After months of cancelled travel plans and hanging at home, it’s exciting to see trips reappear on the calendar. As you prepare for your next getaway, you might wonder whether to pack exercise clothes and sneakers alongside your sandals and swimsuits. Will you have time to squeeze in a workout or two? What if you can’t find a gym?
While travel is sometimes a break from the routine of work and everyday life, it doesn’t have to be a break from fitness. Even better, you don’t have to worry about seeking out a gym or waiting in line for the hotel treadmill to stay in shape. There are plenty of ways to stay active while exploring a different city, trying a new sport or exercise, and learning about the local culture and community. You’ll head home with some unique new experiences and, as a bonus, have no trouble getting back into your usual fitness routine.
Whether you prefer indoor workouts or outdoor adventures, staying fit on the road is easier than you might think. Here are a few suggestions for your next trip:
Get to know your destination on foot
A walk or run around the neighborhood can help you get acquainted with a place while getting some exercise in. When you arrive, pull up a map and see what’s nearby. Choose a destination, whether that’s a park, landmark, or sightseeing spot, and lace up your sneakers. As you wind your way around new streets, make note of restaurants, cafes, shops, and other spots to visit during your stay. Walking tours, often available in major cities, can help you learn more about the area’s history and culture. Be sure to ask the guides their favorite spots for a post-tour snack!
Join a local fitness class
It’s common to see people gathering for dance, yoga, and other exercise classes in cities around the world, both outdoors and in. Don’t be afraid to join! It’s a fun way to meet people and experience everyday life in a new part of the world. Even if you don’t speak the language, it’s not hard to pick up dance movements or a yoga flow.
Grab a bike instead of calling a cab
Do you really need to Uber three miles to your destination, or could you bike instead? In cities with bike rentals and/or bike sharing programs, it’s easy and efficient to bike from point to point. Be sure to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.
Try a new adventure
Depending on your destination, you might have a chance to try activities that aren’t as accessible back home. Check out nearby hiking trails for a day of fresh air and nature, or lakes and beaches for swimming, kayaking, surfing, and other water sports. If you’ve never tried rock climbing or white-water rafting, this could be your chance!
Squeeze in an indoor workout
Maybe it’s pouring rain, or maybe you’re tired of being on your feet. When it’s time for a quick indoor workout, there are plenty of high intensity interval training (HIIT) options that will help you break a sweat with little space and equipment. These are pretty easy to find via YouTube and mobile apps; for example, the free Nike Training Club app and Sydney Cummings’ workout videos are both great resources for workouts ranging from five minutes to over an hour.
Pack for fitness
It’s hard to stay fit on the road if you don’t pack the gear you need. Athletic clothes and sneakers are must-haves, of course, but they’re not the only accessories in an active traveler’s suitcase. A travel yoga mat, resistance bands, jump rope, and/or a mini foam roller may help you maintain your exercise routine, and a SPIbelt can hold your phone, cash, and keys while on a run or exploring a new place.