As a fitness enthusiast, I try my best to stay fit when traveling. How is this possible? How can you stay fit and not gain a ton of weight while away? It’s not as hard as you might think! Where there is a will, there is a way!
1. Walking: Sometimes getting in your steps or a workout just means seeing the place you’re staying. A few years ago while in Europe, I was averaging about 20-30,000 steps a day with all of the walking tours we were doing. I didn’t workout one single day on that trip except for a few small hikes and didn’t gain a pound. There are so many options with walking tours these days. Many national parks, state parks, and guidebooks such as Lonely Planet and Moon books have started creating self-guided tours. Comfortable shoes are a must, so make sure to have newer, stable shoes that will keep your feet happy all day. My favorite travel shoes are my Hoka One One Arahi shoes or Hoka One One ATR Challenger shoes. The ATR shoes are nice because they double as a trail shoe if you’re going to be hiking. Double bonus!
2. Hiking: Some of the best things to do in new locations are hikes. As you’re planning your trip, make sure to check out the top hikes near or in your destination. Make sure to read up on regulations, what to bring (you’d be surprised!), and the difficulty of the hike. Sometimes in foreign countries, the level of difficulty can vary in comparison to a hike in the USA. There are even some hikes that could be your all day adventure! Two of my favorite long day hikes include the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite, which actually now requires a permit. There are also urban treks such as the High Line in NYC that make for a lovely city-scape outing.
3. Running: As an avid runner for over 15 years now, I always try to run, even in foreign countries. I am NOT a fan of the treadmill, but choosing a hotel with one is always a perfect option. When overseas, know your location in order to stay safe. Try to run with a local group or in a park or city center. Local groups can be found online with a quick google or Facebook search. There was a running group I found in Poland a few years back. They were a little too fast for me at the time, so I went ahead and followed their running routes instead! Most countries are known for people running near the local river or where there are popular bike paths. Always take pepper spray with you if you can, have your phone on and use a tracking app such as Road ID, run with a friend if possible, and if you don’t feel safe, don’t run.
Another fun running idea is to use a race as a vacation destination. A few years ago I wanted to run my first marathon in Big Sur, California. I took five days off of work and made sure to travel to the Redwoods, Monterey Bay and their aquarium, surfed in Santa Cruz, and then ran the marathon.
4. Yoga: Yoga is popular all over the world, and classes can easily be found with a quick google search or by checking with your lodging accommodation host. I use AirBnB a lot and find that many hosts will leave a yoga mat or video for you as a guest. Online yoga instructors make for an easy and inexpensive option. One of my friends found a SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga class in Breckenridge one summer and loved it.
5. Biking: There are a lot of options in this category. If you’re staying state-side, taking your bike with you makes it easy to have a ride that already fits you and is ready for the trails. In many locations, bike rentals are the hip way to see the city. For example, in Montreal, Canada, the BIXI bikes are located all over the city. You simply pay and ride for as low as a few dollars a day, and you don’t have to return them to the same location. Be sure to know local driving rules AND pack a helmet. Those aren’t provided. These types of bikes are in almost all larger cities in the USA and foreign cities.
6. In the room workouts & apps: On trips where I know that a trail or safety could be compromised, or I know there will be no gym in the hotel, my free go-to app is the Nike Training Club. It has over 100 preloaded workouts, most of which can be done without weights. Keep in mind that there are HUNDREDS of workouts on youtube that you can also use for free. For a few dollars a month, I like the Beachbody app because there are some workouts like the Insanity program that can be done without equipment. The Daily Burn is also a favorite of some of my friends.
7. Eating Healthy: I’ve heard that somewhere around 80-90% of your health is related to diet (and some genetics) more than exercise. On vacation how can you not gain weight and/or stay healthy? Plan ahead, for starters. Make sure to enjoy local cuisine, but like most things, everything can be done in moderation. Sharing plates or sides can also allow for less calories, but all the flavors. When staying someplace for a while or in a foreign country, grocery stores, believe it or not, are an amazing, low-cost option to help you experience all the local fare. If you’re driving, pack your own meals. Many gas stations have microwaves if you need something heated up. Last, make sure to drink a ton of water, especially if you’ve changed several time zones or are in higher elevation.
Thank you for reading, as always! What are your favorite fitness travel tips? I’d love to hear about them!