Whether you have a fitness routine at home or not, trying to keep in shape can be a challenge depending on the nature of your trip and the destination itself. In addition, whether you’re at home or on the road, there are always excuses to make:
You don’t have enough time. You don’t have access to a gym. There is no sidewalk to run on and even if there was, the city is too polluted to do so. At some point, you might throw your hands up and say, “Hey, I’m on vacation, I’m not going to spend my time working out!”
In this post, we will explain why it is much easier than you think to stay fit while on the road by offering a few specific tips and strategies.
Some people give walking a bad rap. They will say that is not really exercise. However, many studies have shown that walking is actually one of the best things you can do to ensure your physical health. A long walk may be just as good, or even better, than a run or a jog, and in addition to the physical benefits, walking is also a very therapeutic activity.
Walking has an added bonus when it comes to travel. Actually, make that two bonuses:
1. It costs nothing.
2. You can do it just about everywhere (I mean, don’t go wandering around the autobahn or anything like that).
Take advantage of local sports in public spaces
While some cultures celebrate the sedentary lifestyle more than others, you will not find a single culture that does not partake in some level of physical activity through competition and sports. Of course, sports like soccer and basketball are played worldwide, but many place have more idiosyncratic sports and health practices that can also provide a cultural learning experience. For example, when I was in Vietnam, locals crowded public spaces playing badminton and practicing tai chi. No one is offended if you ask to join in and most will find your participation entertaining at the least. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that you get some exercise at the same time.
Work out in your room
You may not think so, but regardless of where you are staying, you have enough space to work out. Sit-ups and push-ups don’t require much space. Nor do squats and jumping jacks. If you want a short work-out (as in, a brief seven minutes!) that exercises your entire body, check out the 7 minute work-out. That website will also provide you with a handy timer that shows you how long to do each exercise for, and when to take a rest break. Disclaimer: while the 7-minute work out is indeed effective in a pinch, you might want to think twice before making it your sole exercise routine. For more on that, have a look at this article.
Want to try something else? Look to youtube for inspiration:
A simple search for “hotel room workout” will yield a few hundred results.
You shouldn’t feel like you need to plan your trip around exercise. A vacation is about your mental health first. That said, it is important to stay active wherever you are, and if you are a long-term traveler, the need to stay fit is even greater. If you have any of your own tips for staying fit on the road, please share them in the comments below.
Photo credit: flickr user msmail