Anyone who’s worked out in a tiny hotel room, or tried to jog around a strange neighborhood knows, exercise while traveling is a challenge.
As we mentioned last week, no time is this more true than over the holidays. Between family visits, travel and activities, it’s tough to find the time, let alone the place to fit in a workout.
Well, never fear–there are a few great ways to clock to safely and easily log in some exercise without derailing your plans. You don’t have to skip out on gym time just because you’re headed out of town for the holidays (or any time of the year). Here’s how.
How to Fit in Exercise When You’re On the Road
1. Bring Your Gym Shoes
Adopt a no-excuses attitude. Bring your gym shoes with you on your trip. We’ve all packed a suitcase only to realize there’s too many pairs of shoes in there. What gets eliminated? The gym shoes.
Instead, look for shoes in a neutral color or simple design which will allow you to walk, run or workout and then wear while you’re sightseeing around town. Some people don’t mind a bright athletic shoe and sneaks are certainly still in style, so if you feel comfortable, incorporate your shoes into your workout.
Pack light and look for other shoes to do double duty. The nice aspect of winter is that boots will often take you from shopping to parties without needing a change. Unlike summer travel when you may need dress shoes, casual shoes and flip flops. Make the most of it–wear your boots to travel and pack your sneaks!
2. Fit in a Walk
If you want to get in exercise, but can’t find the time to hit the gym (or don’t know where one is), simply clock in a nice long walk! Explore a nearby mall or shopping center, tour a light display or just take a brisk stroll through a local park.
Exercise often gets skipped because we over-complicate or over-think it. Instead, realize that getting in a walk is as beneficial as a jog or a half hour on the treadmill. See if your family members want to join for bonding time (or escape for a while if you need time alone).
Fit in steps wherever you go. Park further away from your destination, opt for an extra trip or walk errands when you can. If your hosts have a dog, offer to be the official dog walker during your visit and fit in some regular stepping.
3. Make Friends with Your Hotel Gym
Staying in a hotel? Make the most of your hotel gym! Now, not every hotel offers a gym or a pool but many do. Check the website for the amenities and don’t be afraid to ask at the desk. Even if the gym is small or consists of a lone treadmill, you’ll keep to your scheduled workouts.
Make your treadmill time more pleasant by watching videos on your phone, streaming Netflix or listening to some tunes. Bring some basic gym clothes or athletic looking leisurewear, pack some shorts or a bathing suit so you’ll be able to take advantage of the facilities.
Will it be the workout of your dreams? Probably not, but you may find you actually enjoy yourself, especially if you normally end up flipping through Law & Order reruns in your hotel bed and raiding the mini-bar.
4. Try a Youtube Video
No gym in your hotel or at your host’s home? No worries–there are hundreds of thousands of workout videos available to watch on Youtube. Everything from yoga to no-equipment needed workouts to talk you through any fitness goal.
Pull up a video on your phone or tablet, close your bedroom door and follow along for 30 minutes. You’ll feel instantly energized and calm. Here are a few options to start with:
5. Prioritize Exercise
The biggest way to fit in workouts when you travel? Make them a priority! Just like anything important you want to get done, you must schedule your workouts and view them as important, “can’t miss” activities. It’s easy to skip out and go into “vacation mode” but even a week off may derail your training progress.
Instead, put reminders into your phone or on your calendar. Make it part of your morning or evening routine. Whenever I visit my family, I schedule morning walks with my mom, first thing. We literally roll out of bed, put on our shoes and go. It’s become part of our visit and it’s a nice time for us to catch up on things and talk just the two of us.
Prioritizing exercise will help ease the stress of travel as well. Visiting out of town is often filled with non-stop activity, especially if you’re seeing friends and family. Even though it’s wonderful, it may also be a little stressful and chaotic. Exercise will give you a chance to re-center and find balance.
6. Get Everyone on Board
If you feel bad “ditching” your friends and family during a visit, get everyone on board! Perhaps your family won’t all be down for a 5am jog but most may be into a walk through the park or a visit downtown to see the lights and windows. If you’re traveling for work or exploring a new city, bring a coworker or friend with you to check out the sights.
Exercising with a buddy may help you feel more motivated and committed. Announce your plans right up front–tell everyone you’d like to go for a walk, try a sporty activity or get outdoors for a while. Once you’ve started to plan your adventure it’s harder to change your mind.
If you’re looking for ways to fit in more exercise while you travel, it’s easy. It may even make the rest of your trip more relaxing and fun. You’ll see more of the highlights around you, you’ll get endorphins pumping and you’ll feel committed to choosing healthier foods as well.
Enjoy your holiday travel by incorporating exercise into your plans!