How to Stay Active While Traveling

Woman exercising at the gym of a hotel.

If you’re like us, the experiencing of bringing your sneakers and active wear on trips, only to leave them untouched in your suitcase is all too familiar. Getting into the groove of a consistent workout routine is difficult enough as is, throw in a disorienting travel plan into the routine and it all tends to go out the window until we return home, tinged with regret about having to find the groove all over again. Out of desire to break the cycle, I’ve made some changes to my (business and pleasure) travel routine, to ensure that my active wear is used for more than just hotel room lounging on trips. Here’s what I did:

Photo by Dragon Images on Shutterstock

Take Advantage of Wake up Calls

We know working out first thing in the morning is good for us right? Every fitness mag and personal trainer since forever has said so. But even when I set my phone’s alarm to get me out of bed in time to do a morning workout, I hit snooze every single time. Enter wakeup calls! A luxury only available in hotels, but tragically forgotten all too often. Wakeup calls on the hotel phone are great because 1. They are LOUD – it’s physically impossible to sleep through a hotel phone’s deafening ring. And 2., 9 times out of 10 there’s an actual human being on the other end telling you it’s time to rise and shine. While this is definitely something I should unpack with my therapist, there a few things that get me moving quite like the shame/guilt of having disappointed a complete stranger on the other line. Some may call that accountability, too.

Woman following a workout video from her phone.
Photo by antoniodiaz on Shutterstock

Use a YouTube Video

Another barrier to working out (for me at least) is being in an overcrowded, criminally small and windowless “fitness center” in a hotel basement. Most hotels gyms are short on floor space, and more often than not consist of 2 lonely cardio machines that odds are, will be taken by the time you arrive. This is where YouTube workouts come in handy. Not only do most of them require nothing but your own body weight (I won’t be curbing my skincare space in my suitcase for a yoga mat, thank you), but they’re quick and efficient – making them easy to knock out before continental breakfast arrives.

Woman walking down sidewalk.
Photo by Stuart Jenner on Shutterstock

Go for Walks

Assuming that you aren’t renting a car at your destination and are staying in a walkable part of town, giving your ride share apps a break is a great way to keep active while on-the-go. Think about how much more you’d walk if you didn’t grab a Lyft from the hotel lobby everyday, but walked to your nearest train or bus station instead (bonus points if you walk the full way to your destination). Not only will choosing to walk instead of ride give you an opportunity to explore your new surroundings even further, it’ll keep your body moving and engaged, and save you some coin too. 

There you have it, 3 simple easy ways to keep moving whilst abroad. Mustering the motivation to work out is hard, I get it – but once I started thinking about work outs as small routine, lifestyle changes instead of a means to an end (i.e. weight loss or size goal), the idea of moving my body instantly got way less terrifying and doubly exciting. What steps do you take to keep active while traveling?

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