How To Keep Fit While Traveling

When you travel, things are quite different from usual – you tend to party more, drink more and stress more, and all of this combined really takes a toll on your body. Often, travel turns out to be anything but relaxing. Your daily agenda is crammed with so many must-see and must do events, that by the end of the day you are ready to crash out completely exhausted. In times like this it’s easy to prioritize different things, and exercise usually falls far down the list – if it even shows up at all. I know how hard it is to get yourself to actually do it, I’m guilty of excuses myself. But here are 5 things that helps me to “get it done”:

1. Get It Over With Early

Do it first thing in the morning, even before breakfast. If you need to, grab a banana before you go for a walk, but it’s best to skip the breakfast till later.

Until working out becomes a daily fun habit, you need to force yourself to do it, otherwise you will always find a reason not to work out – I’m tired, I’m hungry, I slept in etc. Working out in the morning is also great, since the parks, beaches etc are a lot less crowded, and it’s cooler outside. Just do it when you wake up, don’t even think, just get out as fast as possible, and then when you’re out there you’re already doing it.

2. Hardcore For A Short Time

An intensive focused 20 minute workout can give just as much exercise as 3 hours spent sitting around in the gym, so do it quick but effectively. Exercising doesn’t have to be time consuming.

3. Follow A Routine

It’s hard to workout without having a plan. Download a workout DVD on your laptop, or just go to Bodyrock (with the insanely fit hottie). If you can’t find a place to work out with the lap top in front of you, put it on your mp3 player and follow the instructions by listening to the teacher.

4. Try The Free Gym

There are always places to work out. If there, which I doubt, aren’t any parks, any good beaches or anywhere you can work out or go for a run, then there are often gyms nearby. Gyms often let you try out the first time for free, so ask your receptionist for some good places around.

5. iPhone Apps

There are many great iPhone apps to help you stay fit, and this is perfect to bring when you’re on the road. There is everything from running to gym workouts to specific ab work outs to calorie calculator etc. Some of the most popular apps, like the iFitness, cost a little, but there are also heaps for free ones (check out the Six Pack App and Jillian Michaels). Just search on the apps and you’ll find something which suits you. It might seem like a tough thing to do, but you will feel so good afterwards, it’s really rewarding.  Not because of the workout, but because you proved to yourself that you have a strong mind, that you fought against the temptation of just rolling on to the other side and fall back asleep again. I hope these tips helped you out or inspired you to try it out for a week.

(photo credits: ~ggvic~ – Ed YourdonDiganta Talukdar)

21 Responses to How To Keep Fit While Traveling

  1. Shawn February 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    great tips Sofia – its always hard to stay fit while traveling, but these are some great ways to stay in shape.

  2. Sandra February 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    i also love working out in the morning, so much easier than when it is HOT outside. and like you say, great to get it outta the way :p

  3. Debbie Beardsley February 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Exercising while traveling is very hard. I run 4 times a week while at home but when I travel all my good intentions seem to go right out the window! I tell myself I deserve a break! HA HA until I get home and the scale goes boingo!! Something I definitely need to work on.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      Yeah, I think it also has a lot to do with change of environment. At home you have your routine and know the running routes.

      But I’ve found that once you’ve done it the first time in a new place, it gets easier after that 🙂

  4. Jeremy February 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    I must be lazy, because I get fit just from the act of traveling. Guess that is really a testament to how unfit I am at home. I lost 17 pounds on my last trip, and I think most of that was due to sweat and not drinking soda as much.

    • Jeremy February 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

      I should point out I am a tiny guy to begin with.. so… yea.

      • Sofia - As We Travel February 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

        Haha wow that is quite an achievement! Did you eat?! ;P

  5. Anthony February 24, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    Nice post Sofia but I slightly disagree with skipping breakfast; only because I am totally crap and moody without food! Also bodyweight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, planks etc) are brilliant if you can’t manage to get or afford a gym 🙂

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      Hey Anthony,

      Yeah I used to be that way too, but I didn’t feel well running and working out just after having eaten, so I changed the habit.

      I don’t skip breakfast, I just wait until after I’ve worked out

      Totally agree, push ups and sit ups are so underrated!

  6. Anonymous February 24, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    Some great tips here, I’m brilliant at making excuses for myself! It’s especially hard as we are travelling to new places every other day – but this post may have motivated me to start getting healthier again!!!!

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 26, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Kirsty! Yeah, excuses are evil that way 😉 I’m glad to have motivated you!

  7. Priyank February 24, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Hi Sofia, I find myself eating too much street food and having a uncertain schedule on the road. So this is useful… I like the first tip the most. 🙂

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Hey Priyank,
      I’m glad you liked the post – the first tip is to me the most important one, it makes working out so much easier.

  8. Angela February 25, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    OMG this is a little too hard for me… I admit I am so lazy.. I usually keep fit by walking a lot, whenever it’s possible I try not to take bus or metro and I walk. I’ve acquired a so fast walking pace that people to reach me need to run 😀

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 26, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Hey Angela,
      that’s great, walking is a really good exercise. Thanks for sharing what you do to keep in shape.

  9. Andrea February 25, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    I love Bodyrock and most of the workouts can be done in a hotel room. They are great high intensity workouts which you can do quickly and then get on with your day. I always lose weight when travelling anyway, it’s just so easy to lose track of time when exploring a new place.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 26, 2011 at 10:33 am #

      Yeah she’s great. I agree, most of them can be done in a hotel room which makes it so much easier, and I like how the workouts are short but effective.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  10. CamelsAndChocolate February 27, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Ugh, this is something I have the hardest time with! I live in San Francisco, but travel about six months out of the year internationally, run marathons when I’m on U.S. soil yet never find the time to train while traveling. I’ll have to take your tips to heart when my husband and I head to Hawaii next month, as I just signed up for the Chicago Marathon and can’t be slacking so early in the training game!

  11. enrolled agent course March 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Trying to stay fit while traveling can be quite a challenge. Who would want to get up early the next morning after an exhausting night. But I have to agree, those who can manage to do it certainly has a strong will and determination.

  12. Crazy sexy fun traveler December 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    It is not easy to stay fit. I usually eat very healthy but when I travel, it can be a bit difficult. At least I try to walk a lot 🙂

  13. TheWorldOrBust January 23, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    This is funny, I just wrote a guest post with virtually the same title for WildJunket (hopefully up this week), but all good tips.  I went to school for exercise science so this is one of the only realms I actually know about.

    Getting your workout done early is a great idea!

    A tip I’d like to share is to just walk as much as possible.  You can see more of a city while on foot, save money on public transportation and keep your metabolism going strong throughout the day.