We get it, traveling makes it so much harder to stay on your regular routine.
But, we also know it feels so much better – physically, mentally and emotionally – to stay active, even when traveling. Especially when traveling. Since we tend to not eat as well when we travel, and we might not sleep as much as we should, keeping the exercise component is one thing that benefits digestion, energy levels and more.
Here are some of our favorite ways to include exercise when we travel:
1. Run or walk.
Equipment needed: a pair of running shoes.
We love to get in a 25-30 minute run, or a longer walk, no matter where we are. And the only equipment you really need is a good pair of supportive running shoes. We love the Gel Kayano from Asics (shop it here).
The best thing about a run or walk is you can really do it anywhere: around a new city or town, down a beautiful beach path or even just in your hotel gym on the treadmill if the weather is less than stellar outside (every hotel gym has a treadmill these days).
If you’re taking your run/walk outside, throw in a few sprints for some HIIT action (warmup first, then pick a song and jog during the verses, sprint it out during the choruses). Find all the best hills to power walk up to really get your booty working. Running or walking around a new city is a great way to view some of the local scenery and explore your destination. If you’re on a treadmill, use an interval workout like this one that we love from the Tone It Up girls.
2. Stretch in your room.
Equipment needed: a yoga mat or a carpeted area.
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you can probably recall at least a few of the postures and stretches you did in class. Move through a series of those stretches on your own, staying focused on your breath. If something doesn’t feel right to you, just back out of it and move to another stretch. The more you move through stretches on your own, the more you’ll start to become aware of what feels best to you, and the more you’ll understand which ones your body doesn’t like.
We also love to pair stretching with a bit of good core work. Add in planks (mix it up with some on forearms and some full planks), mountain climbers and leg lifts and bicycles for lower abdominal work. If you’re looking for a lightweight yoga mat that’s easy to carry, the Manduka PROlite mat is our favorite (shop it here).
3. Resistance band training.
Equipment needed: resistance bands and possibly a mat or carpeted area.
Anytime we travel, we always have our resistance bands in our bag. They’re lightweight and take up hardly any space at all, they’re simple to use, and they can help you get in such a great resistance workout no matter where you are.
Squats with the bands, booty work on the floor, even arm exercises…you really can do so much with the resistance bands. Just Google “resistance band workout” and go. We love the Gaiam resistance band set, which comes with a light, a medium and a heavy band (shop it here).
4. Find a new local class to try.
We always take the opportunity to try out new classes and instructors when we’re traveling, whether it’s a local yoga, cycling, barre or HIIT-type class, or something entirely new like standup paddle boarding.
Tip: a lot of boutique fitness studios now offer an introductory special for new students, like one week of free classes to try out the studio, or first class free. It’s always worth a shot to ask if the studio you’re planning to visit offers something like this (it might save you anywhere from $20-$40).
If you’re planning to try out something you’ve never done before, be sure to ask the studio if the class level you’re interested in is appropriate for beginners before you go. And we always recommend arriving at a new studio at least 15-20 minutes before the class starts so you can fill out any paperwork and go over anything you need to know about the class structure, equipment or anything else.
5. Find a virtual class on your device.
If you want to move your body from your hotel room but still need a little guidance, there are so many options out there now for virtual classes you can access with your device. We love the Aaptiv and Playbook apps, and most of these apps offer some kind of trial for you to try it free for a week before you pay. Just pay close attention to the details of when you’ll be charged in case you need to cancel the subscription after the trial ends, if you would not like to be charged.