more, buy TRX bands and use them on the doors. There are hundreds of exercises you can do with TRX bands.
MobiPT also connects travelers to masseuses. What would you tell first-time massage-goers?
That was me three months ago! You just have to relax and lay down and let the music take you somewhere. It’ll be fine…just breathe in. It’s less frightening than working out. As long as you trust the process, before you know it you fall into a deep sleep or you enjoy the muscles being massaged…and if you end up loving it, massages aren’t a bad thing to be addicted to.
Do you have a favorite running or biking route in NYC?
I don’t have my bike here yet (I’m bringing it in the summer). But I love biking Central Park. I know it sounds touristy, but they have great biking and running routes there. I also love running through the city at night. It’s great to look at all the skyscrapers and appreciate the city views when the sidewalks aren’t so crowded.
A lot of people visit NYC in part to eat at the city’s restaurants. How do you balance staying healthy while enjoying meals in a new destination?
If you’re there to enjoy the food, do what you do anyways. Nothing says that because you work out you can’t have a pizza. But it’s definitely better to have a pizza knowing that you did work out or will work out.