With the rise of remote work and the post-pandemic travel boom, we’re addressing the question: Can you maintain your workout routine while traveling?
Unless you’re ready to shell out a lot of money for a short-term or international gym membership, the answer is likely ‘No.’ Nonetheless, exercising while traveling is important for many reasons – to stay fit, help your body recover from lengthy flights or car rides, balance out calorie intake, and tend to your mental health.
So let’s address a more realistic question: How can you build fitness into your travel experience, and make unforgettable travel memories through fitness?
Whether you’re spending a week at a beach resort or backpacking through Europe for six months, here are 7 ideas for effective and sustainable vacation workouts.
How To Work Out On Vacation
Make the World Your Gym
As technology, industry, and social structures evolve, we’ve become a more sedentary species. Physical exercise has gone from a way of life to an item on our to-do list. When working out is part of a strictly scheduled routine, travel and remote work can threaten its space in our day.
But when we reframe how we look at our body’s relationship to the world and the spaces we inhabit, the opportunity for movement and exercise expands enormously. Remember when you were a kid, running around, getting sweaty and tired, and loving it? Have fun with exercise when you’re traveling. Race your spouse up the Spanish Steps. Turn beach boulders into a push-up platform. Look at the landscape as an opportunity to test your body in exciting and playful ways!
Don’t Waste Time on the Treadmill
This is not me saying “Don’t do cardio!” This is me saying “Don’t waste your precious travel time staring at the wall of an indoor hotel gym while slogging away on a treadmill or cardio bike.” Take your travel workout outside! Make the most of your travel experience with cardio-with-a-view activities like shadowboxing, running a scenic trail or seawall, doing hill sprints, or renting bikes to explore a new city on wheels.
Create a Bodyweight Exercise Routine
I can’t stress this enough – your body is the only workout equipment that you can always pack up and take with you, no matter how or where you’re traveling! The pandemic proved that we don’t always need big fancy equipment to get a good training session. Most bodyweight exercises require minimal space, so you can knock them out in a hotel room, or head outside to find a bench and some stairs.
Take Advantage of Day Passes
Working out while traveling can be an amazing way to interact with different cultures and meet new people. Many gyms, including boxing gyms, offer day passes for drop-in athletes. Fair Warning: These day passes can range from upwards of $30/day, so while it may not be a sustainable option, it’s a great way to vary up your workouts and benefit from a group environment. This can be especially helpful if you enjoy things like rowing or boxing on a heavy bag, which does require some equipment. You might even be able to find someone who wants to spar for a few rounds and before you know it, you have an international boxing friend!
Workout With YouTube Videos or Fitness Apps
If coming up with workouts on your own isn’t your cup of tea, you’re not alone! I find it so much easier to hold myself to a workout routine if the workout itself is already created for me, and if I have a coach to motivate me. There are tons of great fitness apps with programs for at-home (or in-hotel) workouts, including the free FightCamp app for bodyweight workouts, shadow boxing routines, or heavy bag training.
The key to maintaining a schedule and fitness routine while traveling is to make a plan in advance. If you’re traveling with a laptop or tablet, spend some time before your trip to make a Bookmarks folder of free Youtube workouts. The FightCamp Youtube Channel is stocked with tons of free bodyweight and shadowboxing workouts that require zero equipment and zero subscription. Here are a few of my favorites:
Plan Physical Excursions
Half the fun of travel is experiencing new landscapes! So make a conscious effort to include some outdoor excursions that get your heart pumping. You can’t visit Hawaii without hiking up a volcano. You can’t visit Mexico without snorkeling in the Gulf. And if you dare go to Colorado without kayaking down the Colorado River, you’re committing a travel crime. If you’re a cardio junkie, I highly recommend signing up for a fun run in the city you’re visiting, or booking a running tour with a local tour guide!
Pack Portable Gym Equipment
When my husband was packing for an overseas deployment, he knew he wouldn’t have access to a gym, so he purchased a set of heavy-duty resistance bands that he could scrunch up and pack in his seabag. Even though he was used to weightlifting, he was able to create a full resistance band routine right in his room and keep his body and mind strong despite the less than ideal situation.
When choosing which items to pack, consider weight, size, number of pieces, and squishability. Some of my go-to travel workout equipment items are:
Inflatable Stability Ball
Ankle & Wrist Weights
So, go forth and book that flight or road trip knowing that you’ll be able to stay in shape on vacation—in fact, you might just have some of the most memorable workouts of your life!
Train Like a Fighter
Take your workouts to the next level and train like a fighter with the at-home connected fitness solution used by world champion boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. FightCamp has everything you need to work out on your schedule, with premium boxing equipment and hundreds of on-demand strength, conditioning, kickboxing, boxing, core, and recovery classes led by real fighters. As Mike Tyson said - “FightCamp is the next level of training!”