Are you someone that completely gives up on their workout and diet routines when you travel?
While traveling is plenty of fun, maintaining a workout routine on-the-go is difficult. Being in a new environment presents its own set of challenges, and it’s hard to be motivated to work when I really just want to play. Since I order my ice cream by the “no topping left behind” motto though, fitness is a necessary evil, and just like I do at home, I’ve found ways to work out on my trips that I can actually enjoy and take in as part of my overall experience.
Here are my 5 favorite ways to sneak in a workout while traveling:
#1 Go for a run.
Running is my favorite approach to working out when I’m traveling, and I usually like to take a jog the first day I arrive somewhere new. After spending 12-24 hours rushing to make our flight time, floating through crowds at the airports, ensuring all our belongings have safely arrived, and searching for transportation to our hotel stay, taking a jog gives me time to clear my head and feel more grounded in my new environment. Plus, it’s great for cities and rural travel.
During my first visits to Barcelona and New York City, running was #1 on my agenda for my first mornings there. By jogging aimlessly through the streets, I gained a feel for the neighborhood and local markets. Larger cities (especially in Europe) tend to operate on a later schedule, so if you head out for a jog around 8 am, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find only moderate crowds. Alternatively, the scenic views will make a run through the countryside worth it if you’re visiting a less-trafficked area.
Finding local yoga or fitness classes is as easy as googling your destination, so I think this is a pretty simple way to incorporate fitness into your already busy travel schedule. If you’re traveling for business, this can also be a great way to make sure you’re giving enough time for your workout. Between fitness studios, local gyms, and other resources, you’re sure to find an option that you can make time for.
Pro Tip: Yoga and fitness studios typically allow per class payments, but most offer a first-time discount such as $30 unlimited for the first month. If you’re visiting somewhere for a week or so, take advantage of this by signing up for the discounted month. Considering your cost will probably be $20-$30 per class, you’ll be sure to save if you attend even just two classes.
Also, don’t forget about what you already pay for! If you’re a remember of a national chain like LA Fitness or Gold’s Gym, they may also offer free classes for members plus you can get in some weightlifting. Call ahead to find out what’s available!
Lastly, take advantage of free resources. Yoga with Adriene is one of my YouTube go-to’s, but in some places, you can find free yoga during the right time of year. Check out this list to see the free local yoga in NYC.
#3 Look for local pick-up games.
Have you ever asked to join in on a pick-up game? Beach volleyball is not an easy sport, and you can pretty much guarantee that locals will have a game going at most beaches. You can always ask to join in, but AirBnB has starting offering activities they call “experiences.” I’ve found beachfront yoga, tai chi, pilates, beach volleyball, and more by searching through there, and most of them are more affordable than the studio classes. They also have a ton of other experiences available, but I’d highly recommend giving this a try for fitness specifically!
#4 Do a quick HIIT workout in your hotel gym or room.
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. In layman's terms, this is exactly the kind of workout you need for traveling. HIIT combines endurance training with high impact exercises, so while you can’t workout for as long of a period, you’ll build muscle and enhance your cardio abilities in half the amount of time. Plus, it won’t take much time out of your day, so you can get back to exploring.
I’ve been known to bring resistance bands with me, and those can be useful when doing workouts like this in your hotel room or outside. Hotel gyms are normally equipped well enough to at least get in the basics too!
#5 Try something new!
The whole basis of traveling is to try something new, so why not combine the two? New places mean more activities, and you can always sign up to try something new. Surfing, paddle boarding, hiking, and sailing are just a few things I can think of to keep you active on vacation. I also mentioned AirBnb experiences earlier in this article, and it’s an excellent resource for this as well. Search for a surfing lesson, and get out in the waves to get your ass kicked! It might be hard, but you’ll have tried something new (plus worked out muscles you probably never knew existed).
I've got a few posts in the works on the exact workouts I do, so let me know what questions you have or want more info on!