Does your dream vacation involve eating copious amounts of pasta, pizza, and gelato in Italian sidewalk cafes? Do you dread heading home for the holidays because of the inevitably imbalanced sweets-to-sweat ratio? Do you travel frequently for work and struggle to stay fit? If you’re nodding yes to any of these scenarios—or if you simply have a long weekend away planned, and still want to find time and space to exercise while traveling—read on.
How to stay fit while traveling for work or for fun.
It can be tough to stay fit while traveling. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, vacation workouts can be a lot of fun, once you figure out where to go and what to do in the new environment. You might even end up trying a travel workout that you don’t usually do at home—one that you enjoy enough to stick with, long after your bags are unpacked.
An important first step in planning how to stay fit on vacation or how to exercise while traveling is committing to doing so. It may sound silly, but make a promise to yourself, such as, “I will exercise five out of seven days each week.” Commit to staying fit, because whether you work out at home or tackle vacation workouts, motivation is key.
Now that you’re all in, here are a wide variety of ideas to help you stick to your travel workout goal.
1. CHOOSE A FITNESS-FOCUSED HOTEL
If you’re planning to stay in a hotel, choose one with a decent training facility. A travel hotel gym workout can replicate the workout you typically do in your gym at home. More and more hotels (like these) are catering to health-conscious consumers by upgrading their fitness centers and offering healthy in-room amenities. Some provide streaming fitness videos, in-room training equipment, and more. Other hotels may not have an in-house gym, but they may provide complimentary day passes for their guests at a neighboring facility.
2. JOIN A LOCAL GYM, FOR NOW
Many gyms, rec centers, lap pools, and climbing walls offer daily, weekly, and monthly passes to out-of-towners. A simple internet search will help you locate facilities, and you can easily call or email for membership information.
3. TURN TO TECH FOR HELP
An even easier way to find a place to work out is with an app like TrainAway. Create an account and you’ll be able to find partner fitness facilities around the world and purchase a temporary pass with the push of a few buttons. You can also download any of numerous training apps (like Freeletics and Aaptive) to find vacation workouts that you can do wherever you travel, no equipment required.
4. TAKE IT WITH YOU
Pack a lightweight set of strength cords to exercise while traveling anywhere, anytime. Need a soft surface for floor work? Toss a yoga mat in the trunk of your car if your destination is in driving distance. If luggage space is limited, ask your local host if they have a mat that you may borrow, or pick up an inexpensive one at a local store after you arrive. When you depart, leave it behind for the next guest to enjoy.
5. RUN ALL AROUND
Running is one of the best solutions for how to stay fit while traveling. It’s an activity that you can do in almost any destination. It’s also a wonderful way to get outdoors, explore, and see areas you might otherwise miss. Look online at sites like MapMyRun for recommended routes. If you’re in an unfamiliar location, remember to carry your mobile phone (in case you get lost or need help) and skip the headphones (to stay alert and aware of your surroundings).
6. TEAM UP WITH LOCALS
If training solo isn’t your style, latch onto a local group workout. If you want to run or ride as your travel workout, most running and bike stores serve as gathering spots for weekly group workouts. You can also check social networking sites like Meetup to find local activities like hikes and fitness classes. If you don’t see one that you like, take the initiative to create an activity and invite others to join.
7. RENT A BIKE, BOAT, OR BOARD
Just about anywhere you go, you’ll find opportunities to rent fitness gear like bikes, kayaks, or stand-up paddleboards. Exercise while traveling and get to know your surroundings from a new (and scenic) perspective, all at the same time! Just be sure that your rental includes a bike helmet or other appropriate safety equipment, which any reputable rental agency will provide.
8. DON’T KNOCK WALKING
If you’re into high intensity training, you might not consider walking to be a legit form of exercise. But log miles in the double digits each day—which is easy to do when visiting a foreign city with plenty to see—and you’ll be surprised at how well you maintain fitness. As long as the weather is decent, walk, walk, and walk some more as your travel workout.
9. WELCOME EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SWEAT
The little things really do add up when it comes to fitness, and a small amount of exercise while traveling will make you feel much better than none at all. Stay open to every opportunity. Have a long layover or unexpected delay? Don’t stress. Instead, power-walk laps around the airport, or find a quiet corner where you can stretch. Book apartments and hotel rooms on the highest possible floor and opt for the stairs over the elevator. Is the historical site you want to visit too far away to walk? Take public transport, but get off early and walk the last few miles. Or take a taxi there and then meander back on your own two feet.
10. DON’T IGNORE NUTRITION
Nutrition plays an important role in staying fit and feeling good while traveling. And yet, travelers do not typically make the healthiest meal choices. If you’re on vacation, you probably want to let loose and indulge. If you’re traveling for business, you may be short on time and lack access to nutritious meals. Either way, a BlenderBottle® shaker is a great tool to help enhance your health while on the road. It serves as a reusable water bottle throughout your travels to keep you hydrated, and it mixes a mean protein shake when you need to recover from travel workouts or simply want a quick meal replacement on the go.
There you have it—10 ways to stay fit while traveling. We hope at least one of them will work well for you!