Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit.
I have a strict Carry-On-Only-Unless-Supremely-Necessary Rule, but I always pack my gym clothes. (Athletic clothes are supremely smushable, and I recommend wearing your sneakers on the plane.)
Next week I am heading to Central America to visit my friend Kelly who moved to Panama City for work. Getting in a workout while living your regular old busy life is hard enough. It’s even tougher when you’re out of your element and so far away from your full selection of Lululemon headbands. But as everyone’s Pinterest board seems to quote: “If its important, you’ll find a way.”
Personally, I feel better when I sweat: happier, calmer, you know, just more amazing. I don’t want to slack off and run low on endorphins just because I’m away from home. (And hotel rooms sort of freak me out anyway – so many closets to open! and beds to peek under! It’s a relentless search to check for monsters, intruders and clandestine ninjas. Hey, we all have our shit. So as you can see, I can use all the endorphins I can get.) More widely applicable, coming back home out of shape stinks.
So I’ve amassed my own 13 key ways to stay active and to fit in fitness while traveling:
- Use the hotel gym and/or pool. Duh.
- Buy your favorite studio’s DVD (Little known fact: Physique, PureBarre, Exhale Core Fusion all make these!)
- Try a free workout from YouTube (like FitnessBlender or any of these).
- Go for a run. Ask the front desk at your hotel (or a local) where to go or just get lost (but bring cash for a cab ride back). If you have a GPS watch, bring it. If you’re traveling abroad its often too expensive to use an iPhone app like RunKeeper (though I love RunKeeper) to measure your run, so the GPS watch will come in handy. Pro Tip: Westin Hotels provide complimentary rental sneakers and running maps to guests.
- Rent a bike. Bike rentals are everywhere now! I was in Vienna last month, and they had free bike rental. What’s the conversion rate on 0 Euros? So yea, put this into your slowly-being-legalized pipe and smoke it: Europe not only provides free healthcare but free bike rentals. How patriotic are you feeling right now, my fellow Americans?
- Pack exercise bands (like these for less than $4 ). They take up no room in your suitcase and can add significant extra resistance to your bodyweight workout. I used them in Tanzania and I was pleased to have them with me.
- Take a local class. Start with Google Maps and see what’s nearby. Then use sites like Yelp and Rate Your Burn, to find out what the people are into. When I traveled frequently to Boulder, Colorado for work and I found a yoga studio near my hotel. Especially when you’re traveling alone, taking a class with other people (the feeling of a group activity) can make your solo dinner feel less lonely. You might even make a friend (though I didn’t).
- Walk everywhere. If you’re traveling for pleasure and not for work, your day is your own. Explore on foot and keep your metabolism working.
- Chair workouts. Most hotel rooms at least have a chair, try this routine of exercises where the only prop needed is (you guessed it) a chair.
- Pack a jump rope. Like the bands, this takes up a negligible amount of space but can provide a great cardio workout in a small hotel room or in a park. View Post