With my face pressed against the glass, I watched from the bus window as the locals of Arequipa passed by with their food carts, practiced their dance routines, and played games of chess in the street. The tour guide recited the same speech they had given a thousand times before with the enthusiasm to match. I felt trapped. I wanted to be a part of the action, not watching comfortably like a man on safari.
It was after this bus tour that I searched for alternative ways to see a city, and that’s when I discovered sightseeing while jogging.
What is Sightseeing While Jogging?
Sightseeing while jogging, also known as sight jogging, is not your typical guided tour with a red flag to follow. It’s a hands-on tour of a city where you comfortably jog to landmarks, restaurants, and picture-taking opportunities.
The tour is led by a local of the city; someone who knows the ins and outs of the historical landmarks as well as the city’s untold stories. Your guide will explain the history of a landmark, but it’s similar to a friendly conversation, not having facts thrown at you through a megaphone.
You don’t need to be a marathon runner to be able to go sightseeing while jogging. Tours are held at an appropriate pace for the group with a focus on exploration, not setting a new race pace. This makes it ideal for those who want to be active, maintain an exercise program, or try something different than a standard bus tour.
Benefits of Sightseeing While Jogging
Sightseeing while jogging offers several benefits that can improve your health, mood, and social life.
- Health and Fitness: As a form of cardiovascular exercise, sightseeing while jogging can increase fat burning, support endurance, and lower your risk of death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease.
- Better Mood: You’ll also notice that you’re in a better mood as outdoors physical activity, especially running, has been shown to alleviate depression and increase happiness.
- Freedom to Explore: Jogging while sightseeing puts you in the action of the city. Surrounded by markets, people, and landmarks, you’ll be able to explore and appreciate a new place. You won’t just pass by on a bus.
- Get Social, Make Friends: Being in a good mood around like-minded travelers sets the stage to make lifelong friends or short-term travel buddies. Since sightseeing while jogging is a unique way to see a new city, it’s going to attract people who you might already have a lot in common with.
How Does Sightseeing while Jogging Work?
There are two ways that sightseeing while jogging can happen: You can join a guided tour or create your own.
Guided Tour: Meeting your group in a central location, you will perform a light warm-up and stretching session, then off you go. Your guide might point out little things while jogging, but longer chats are reserved for a stopping point. If you see something you want to photograph, you can, since it will be easy to catch up to the group.
Create Your Own: Using an online map and traveler recommendations, you can map out your own sight jogging path. I would recommend downloading pages from websites that give you more information about a landmark. Then when you arrive at that place, you can sit down, read up, and take pictures. Create a sight jogging path abroad or in your own city.
Sightseeing While Jogging vs. Bus Tours
When available and appropriate, I prefer sightseeing while jogging to a bus tour; however, there are times when I recommend the comfort and safety of a bus tour:
- Weather: When you have a perfect day of weather, nothing beats sightseeing while jogging. You’re soaking up sunshine and getting plenty of Vitamin D, which has been shown to significantly improve your mood. If the sky is dark and it’s raining, go with the bus tour.
- Cost: If you’re a budget traveler, sightseeing while jogging is going to be the cheaper option as most tours are based on donations or tips.
- Health and Safety: I believe bus tours are essential when you’re visiting cities with notorious criminal activity against tourists. Also, if you’re in a city where the pollution and smog levels are out of control, spare your lungs and get on the bus.
Have You Tried Sightseeing While Jogging?
What was the experience you had when sightseeing while jogging? Do you prefer it to bus tours? Where would you love to go sight jogging? Let me know in the comments below.