Whether you travel for work or for fun (or a little of both!) you know it can be hard to stay fit and active while away from home. But it doesn’t have to be! I’m sharing five tips that help me work up a sweat no matter where in the world I am.
1. Get outside
When looking to sightsee, seek out bike tours or rentals – I’ve rented a bike in cities of all sizes, from Kennebunkport and Napa to Paris and Budapest.
If you aren’t into biking, look for walking tours or hikes that allow you to sightsee and be active at the same time. You’ll often see the destination in a much different and very rewarding way going at it by foot. The outdoors is my favorite place to work up a sweat, so I’m always pretty excited to check out a new spot.
2. Come prepared
In addition to the basics like workout clothes and good shoes, I have a few pieces of fitness equipment that are small and come in handy when I travel.
First, a set of sliders. They are small and light and they fit in the slim front pocket of your carry-on (where literally nothing else fits).
Second, a jump rope. It’s is a simple and fast way to get your heart rate up. Alternate a minute of jumping with a minute of simple bodyweight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, planks, lunges) and you’ve got yourself a fast and effective mini-workout.
Another accessory I love is the Flipbelt. It just slides on over or under your clothes and has little pockets for your phone, keys, or whatever else you need to tuck away. I use this for anything from indoor strength training in a gym to running marathons. It is small and light— I always bring it when I travel.
If you want to get a little fancier, consider a TRX system. It allows you to do a huge variety of exercises for the whole body. It isn’t as small or light as the other options (packed up, it’s about the size and weight of a soccer ball), but if you travel frequently and/or space isn’t an issue, it may be worthwhile. Of course, you can use it at home too—it’s a great piece of equipment!
Does the hotel have a crappy gym? Run the stairs. Is the gym decent but you need some inspiration? Use a fitness app or stream a free workout on YouTube.
My absolute favorite fitness app is Aaptiv (this requires a separate post—I love it SO much). And check out Fitness Blender on YouTube. It’s simple, but there are over 500 totally free workouts of all different levels, lengths, and types which makes it a great option for a workout on the go.
4. Do some research
Scope out the city you’ll be in for local gyms and fitness meetup groups. Maybe you’ll find a local run shop that leads free weekly runs or a cool boutique fitness studio that let’s you do a $10 drop in class.
If you’re staying at a hotel, look at the photos of the gym online. Yes, I’ve chosen one hotel over another (when the price is comparable) because it looks like it has a nicer gym.
5. Make a plan
Whether you are traveling for work or for fun, make a plan before you go. Maybe you’ll be gone for three days for a busy work trip, so you commit to work out for just one of them. And maybe you commit to take the stairs rather than the elevator in the hotel and get up 20 minutes early so that you can walk rather than drive to wherever you’re going.
If you’re gone for a fun vacation and have done your research (mmhmm), you know what options are available. You know there’s a cool running trail near your hotel so you make sure to bring a hat and your flipbelt. Or you saw that a bike rental shop was rated highly on TripAdvisor so you look up their hours and pricing and make sure to have your favorite bike shorts.
The MindBody app is also useful for seeking out classes at nearby studios and gyms. You can filter by class time, book, and pay all through the app. Everything from large chains to small local studios are listed on MindBody—there something for everyone.
Whatever the situation, spending a few minutes thinking about it before you get there will make it much easier to make it happen once you are there!