Exercise while traveling presents an interesting dilemma: The angel on your shoulder says, “You’ve been exercising and eating healthy for months now, so don’t let yourself go just because you’re on vacation!” The devil on your other shoulder says, “Are you kidding me? We didn’t come to the Czech Republic to eat carrots. Keg stand!”
Sure, traveling can be all about new experiences, exploring strange cultures, and meeting new people, but these same activities are also a perfect time to exercise.
Explore on Foot
Bus tours are tempting, but they don’t give you a real sense of the city as everything goes rushing past. I recommend sightseeing while jogging or walking.
Start your day with a stretch and then head off on foot to explore the city or town that you’re visiting. Take your time, enjoy the scenery, and be sure to stay hydrated as you take in the surroundings. Jogging and walking are classic cardio workouts, and you’d be surprised how many calories you’ll burn while sightseeing on foot.
Enjoy a Bike Tour of the City
If walking isn’t your thing, why not rent a bike for the day? You’ll cover more ground than you would by walking, and you’ll give your legs a workout while you burn plenty of calories. Biking gives you a unique opportunity to access bike-only trails, which might lead to some incredible views.
Ditch City Life and Go Hiking
A few days in the big city can quickly become overwhelming. If you’re in a city where horns are blaring and the air quality is poor, your body will be begging for respite. A great way to exercise, recharge, and see some breathtaking sights is to go hiking. Spend a day in the mountains, and leave your phone in your bag as you challenge yourself with a cardiovascular workout that has a reward at the top: the view.
Go for a Swim
Did you know that swimming is an ideal, full-body resistance and cardio workout? Traveling offers plenty of opportunities to swim. Staying at a hotel? Do a few laps in the pool. Are you near a beach? Jump in the ocean and swim the coastline.
If you’ll be traveling through islandic countries, such as the Philippines, add island hopping to your list of things to do. The concept is simple: Start at one island, enjoy some coconut water, get plenty of sun, and then swim to the next island.
Suit Up and Hit the Slopes
There are plenty of countries that offer world-renowned skiing and snowboarding. Switzerland, Austria, and Italy rank as some of the most ski-friendly countries around the globe. Skiing and snowboarding are high-rush sports that are ideal for burning extra calories and using muscles you never knew you had.
Get Active with a Water Sport
Interested in doing more with water than sipping cocktails nearby? Water sports allow you to exercise while traveling.
Pictures make it look easy, but scuba diving while carrying a fifty-pound oxygen tank will be a welcome workout for the travel fitness enthusiast. Scuba diving hot spots include the Great Blue Hole in Belize and Bay Islands in Honduras.
Do you feel comfortable on a board? Surfing is an intense full-body workout that is also a satisfying experience once you catch a wave. Kite surfing demands core strength and coordination. Check out Nicaragua, Indonesia, and Australia for world-class waves.
White-water rafting is for the thrill seeker who wants an adrenaline spike, and sea kayaking is for the fitness junkie looking to appreciate the views, but both will test core stability and back strength.
Exercise for Bad Weather and Business Trips
Sometimes the climate or conditions don’t lend themselves to walking, hiking, or water sports. Maybe you’re traveling for business and you can’t get away for these types of activities. Don’t worry, you can still exercise while traveling by doing the following:
Pack: Bring resistance bands. Portable, durable, and convenient, resistance bands allow you to perform all of the same exercises you can do with dumbbells.
Place: Find a convenient place to work out, such as the common area in your hostel, the space in your hotel room, or a nearby gym.
Schedule: Use a daily planner app to block off ten to thirty minutes during each day of your trip for exercise. It’s better to start small and be consistent. Wake up, exercise, and the rest of the day can be yours.
Workout: I recommend a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout because it has been shown to provide better fat burning and muscle building results compared to the traditional long-duration, low-intensity workout. Most importantly, it ensures more time for sightseeing. If you’re stuck indoors, try my hotel room workout. If the weather permits, these same exercises can be done outdoors in a nearby park.
Do You Exercise While Traveling?
Which of your favorite travel activities count as exercise? What has been your favorite destination for exercise while traveling? Have you ever exercised in your hostel or hotel room? Let me know in the comments below.