Travel Fitness: How to stay fit while traveling

by Jul 11, 2019Health

Traveling for business or pleasure can play havoc with even the best laid travel fitness plans. Let’s face it, travel is not routine (at least for most of us) so of course the pursuit of fitness while traveling isn’t either? When you travel, little is familiar: Surroundings are different, sleep schedules disrupted, eating not the norm, travel delays happen, and all these changes to life’s once familiar paths can become very exhausting or just discombulating.

A little planning plus packing a few fitness essentials, combined with a suitcase full of flexibility, is the way to go. Fitting in fitness will also keep up your energy for all those things you want to do while traveling — discovering new sites, people, foods, cultures and experiences. And making new friends.

Here are a few tips that will get you started staying fit while traveling:

  • Keeping fit while traveling starts with planning and packing.
  • Travel, by its very nature, often means you are sitting for very long periods of time to actually arrive. This is not so great for overall well-being. Be sure you are wearing comfortable, walkable shoes when you travel by plane, train, boat or automobile. Stroll up and down airplane or train aisles. Walk the airport terminals between flights. If you are driving, take frequent stops and get out of the car to walk around.
  • If you know you’re going to have a long layover at an airport, check to see if the airport has a gym and pack some workout gear in your carryon. (Some airport gyms also rent gear.)
  • The minute you arrive — especially after a long flight — resist the temptation to flop into bed. Even a brief walk or run or a short session in the fitness center will help to reduce stress, increase your body’s overall energy level, and help you settle in. (Granted, if you arrive in the middle of the night, best to get a good night’s sleep and get a little exercise the next morning.)
  • At your hotel, get creative. More hotels, thankfully, are putting in more of an effort to help guests get creative with fitness. Many loan bikes and helmets for free. Others provide yoga mats and access to fitness apps while there.
  • No matter what, though, it is up to you to motivate yourself. And realize even if the hotel doesn’t have a decent fitness facility, or you simply don’t have the time, you can work out quickly and efficiently in your room, or even the hallway or stairwell (get ready for weird looks and don’t disturb other guests, please). It doesn’t take much space to do lunges, pushups, squats, or stretching exercises. We have an excellent article with workout tips and suggestions to help you with maintaining your travel fitness.

Remember, too, that you don’t need to do as much as you might do normally to maintain fitness (see article, below). In fact, good brisk walking for sightseeing can help you not moan at weight gain or fitness loss when you are back home.

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