Ten Ways to Exercise While Traveling

Go on a Run

One of my favorite ways to explore a new city is to wake up early and go on a run. Not only do you get to explore the streets and get in exercise, but it is also a great way to take some time to yourself. This is especially helpful if you’re on a long-term trip with your partner.  Trust me, this hour of sweat and endorphins will become therapeutic!  Check out Map My Run for different running routes.

Take a Yoga Class

Of all the exercise classes out there, yoga seems to be the most universal. Studios are popping up all over the place.  It is a great way to stay active and I find it beneficial after long-haul flights.  If by chance, you find yourself in a location that does not have a yoga studio, you can always do some poses in your room.

Go for a Hike

Whenever we go on a trip, Michael and I love a good hike. You get some great exercise and you get out in nature, taking in the beautiful scenery and breathing the fresh air.  Just make sure you bring plenty of water with you and that you have the right shoes.

Walk vs Car

These days, ride-sharing apps have made it easier than ever to get from Point A to Point B. But if you have the option to walk versus take a car, you should always go with the former. You will be amazed at how many miles you will rack up without even noticing it.  There are tons of walking tours available in most cities – so we recommend those over the ones on buses.

Take the Stairs

If you are staying at a hotel with an elevator, opt to take the stairs every once and awhile. Your booty will thank you for that extra effort.  If you really want to feel the burn, turn this into a full-on workout.  Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and run the stairs suicide-style:

  1. Run up the first flight, then go back down
  2. Run up the two flights, then go back down
  3. Repeat this process until you hit the top
  4. See how far you make it in the time limit and then challenge yourself to beat it next time!

Find a Local Gym

Okay, sometimes you just really want to pick up some free weights or use an exercise machine. If you are staying at a hotel with a fitness center, then you’re golden.  If not, just do a quick Google search.  Chances are there is a local gym in the area that will allow you to buy a day pass.  We like to make the most of this experience by finding one that comes with a spa and/or steam room.  Another great option is to see if there are any outdoor fitness spots in the area.  We found this to be a trend in cities like Buenos Aires, where the parks are full of body-weight machines.  Make one of these parks a stop along your run and you’ve now got a full workout in!

Go Swimming

Snorkeling during our Island Hopping in El Nido

For those of you heading towards the water, whether it’s the ocean or a lake, you should always take the opportunity to go for a swim. Swimming is one of the best fitness exercises you can do because it hits all your muscle groups.

Take Up a Water or Adventure Sport

Of course, there are plenty of other options to stay active in the water beside swimming. We love to go stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking because it’s a great upper body workout and it’s fun!  If you’re not by a body of water, check out options like mountain biking or rock climbing.

Rent a Bike

If your itinerary includes getting out of the city center and heading into neighboring villages or visiting a place a few miles away, opt to make it a bike trip and not a car. Just remember to have clear directions (map, GPS, etc) and wear a helmet.

In-Room Workout

Back home, I teach fitness classes so I love to incorporate those activities into my travels. For a simple workout you can do in your hotel room, follow the steps below:

The 5-4-3-2-1 Workout

5 Minutes:

  • 1 Min: High knees
  • 1 Min: Jumping jacks
  • 1 Min: Front kicks
  • 1 Min: Jumping jacks
  • 1 Min: Run in place

4 Minutes:

  • 1 Min: Alternating lunges
  • 1 Min: Mountain climbers
  • 1 Min: Alternating lunges
  • 1 Min: Mountain climbers

3 Minutes:

  • 10 Pushups / rest
  • 15 Tricep dips /rest
  • Repeat until 3 minutes is up

2 Minutes:

  • 30 Sec: Regular squats
  • 30 Sec: Jump squats
  • 30 Sec: Regular squats
  • 30 Sec: Jump squats

1 Minute

  • Plank

Total Time: 15 minutes; For intermediates, complete 2x; For advanced, complete 3x

Pro-tip: If you’re going on a long-term trip, pack some exercise bands with you!  They are a great way to incorporate some strength training to your in-room workout.  Plus, they are lightweight so won’t add in much bulk to your backpack!

Also, if you are thinking you would like your vacation to fully incorporate a fitness program, consider booking a wellness trip!  Read our post about wellness retreats here.

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