Call it “vacation syndrome”- you have just arrived in a new country where there are sights to see, tastes to try, new adventures to experience. You don’t know where the local gym is, and your usual routine is interrupted by the novelty and excitement of being in this foreign place. So your usual exercise routine slides a little. And then a lot. And before you know it, by the time you get back home you have to scramble to pick back up whatever healthy workout habits you had established before you left to go traveling.
That is a common story for travelers, whether you are traveling occasionally for business or pleasure, or living life as a digital nomad. But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to take advantage of your surroundings to get in great exercise while traveling. Let’s take a look at how.
Pack For Your Workout
One way to ensure that you are ready for exercise while traveling is to prepare before you leave home. Packing for your workout doesn’t have to mean lugging along a ton of additional gear (you are obviously not bringing your weights and treadmill along with you), but could mean throwing in a few travel-specific additional items that can help make a big difference as you pack.
Include a pair of good sturdy shoes that are comfortable for hiking, walking, or running. Pack multipurpose clothing items that can work for workouts or days spent sightseeing out on the town. Leggings and tank tops can be easily transformed into a stylish outfit with the addition of layers, then stripped back down to a great workout outfit.
Consider buying a travel yoga or exercise mat- these thinner mats fold or roll up to be extremely small, so you can conveniently fit them into your suitcase. An exercise mat is a handy thing to have while you travel; it will allow you to set up your workout station wherever you are. So you can do some sun salutations on the top of a mountain, or challenge yourself with sit-ups and push-ups on the beach.
A few other helpful items you may want to pack include:
- Hand grips
- Your smartphone or tablet
- A jump rope
- Resistance Tubing
- A swimsuit
If you already have these items ready and waiting to be used in your suitcase, then getting into your workout while traveling will be even easier- without any need to go searching for the nearest gym.
Do An Online Workout
No matter where you are, you can always get in a guided workout by using an online program. Checking in with your usual online fitness routine can help you stay grounded as you travel, and make sure your workout plan is on track. There are plenty of online fitness classes to choose from, so consider what your top priorities are.
If you are going to be traveling in a place with limited internet access, you may want to look for an online fitness class that allows you to download videos ahead of time. That way you can tune in and follow along even in the depths of the jungle, or wherever you may be exploring.
Plan A Social Workout
Sometimes working out by yourself can be a drag. Maybe you need the motivation of exercising alongside other people, whether that is virtually or in person. If that is the case, you can look for group activities on sites like Meetup or even Facebook.
Yoga sessions outdoors, group hikes, and even dance clubs are all great ways to get out there, meet new people, and get active. Plenty of hostels offer workouts like rooftop exercise or yoga sessions, where you can mingle with other travelers while taking in the surrounding environment.
Check Out Your Surroundings
One of the best ways to ensure that you are getting in a great workout while traveling is to make it feel like an adventure. There are so many fun activities to try as you explore a new place and many of them will help you get in a good workout without even noticing that you are exercising. Here are a few:
Go For A Hike:
Discover the terrain that you are visiting by taking a long hike in the mountains. Challenge yourself to reach a particular vista and watch as the lay of the land spreads out way down beneath you. Bring a friend along and you can make it a race to reach the peak!
Rent a bicycle and explore the surrounding landscape- whether that is an urban environment, a beach path, or a riverside excursion. You will have your muscles working and keeping you fit as you take in the sights and sounds to be experienced.
Dance Dance Dance:
Love hitting the club to go dancing? Taking a dance class, or simply sweating it all out at a dance party, is also a great form of exercise.
Swim, Surf, Snorkel, Dive:
If you are staying near a river, lake, sea, or ocean, then checking out the water sports and activities available is a must. Learning how to surf not only keeps your body active but also allows you to practice a new skill. Swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving are all also activities that will naturally keep you feeling fit and strong as your muscles keep working to help you dive down deep and stay afloat. Try signing up for a free diving class, then practice on your own- you will be so enthralled with the beauty of witnessing the depths of the sea around you that you may not even remember that you are getting in a workout at the same time.
Walking is the best way to get around when you travel. Not only will you be able to people watch, learn more about the place you are in, and open yourself up to the beauty of what surrounds you, but you will also be getting exercise as you get from place to place. Where possible, always opt for a walk or bicycle ride instead of the subway, bus, or taxi. Walking equals sightseeing, so look out for surprising features hidden in the landscape as you go.
Whether you are setting aside time (and part of your budget) to go specifically towards exercising while you travel, following along with an online course in your new surroundings, or getting active out in the local environment, there are plenty of ways to keep up your workout routine as you travel.
Take advantage of where you are to make your program more exciting, enticing, and enjoyable. Use working out as an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, or see new sights. Getting active is a great way to explore the world, which is really what traveling is all about in the end.