I travel a lot for work, which I really enjoy. The only downfall of traveling a lot, besides not seeing my kids for several days, is the lack of routine that comes with traveling. It can be hard to eat right and exercise while on the road, but it is not impossible. Recently, I was in DC for a week, and I actually stuck to my diet, lost a couple pounds and still managed to exercise every day.
So how can you fit in exercise when you travel? There are lots of ways, you just need to get creative. Here are my 7 tips for how to stay fit and exercise when you travel.
1. Explore the City, Walk, and Set Steps Goals
When I travel to big cities with robust public transportation options, I end up walking a ton and racking up my steps. Last summer when I was in London and Paris, I reached close to 20,000 steps every day, just simply by walking and riding public transportation. If you’re going to a city where walking to meetings or events is easy, keep track of your steps and you’ll quickly learn just how much exercise you can get without even thinking about it. If you’re the competitive type, why not set step goals to try to do better than the day before?
If you’re not in a big city, you can still rack up a lot of steps simply by walking around the hotel complex, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If you’re short on the recommended 10,000 steps for the day, simply walk up and down the stairs. You’ll burn major calories, get your steps, and build muscle, as climbing stairs is a really great lower body exercise.
2. Bring Resistance Bands
If you like to lift weights, you can still fit in lifting when you travel without having to lug dumbbells. Invest in some inexpensive and easy-to-pack resistance bands. There are lots of easy activities you can do with resistance bands right in your hotel room. Wrap them around your ankles and walk sideways, stand on the end and curl your arms upward to get a good bicep workout. Close the band in the bathroom door, sit on the ground and use them to row. Here are 6 simple resistance band activities you can try.
3. Use the Hotel Gym
A lot of hotels have gyms you can use. They are usually very small and pretty basic, but they usually have a treadmill, a stationary bike, and maybe even a stair climber or elliptical machine. Generally, they will have some free weights and/or a weight lifting machine so you can get a basic workout with very little effort. I personally don’t like to use hotel gyms very often because they tend to be so small, and I prefer to go outdoors to get my exercise so I can explore the surroundings while also getting in my workout.
4. Do Body Weight Exercises
You can use your own body weight to torch mega calories and use nearly every muscle in your body. If you follow this 15-minute workout, the authors claim you will hit 300 muscles doing only three moves!
5. Watch YouTube Videos
If you don’t mind working out in your hotel room, you can do nearly any type of exercise class you want simply by watching YouTube videos. Want to take a yoga class? Check out the mega-popular Blogilates website or YouTube channel. Want a cardio challenge with some weights built in? Check out the BeFit channel that has everything you can imagine with famous trainers like Gillian Michaels.
6. Download a Workout App on Your Smart Phone
If you’d rather not use YouTube, another techie option is to find a health or fitness app on your smartphone you would enjoy using while on the road. I personally use LoseIt to track my calories and it automatically uploads my steps to the exercise portion of the app. I also use the Apple Health app to track my steps for the day. I haven’t used other fitness apps, but here is a list of the top 25 fitness apps for 2016 according to PC mag.
7. Scope Out Gym or Fitness Classes Near Your Hotel
If you really enjoy going to a gym or attending in-person fitness classes, you can do some research in advance to see if there is a gym or studio nearby where you are staying. One of my friends who is really into Pure Barre always attends classes while she’s traveling. She finds it a fun way to check out the local community and also feel a sense of comfort to do her favorite exercise while on the road. Most gyms will let you pay-per-day or even pay for a weekly membership, should you need it.
Still looking for more ideas? I found this article super helpful.
How do you stay fit and exercise when you travel?