Traveling and Exercise: Tips from a Personal Trainer

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

Jim Rohn

I used to be one of those people who traveled and pretended like the calories didn’t count with whatever I was eating and completely let any remnant of a thought about exercising fly out the window when I was on vacation or traveling in general. Now, I’m one of those people who bring mini bands in my carry on, track my water intake, and opt to walk or bike everywhere.

I went from being around 160lbs and hating exercise to 122lbs and prepping for a bikini contest. Along my 10-year journey I’ve become a Zumba Instructor, BodyStep Instructor, BodyPump Instructor, personal trainer, and a SCUBA dive master. Fitness is 1,000,000% a part of my life and that includes when I travel.

Vacation should be a time where you relax and become your happiest and best self because you don’t have any stress or responsibilities. Incorporating just a little bit of exercise seamlessly into your travel plans doesn’t have to be hard or interrupt any plans. Here are just a few tips to make it easier and keep you healthy while you travel. Also, my inbox is always open if you have questions about fitness or travel and don’t feel comfortable asking in the comments below!

Start Exercising Before Your Vacation

Getting into a routine is one of the most helpful ways to stay physically fit. Your routine might not look the same while you’re on vacation, and that’s okay. The best way to make lasting change and maintain your fitness while on vacation is to get into the habit of exercising a few days a week before you leave for vacation. Once the habit is established and you actively make the time to workout, you’ll be able to apply the same tactics while on vacation in a modified way.

Beat Boredom in the Airport

Ever get to the airport, find your terminal and gate, then sit down to read or play a game? Set a step goal for yourself and try to reach it while you’re waiting for your flight. You’ll be sitting during your flight, so why not get a few steps in, explore what the airport has to offer, and begin your vacation with a healthy boost?

Opt for a Walking/Biking Tour

If you normally take a bus tour, why not also find a walking tour or a bike tour? You can do both or one or the other. If the bus is more your style, try a hop on/hop off bus. It’s a great way to get from one location to the other and it allows you to explore on foot instead of sitting all day.

Park Farther Away than You Need To

What about road trips or places where walking around just isn’t feasible? If you’re driving most places, try to park 10-15 spaces back from where you normally would park. You’ll get extra exercise in by the extra walk, plus it won’t take any more than a minute or two of extra time out of your schedule.

Take the Stairs

No one ever got stuck on a staircase. Elevators can’t say the same. Just like walking, taking the stairs instead of standing still will give you lots of benefits. You’ll get great lower body work, maybe raise your heart rate a little, and get the booty gains by working your glutes and hamstrings.

Find and Take a Local Group Fitness Class

Most destinations have group fitness classes. They might be part of the resort or at a local gym. Take the time to research before your trip if you love the community feel of group fitness classes. It’s a quick way to get a great workout in without feeling like you’re wasting a vacation day. Most classes last 30 minutes or an hour and are available at most times of the day. Find one that looks fun for you and go for it!

Wake Up Early to Work Out

If you’re following a workout plan at home and really want to keep your routine without interrupting an itinerary, waking up early is your best option. You’ll most likely have the workout area to yourself and you’ll have your workout accomplished by the time everyone else is ready for breakfast. It keeps you safely in the routine you’ve established and leaves you feeling ready and energized for the day ahead.

Choose an Adventurous Activity

Kayaking, high ropes courses, hiking, or learning to surf are fun examples of ways you can get some exercise during your travels that are disguised as fun adventures. If you love adventure travel, you’re ahead of the game. Chances are you already move around a lot. Vacation is all about adding fun and trying new things, so why not choose something that gets you moving more than usual!?

Make a Plan and Stick To It

Whatever option(s) you choose, make a detailed plan. Talk to the people you’re traveling with to help them understand why you’re taking the time to exercise and to encourage them to support you. The more detailed your plan is, the better you’ll be able to follow it. Make a list of how and when you want to workout, give yourself space to skip a day or two, and stick to your plan as best as possible.

The fact that you’re making any time at all to exercise while traveling is only going to help set you up for success on vacation and when you return home. Stay tuned for a future post about healthy eating for your travels!

Published by Emma Browning

Hey everyone, my name is Emma Browning. Thanks for stopping by. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance woman since I basically do a little bit of everything. Here's a few of my jobs/hobbies in case you're curious: Group Fitness Instructor (Zumba, BodyStep and BodyPump), small business owner (string art& travel photography), archaeologist/anthropologist, actress, SCUBA dive master, reading addict, dog mom, cellist, and of course travel enthusiast. I've traveled to over 21 countries and speak French fluently and am learning Spanish. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do whether it be a day trip with my dog or a massive international adventure. I created this blog to help others see the world vicariously through my wanderings and also to give useful tips and essential information that will hopefully inspire more people to travel. Hopefully you have as much fun reading these posts and get a lot of useful information from them!

2 thoughts on “Traveling and Exercise: Tips from a Personal Trainer

  1. All great ideas. We think an early morning run is the best way to see a new travel destination, especially a foreign city. Your airport paragraph got me thinking: wouldn’t it be great if airports added exercise bikes at each gate. It’s never going to happen, but wouldn’t it be great?

    1. I might have an excitement attack if they added exercise bikes anywhere in an airport. I would use them every time, especially if there’s a possibility of a shower nearby.

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