Tom Hale: Fitness and Active Travel

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Backroads Founder Tom Hale in the hills of the California coastI used to be pretty serious about the whole competitive running thing. I’ve run my whole life. And I’ve run myself into the ground–quite literally. I’ve had plenty of injuries. Too many, in fact. I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what works for me, and I’ve learned a few things over the years. For instance, I am still only too happy to take a 10 mile trail run, but now I do it without getting injured.

Below, you’ll find a quick list of some of my favorite fitness tips. Not only do these keep me going on my active trips, but they guide me in my every day well-being. Hope this helps!

  1.  Set goals: Measure times, distances, etc. and strive toward improving
  2.  Be flexible: Keep your goals in mind, but allow for change
  3.  Try different workouts: For balance, injury prevention and to avoid burnout
  4.  Rest: It’s OK to rest–don’t feel guilty when you need a day off
  5.  Make your fitness routine fun: Involve friends, try new routes or take active vacations
  6.  Get your family on board: It’s great quality time, it’s motivational and it gets the kids away from their screens
  7.  Eat well: Eating healthy makes you feel better and enables you to be even more active
  8.  Be realistic: Develop a system that’s sustainable with your lifestyle
  9.  Be honest with yourself: If something isn’t working, ditch it and try something else
  10.  Make it natural: You’re never too busy to exercise and you don’t need an expensive gym or trainer–just go outside and move
  11.  Know you can: You’re never too old or too unfit to get in shape
  12.  Get the right gear: The weather is never too cold, too hot, nor too inclement to exercise (you just need better gear)

Do you have any tips to add? Let me know below.

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Tom Hale

Tom Hale

Founder and President at Backroads
A native of Moraga, California, Tom Hale possesses a passion for two seemingly divergent interests—business and back roads—which he has powered into the world's most successful active travel company, Backroads. It was the back roads that first attracted him, as a competitive runner at Campolindo High School (where he still holds the two-mile record at 8:57.2) and at the University of Oregon, where he was a teammate of legendary runner Steve Prefontaine. Armed with a Masters in Environmental Planning from UCLA, Hale was six months into an environmental planning position in Las Vegas when the back roads called again—big time. A middle-of-the-night inspiration to start a bike touring company motivated him to pedal 5,000 miles alone through the West, all the while formulating plans for his new business. Settling in Berkeley, Hale washed fondue pots by night and built his fledgling travel company by day. In true entrepreneurial fashion, he did it all—designed the itineraries, maintained the bikes, led the trips, produced the catalog.
Tom Hale

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