Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, taking a business trip, or jetting off on vacation, staying fit while on the road may not be the top item on your travel “To Do” list, but it can be! Often we use traveling as an excuse to eat what we want at new and interesting restaurants, or to take a break from working out and relax with family and friends. But losing fitness and hampering progress doesn’t have to be the traveling norm! I’ve traveled the world from Uruguay to Oman, and have a great time discovering new ways to fit in fitness while on the road. With these simple tips to staying fit while traveling, you can stay on track while on your journey.
1. Pack fitness essentials.
From running shoes to sports bras, stuffing your suitcase with the bare essentials is key.
2. Schedule your workout.
My business trips can often be so busy that I don’t have time to sit down and eat. I’ve found a helpful trick is to schedule my workouts as if they are an important meeting too— typically before the day gets going and is busy with trains, planes, and automobiles. And when on family vacation? Schedule some time for yourself to do a quick circuit workout in your hotel room.
3. Experience the local fitness scene.
I had a colleague who researched hot yoga studios on all of our trips— she experienced hot yoga around the world in every city where we traveled. I prefer to take it to the trails and find local running routes; I’ve run everywhere from Venice, Italy to Topeka, Kansas to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Do some research before your trip to find your fitness niche in that city: local barre studios, a running club that welcomes out-of-towners for their weekly group run, or a gym near where you’re staying and experience the local fitness scene.
4. Use your WiFi connection.
I’ve done yoga on my hotel room floor via online videos, streamed a quick bodyweight circuit through my phone, and discovered fitness apps with amazing workouts while traveling. There are tons of resources out there on the internet, and it can help break you out of a fitness rut to mix it up with a new workout in a new place. There are a lot of online workouts that don’t take much space and don’t need any equipment, and are extremely effective.
5. Take time with the menu.
Traveling means eating out, and that often comes with a price; not a monetary price, but less tangible health “price.” When out at a new restaurant or eating in an airport, it’s easy to order the first thing that appeals to you— traveling can make us really hungry! But taking time with the menu, asking questions of the restaurant staff, and ordering à la carte can often result in a healthier meal choice. Often adapting a favorite dish to be steamed, or asking for the dressing on the side, can create a healthier option for your go-to meal on the go.
Hydration while traveling can make a huge difference in your health, fitness, and even your energy level. Keep a water bottle with you at all times; empty until you go through airport security, of course! Taking sips throughout the day rather than large quantities only at meal times will help keep you balanced.
7. Use your feet for transportation.
When I travel, I like to explore on foot. I go off the beaten path and find neighborhoods where people are living and working that aren’t the normal touristy sites. Last year, instead of taking a 15-minute cab ride from my hotel in Madrid to the city center, I decided to make the trek on foot. I discovered the local culture a lot more than I would have from the window of a taxicab, and felt as though I saw more of Madrid than just the main museums. Often when traveling, I’ll find the highest point— a bell tower, a local mountain or scenic overlook, or another landmark— and climb it. The views are spectacular and it’s a great way to get in a workout! So consider your feet as a viable transportation option whenever possible.
With some planning and a positive approach, staying fit while traveling is not only possible but a rewarding way to travel. You may even find that you fall in love with a new form of fitness or discover a new healthy cuisine that you can incorporate into your lifestyle when you return home.