Maintain Fitness While Traveling

Here are a few tips that help me maintain my fitness regimen while traveling. Enjoy!

  1. Pack all of your gear. The chances are if you pack it you will probably use it. Similarly, if you don’t pack any workout gear, I think it’s safe to assume you will not work out. Bring everything it takes for you to maximize your workout. I typically bring my iPod, headphones, sunglasses, watch, water bottle, chewing gum, sunblock, a couple scarves to tie my hair down (I have long, heavy dreadlocks) sneakers, socks, top and bottom. If needed, you can pack one workout outfit and hand wash it immediately afterwards and let it dry during the day. I typically pack two so I can wash and wear.

  2. Stay at a facility with a fitness center inside or nearby. Be selective and stay at facilities with a good workout facility (look for online photos). I highly suggest you call the hotel in advance and ask them specifically what type of equipment they have and how old it is. I have learned several hotels acquire outdated equipment from local gyms. You may also have the option of utilizing a travel pass from your current gym. Ask, find out, and check to see if there are any locations near your travel destination.

  3. Find out if there are any playgrounds or parks nearby. Parks aren’t just for children. They are FREE outdoor gyms for adults, too! You can do pull-ups on the monkey bars, dips on the jungle gym, step ups on the bench, lunges on the grass, suspended rows on the swings, and more! You can also check out any national, regional, and state parks nearby. They usually have hiking/biking/walking/jogging trails.

  4. Walk/run the emergency exit stairs inside your hotel or a nearby multilevel building. All multi-floor buildings have steps. Find them and start climbing.

  5. Do exercises that require NO equipment. For example, you can do push ups, squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, planks, burpees, bird dogs, walk, jog, and more!

  6. Maximize time waiting in line. Do calf raises, arm curls with your bag(s), squats, wall-sits, and stretch. Deep breathing is always a great strategy when waiting in line, too!

  7. Pre-pack healthy snacks and drink plenty of water. This saves you money and it properly fuels your body. I usually bring fruit, veggies, oatmeal, protein/energy/granola bars, nuts, tea bags, and water. All you need is hot water to cook the oatmeal and steep the tea! It’s pretty easy to become dehydrated while traveling. Don’t feel bad for making the driver stop at rest areas or making the people in your row on the plane get up so you can use the restroom. Stay hydrated. We should all be getting up, moving, and stretching every 30-45 minutes anyways. 

  8. Rest and early rise. It’s common to go to bed late and get up late while on vacation, but I’ve learned that I prefer to workout in the morning so I have flexibility throughout the rest of my day to enjoy my vacation. But in order to get up early, I need to go to bed at a decent hour. The moral of the story is to create and honor a vacation fitness regimen that supports your preferences.

  9. Talk to locals about any popular outdoor physical activity locations. Sometimes there may be an outdoor track or athletic fields people use throughout the week at select times. (Be careful not to conflict with school and sports league schedules.)  I know there are several hidden and not so hidden places for great hikes, stair climbing, and rolling hills for runs/walks. Talk to people and learn more about your environment.

  10. Proactively add more steps to your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park further away from your destination. Walk instead of drive. Use the crosswalk instead of jaywalking. Walk the scenic (longer) route instead of the more convenient, shorter route. Do someone else a favor by walking back to get something accidentally forgotten.

  11. Go solo (and be safe). Sometimes the people we travel with do not have similar ways of maintaining their fitness. For example, they may say they want to work out with you, but don’t want to get up early for a morning jog. They may even pack their workout gear with no intention of using it. They may be too caught up in social media—taking pictures of their sneakers or other stuff and tweeting, facebooking, and instagramming instead of focusing on the actual workout. The moral of the story, you may be better off going solo. Be safe though. Use discretion if you use headphones. I often only use one earbud so I can hear and be more aware of my immediate surroundings.

  12. Make exercise be your vacation! Go to state park and hike the trails. Rent a bike and ride through the local area. Go roller/ice skating! Play golf. Participate in a local walking/running fundraiser race. Go kayaking or white water rafting. Go mountain climbing. You get the idea…

What do you do to maintain your fitness when you travel?

One response

  1. […] more tips about maintaining fitness while traveling! <— that’s a link to my August 2013 blogpost about this topic. Go ahead, click on […]

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