25 Insanely Effective Tips for Staying Fit While Traveling
If you travel a lot, you already know that staying fit can be a struggle. Here's the best list of tips to help you stay in shape when you're on the road.
It's tough to stay fit while traveling.
It doesn't matter what kind of fitness routine you have at home. When you're on the road, everything is up in the air. Your schedule is disrupted. The majority of food options are unhealthy. If your hotel has a gym it's probably not a good one.
Fear not, road warriors.
If you learn to recognize these obstacles you can actually return from your next trip in better shape than when you left.
Follow these tips to maximize your travel time to not only stay on track to meet your fitness goals but to exceed them.
Tips for Staying Fit While Traveling
Use your bag or suitcase for weight.
Run hotel hallway or stair sprints.
Use your bodyweight.
Try gymnastics movements.
Do mobility work.
Pack a jump rope.
Find a place to do pull-ups.
Ask about partnerships between your hotel and local gyms.
Go for a long run as soon as you arrive at your destination.
Always have a water bottle with you.
Be an early riser.
Wear gym clothes while you travel.
Use apps for health and fitness.
Pack healthy travel snacks.
Try a fitness challenge.
Keep it simple.
Do not go more than a few days without exercise or activity.
Consider working out in the airport.
You don't need a lot of time for a good workout.
Walk and take the stairs.
Work out in your hotel room.
Take your fitness outdoors.
Improvise and adapt.
We made an infographic of these 25 tips, which you can get here.
1. Plan ahead.
Before your trip, map out where you will be and identify the best places to workout and where to get good nutritional foods. Add workouts to your calendar in advance and pack appropriately.
2. Stay active.
Long flights, meetings and conferences will have you sitting too much. Counter this by standing or taking a walk whenever possible. Just do something everyday. Work up a sweat. Do a set of burpees when you wake up or before every meal. Start small and build on it.
3. Use your bag or suitcase for weight.
A suitcase is all the extra weight you need to make exercises more challenging on the road. You can get creative here, depending on what type of bag you have. Try one arm rows and overhead presses with your bag. The contents inside may shift, providing an additional benefit as your body works harder to maintain the balance.
4. Run hotel hallway or stair sprints.
Running sprints are one of the most effective things you can do for burning fat and they require less time and space than distance running. Find a good hallway in your hotel that allows you to sprint at least 20 yards. Stairs are a great option for an advanced sprint session.
5. Use your bodyweight.
All you need is your body to get a great workout. Bodyweight exercises require no machinery or equipment and are a simple, effective way to develop your strength, stability and flexibility. Use progressions if you're already good at push-ups, squats and burpees. Try one-arm push-ups, pistol squats and one-leg burpees for extra difficulty.
6. Try gymnastics movements.
Being on the road is a great time to teach yourself a few new bodyweight moves to add to your workouts. Most travel workouts consist of the basics like push-ups, squats and burpees. Once you're really good at these, it's time to add some variation and try some advanced moves. Try L-sits, planches and handstands. These movements are incredibly difficult and require little space and no equipment.
7. Do mobility work.
Use a lacrosse ball for self-massage and practice movements like wall slides, deep squat holds and hip flexor stretches. This will decrease your likelihood of injury and will improve your posture and mechanics. MobilityWOD and ROMWOD are great resources for travelers looking to optimize their fitness performance and prevent injuries.
8. Pack a jump rope.
A jump rope is one of the greatest workout tools you can take anywhere. It's light but very effective. You might not have enough room to use a jump rope in a hotel room but you can take it to a hotel gym or outside for a great workout.
9. Find a place to do pull-ups.
Pull-ups are hands down one of the best exercises for developing your overall fitness. As a compound movement that works many muscle groups, pull-ups should be included in any fitness program. Try a nearby park, a playground or a tree limb.
10. Ask about partnerships between your hotel and local gyms.
Hotel gyms are often inadequate for anyone serious about their fitness. Ask the front desk at your hotel if they have a partnership with any local gyms.
11. Go for a long run as soon as you arrive at your destination.
When traveling to a new city, the first thing you should do when you arrive is to go for a long run. You get to explore your new surroundings and knock out your exercise for the day all in one shot.
12. Always have a water bottle with you.
Water should be your drink of choice anytime you're thirsty. By drinking more water instead of sugar-filled drinks, you will reduce your intake of empty-calories dramatically. Always keep a water bottle with you while you travel.
13. Be an early riser.
Waking up early and getting in some exercise first thing will give you a strong start to your day. You'll have more energy and will have the mental victory of having already completed your workout for the day.
14. Wear gym clothes while you travel.
Not only will gym clothes make you more comfortable while traveling but you won't have to change if you decide to workout.
15. Use apps for health and fitness.
There are some great apps that you can use to track your nutrition, fitness progress and for bodyweight workouts. With the right apps, you'll have incredible resources on your phone and with you at all times.
16. Pack healthy travel snacks.
Packing healthy snacks will help you avoid making bad food decisions while you travel. It's half the battle in staying fit while traveling.
Trail mix, dried fruit and protein bars are great choices. For protein bars, try Quest Bars, RxBar, Exo Cricket Flour Bars, and MacroBars. All four have only quality ingredients in them and are relatively cheap.
17. Try a fitness challenge.
Fitness challenges are a great way to stick to your fitness goals and being on the road is a great time to challenge yourself.
18. Keep it simple.
Don't overcomplicate fitness when you're on the road or ever for that matter. Devote a few minutes everyday to working up a sweat and always focus on getting fitter, healthier and stronger.
19. Do not go more than a few days without exercise or activity.
Never go more than a few days in a row without working out. This will help to keep you accountable, especially when you feel like you have no time to exercise.
20. Consider working out in the airport.
There are actually a few ways to workout in the airport. Some airports now have gyms and yoga rooms for travelers. You can take a walk around in the terminal. Go up and down the stairs a few times. My personal favorite is to do a bodyweight workout in the terminal. Lounges are great but waiting areas work too. Just find some space.
21. You don't need a lot of time for a good workout.
A good workout does not require as much time as you might think. In fact, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and bodyweight circuit workouts are highly effective and can be completed in as little as ten minutes.
22. Walk and take the stairs.
Little decisions that we make on a daily basis, such as choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator have a cumulative effect on our health and fitness. Plus I don't completely trust elevators. Choose wisely.
23. Workout in your hotel room.
If you use your own bodyweight and exercise right in your hotel room, you eliminate many of the major problems you'll encounter when trying to stay fit on the road. You don't need any equipment or a lot of time and you don't have to leave your room. It doesn't get any better than that.
24. Take your fitness outdoors.
There might be no better place to exercise than the outdoors. Find a park or a playground and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Jump rope, do some sprints or knock out sets of push-ups, squats and burpees.
25. Improvise and adapt.
Always be ready to improvise and adapt to what you have around you. If want to get stronger and there's no gym, try a bodyweight workout. If you want to run but there's no treadmill, go for a run outside. Be flexible.
The Bottom Line
Remember that with each workout you do, you're becoming a healthier person. You're extending your longevity and improving your quality of life. It's worth the the small amount of time you put in everyday while traveling. Don't put your health on hold while you travel.