Vacations are fun, but it can be hard to find time to stay fit. Thankfully, there are some helpful travel workouts that you can do to stay in shape while enjoying yourself. Whether your destination is a tropical beach paradise, or a week-long excursion exploring one of your favorite cities, there is always a way to fit in some healthy habits.
Whether you want a quick and easy workout, or want to manipulate your environment to become a gym, there are several ways to make sure you get your cardio in. No matter if you’re traveling for pleasure or work, consider these great travel workout tips for staying fit on your vacation.
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Should you Work Out While Traveling?
This really depends on the person traveling. Some might find it therapeutic to work out even when away from home, whether on vacation or on a business trip. While others might take this opportunity to rest. There isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to a fitness journey, it truly depends on what the person’s goal is.
If you’re trying to bulk up, lose weight, sustain your current physique, working out while traveling could be beneficial. But for those that want to take the time to rest, you shouldn’t feel the need to push yourself, as having breaks is just as beneficial as working out.
Benefits of Working Out While Traveling
Similar to the benefits of working out daily, there are several reasons why working out could be a huge help while traveling. One of the biggest reasons is it helps you stay on track. Whether that means it helps you stick to your goals or helps you keep up the momentum you have that way you’re ready to work out at home when you return.
Another great reason to work out is that it prepares you for the day. If you’re about to give a presentation in front of coworkers, or try to finalize a project, working out can help you stay focused throughout the day and prepares your mind and body for what is about to come. It also helps boost your mood, giving you a bit more confidence to push through whatever you have planned.
If your vacationing, a great reason to work out is to make yourself feel a bit better as you prepare to lounge, eat, drink, or do whatever relaxing activity you have in store.
Overall, working out can help you stress levels, improve your heart health, boost your mood and muscle growth, help with you sleep and all in all, helps both your mind and body. Even if you’re traveling away from your usual gym, your fitness equipment or what have you, working out while traveling is a great way to keep in shape, feel motivated and stay on top of your game.
Travel Workout Tips
For those that are interested in keeping up your routine but are worried about finding ways to work out while traveling, read on to find the best, most helpful and stress-free ways that you can stay in shape, stay motivated, and keep on your fitness goals while being away from home.
12. Join Local Activities
One of the best ways to not only get a great workout in, but also explore the local spot that you’ve traveled to is by doing various group activities. If you’re on vacation, maybe try snorkeling in the ocean, or swimming with sharks. These are some of the most common activities that you can sign up for when you’re near the ocean. You can also learn how to dive, which not only gives you a great exercise, but it also teaches you a new skill and lets you explore more.
Another great activity that is pretty common when travelling is some sports groups. While this doesn’t mean sign up for a full-on group, there are some nights where locals and tourists can meet up and play a common sport. For instance, there are pickleball games, volleyball and soccer matches, or maybe even a group doing flag football on a Saturday night. Whatever the case may be, looking around at what’s happening in the local area is a great way to meet people, explore, and stay in shape.
11. Use Apps
There really is an app for everything. And there are even several apps that you can find that do the exact same thing. Finding a great fitness app can really help you while you’re traveling. Whether you want to keep track of your diet to make sure you don’t go over your usual calories while indulging in local treats, or you want to make sure your steps are being counted for as you sight-see, there are several uses for apps.
This is also a great way to help your conscious, as some might think they haven’t done enough in the day to warrant a break from the gym. But after looking back at how much you’ve walked, how little calories you might have eaten, or even how much water you were able to drink, it might be a great way to see that you did a great job naturally while traveling so you deserve a break from working out.
10. Yoga Mats and Blocks
Yoga has several amazing benefits. From reducing stress and anxiety, to improving your balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength, yoga not only is a great way to workout, but is also super easy to do in a hotel room.
While you can join several classes and follow teachings, you can also prop up a YouTube video that directs you through a workout routine, that way you have a complete stress-free experience as you start your day. All you need is yoga mat, and even some blocks, which is super easy to pack.
9. Hotel Gyms and Pools
Whether you’re on vacation or on a business trip, you’re more than likely staying at a hotel that has its own pool or gym. While some might not be apt to go into a small gym where others are, it’s still a great, inexpensive way to get a workout in before the day begins.
Whether they have one weight rack, a treadmill, just some free weights or maybe just a pool, this is one of the best ways to get a workout in. Plus, you can get to it easily just by going downstairs.
8. Bodyweight Exercises
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to work out without having to go to the gym or find extra equipment. It’s super easy and saves you a bunch of time, which is perfect when traveling. All you need is to work out and use just your body weight. This includes workouts like squats, push-ups, walking lunges, plants and jumping jacks.
While those that have been exercising at the gym for years and have been able to do these exercises with weights might not see this as productive, you’d be surprised how great this workout is if you’re looking for a quick and easy session. Doing sets of these different bodyweight exercises is a great way to work up a quick sweat before hopping in the shower to start or end your day.
7. Local Gym Day Passes or Drop-In Classes
Depending on where you’re traveling to, there are some gyms that offer day passes for those that don’t want to miss the gym. Especially recreation centers. Planning ahead and calling around at some fitness centers is a great way to make sure you’re staying on track with your fitness goals.
There are also some gyms that allow you to drop-in on some classes. While there will be a fee to do this type of thing, it might be worth it for those that would rather not miss a day from the gym. Whether you’re on a business trip or a vacation, hitting the gym is great way to stay in shape and make your trip feel a bit more productive.
6. Go on Tours and Sight-See
A very simple travel workout is just touring. Whether you’re in another country, a busy city, or a rural town, there is a lot of things that you can do. From museum tours to guided historical tours, you can learn about wherever you’re going while keeping up with your healthy habits.
While not as intensive as some workouts, this is still a great way to stay in shape while spending time away from your gym.
5. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are a great substitute for dumbbells when you are on the go. They are lightweight and take up virtually no space in your luggage. They come in either low, medium, or high resistance levels. Depending on the exercise you’re doing, you might want to invest in getting all three.
There are plenty of different workouts you can do using resistance bands, and they don’t require a lot of space. Bands are a great option when you don’t have access to weights and want to keep your muscles working strong.
4. Avoid Using Your Car
While this can be difficult depending on where exactly you’re heading, it still is a great trick to making sure you’re getting your steps in for the day. If you’re going to a busy city, it might be best not to use a car anyway as traffic and driving can be hectic.
Walking around is not only a great way to make sure you’re sticking to a healthy lifestyle, but you’ll get to see more of the area. And if you’re going to a more open area, try to park farther away from destinations just so you can walk an extra ten or twenty minutes.
Biking is also an incredibly easy and quick way to get around while also actively engaging your body. If you’d rather not walk the distance, try to find bike rentals around your area. Great apps such as Spinlister let biker owners rent out their bikes to you, and Lyft even has their own bikes that you can rent out.
Not using your car when going on vacation is not only one of the best travel workout tips but can be a great choice to immerse yourself in the area.
3. Jump Rope
A jump rope is another inexpensive and lightweight piece of workout gear you can bring with you on the go. It provides an intense cardio workout that can be done from the comfort of your hotel room. Try combining jumping rope with calisthenics for a complete, full-body workout.
For example, alternate between doing a round of jumping rope to doing a round of sit-ups, push-ups, or squats. You can either time each round to equal a minute or complete a set number of reps. Repeat alternating rounds for at least 20 minutes for best results.
2. Plan Hikes or Walk Trails
The whole point of a vacation is to get away from our stressful lives and explore a little bit. And what’s the best way to do this? By getting into nature.
Manipulating our surroundings when out on vacation is the ideal travel workout tip that can save you time and money. If spending your morning in a hotel gym or room trying to fit in those reps is not what you have planned, then spend your time in nature by hiking.
And if hiking is not an option in your area, then seek out beautiful parks and walk the trails. There is always a space that is perfect to breath in the fresh air. This lets you combine both exploring and working at once, and lets you spend more time enjoying your vacation than being cooped up in a room.
Stairs may be a pain to climb when you’re carrying groceries or moving furniture, but there’s no denying they make for a hell of a workout. Running, or simply just walking upstairs activates all of the muscles in your legs. Your legs are your biggest muscle group and therefore burn the most calories when used.
You’d be hard-pressed to not find a decent staircase wherever your travels take you. If your hotel doesn’t have any, explore the local area around you. Once you find your stairs, set a goal for how many times you will walk/run up and down them.
Stairs can be intense, so you may want to adjust your goals depending on how sore you want your legs to feel the next day. Aim for at least 10-15 minutes to start.
Don’t let jet lag, greasy airport food, and sometimes lack of gym resources throw you off your fitness routine. It’s very easy to use all of the above as excuses to forego our workout and hit the minibar instead.
Those missed workouts add up though, and if you are someone who travels a lot, it could mean losing progress on your fitness goals. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! The above tips will keep you in shape wherever you go, gym or no gym.