10 easy ways to stay in shape while traveling
When you’re out and about flitting from tourist attraction to subway station to lunch, it’s hard to keep up with your diet and exercise regimen.
Even though you’re out walking all day, and it may seem like you’re getting a lot of exercise, you’re probably also eating a lot of high-calorie and fatty foods that pretty much negate all the good you’re doing with the walking, hiking and stair-climbing.
Those extra pieces of cake and pie for dessert aren’t helping either. Contrary to popular belief, calories do count on vacation, as much as you wish they didn’t. So, if you want to stay on track and earn those meals, you might want to add additional exercise to your vacation itinerary:
I love to be outdoors when I travel. It’s the best way to see your destination, so why not get out a little more and burn extra calories?
- Go running – You’re going to bring along a pair of walking shoes anyway, so why not make them running shoes that are also good for walking. If you run at home, then keep your routine set and get up early to run around the block or the hotel grounds.
- Jump rope – This is an easily packable item and gets you great exercise anywhere you have some extra room. Not just little kids love to jump rope. It’s fun and helps you tone and keep in shape. Make sure you buy a nicely weighted one that will stand up to the rigors of the road
Make your lodging your gym
You walked all day yesterday, but you got up early in order to watch the news or eat breakfast in your room. As much as you know you should put on your workout clothes and hit the gym, the thought of looking presentable just doesn’t sound appealing. You aren’t alone. While you’re waiting for your bagel to toast or you’re listening to the weather report, you can take advantage of the floor space in your room to get in a quick workout.
- Chair crunches – If you have a chair, you have a low-impact gym. Work your abs by sitting on the edge and pull your legs up or pump your legs as if you are riding a bicycle.
- Do lunges – You’ll feel a lot less awkward doing them in the privacy of your room than out in public, too.
- Calf raises – Do these anywhere, like while you are brushing your teeth, making oatmeal or waiting in line to get into the Louvre (for bonus exercise points).
- Resist – Pack a resistance band (or set) in your carry-on and do more strenuous workouts in the time you have available. There are also fancy loop bands you can use to strengthen your legs/thighs.
- Boxing – You don’t have to bring along full gear and a punching bag, but a pair of weighted gloves is a fabulous way to tone your arms and legs. Bring along a DVD to pop into your laptop or just search for a few good training videos on YouTube.
Use what’s available at your accommodation
Your hotel or rental property might have some useful ways to help you work out. If the weather cooperates enough to be outside, then you’re in luck.
- Go for a swim – Almost all hotels have a pool. Pack your swimsuit and you can get in some laps. If a fancy indoor pool is available, then you can swim if the weather is uncooperative.
- Use the stairs – Walk or run up the stairs to your room and you’ll start to feel the burn. Generally, the stairwell is pretty private, so you also won’t be disturbing others if you are up early or late doing this.
- Go for a run – Not close to a park or afraid to go out running in unfamiliar terrain? Strap on your running shoes and do laps around the hotel. Chances are it is surrounded by a parking lot and/or sidewalks that make it easy to get your strides in.
Keeping up with an exercise routine when you travel will keep you motivated to continue doing it at home, even if it takes you a few days to get back into your healthy eating habits. You’ll feel better about yourself and might even add to your regular workouts.
A self-proclaimed budget travel enthusiast, Shereenspends her days looking for fantastic travel bargains, watching great (and sometimes really bad) movies with her husband, planning theme parties and preparing for the zombie apocalypse. For years she has been planning her own vacations using the Internet to extend her limited budget as far as possible and shares the tips and tricks she has learned to help others get the most out of their travel dollars on her blog Shereen Travels Cheap.