Traveling the world as a lifestyle, or even just taking a vacation for a few weeks, are both amazing opportunities for exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning new things. Yea, yea, yea. Tell us something we don’t already know, right? Well, traveling for an extended period of time is not all sugar coated rainbows and dancing leprechauns.
Sometimes, what’s waiting for you at the end of the rainbow is not a pot of gold but a pot belly that strains out from under your new wardrobe of touristy Hawaiian shirts. What? You aren’t one of THOSE people? OK, that’s a relief but either way… it’s not always easy to fit in a workout when traveling but there is no reason why we can’t find some creative ways to avoid packing on the pounds while traveling. Here are 6 different ideas for working in some quick yet effective workouts while traveling.
#1 Skip the Weights
Think that you need a weight room full of barbells, dumbbells, and weight plates to get a great workout? Think again. Sure, if you are training to be an Olympic power lifter or to get extremely huge and muscular then yeah, you need some weights but even those guys can benefit from a period of time doing body weight only exercises. There are lots of no weights workouts that you can do using the classics like push-ups, crunches, planks, squats, lunges, etc. along with their many, many variations. If you don’t think that something as simple as a push-up can bring the pain then you obviously haven’t tried all of the 71 different push-up variations from this list of exercises. Have fun!
#2 Wear a Pedometer
If you have tons of new places to explore and no time to squeeze in a workout then try out wearing a pedometer. Set some daily mileage goals for yourself and do whatever it takes to hit those goals (be prepared to maybe have to skip a few cab rides).
#3 Visit a New Gym
A great way to meet people in a foreign country/new locale is to work out with them. When I taught English in China for 3 weeks I made a point of working out a university weight room. Getting a good workout in while meeting some new people from a different country is a win-win.
#4 Play a Sport
Another great way to meet people in a new place, that may even be better than doing a simple workout in a new gym, is to play a sport with them. Try a new sport that you have never played before if you are really feeling up for an adventure or play it safe and play a sport that you have some basic skill at.
#5 Challenge Yourself
Set an exercise challenge for yourself that forces you to get out of your comfort zone and explore your new locale. Hike a mountain, swim across a river, wrestle a bear – well, choose wisely but just do something!
#6 Use What You Have
The most important thing to keep in mind while traveling in regards to working out is that you shouldn’t get all bent out of shape because you might not have access to a gym, your fancy exercise bike, your favorite water bottle, whatever. Get creative and use the things that you have available to you. If you have a backpack then do some push-ups while wearing your backpack. If you have a suitcase then do some squats or lunges while holding your suitcase across your chest. Wherever you end up traveling, as long as you are willing to think outside the box – you can always squeeze in a great workout!
These exercise methods on the road are really very practical, and you can maintain your body while enjoying the road.
Good tips! I think that the pedometer one is a particularly easy option to implement.The lack of a fitness room in a hotel, for example, could be alleviated to some degree by places to walk.
Also, I think it’s really important to watch nutrition when traveling. Outside food can sometimes be quite unhealthy, so making smart choices can really go a long way to maintaining health while away from home.
Andy Hough says
These are some good ideas. If I do any traveling next year I’ll be sure to incorporate some of them.
Financial Samurai says
I enjoy working out without weights too. Using one’s own body as 100% resistance training is really efficient and cheap!
You can do pushups, squats, situps, cardio, triceps so easily. The key I think is diet.
I do love walking around and exploring the city when I’m somewhere new!
Don’t miss the obvious, walking is a great way to see a city.
Yep! I’m all about walking when I travel. You can really soak in a city/town that way and take your time exploring. When I get tired I stop for a snack or find a bench to sit and people watch. And if I’ve walked 5+ miles or so and my feet feel like lead, then I hop on public transit to get back to my hotel.
Joel - WeightTraining.com says
Absolutely! Walking is without a doubt the easiest way for almost anyone to get in a great light cardio workout. Be sure to add in some other exercises and movements if possible to get a more well rounded workout.
Good tips Joel! Also if you are checking into a hotel, do make use of their gym! Most good hotels have one!