Staying Fit While Traveling

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week full of Halloween treats. I haven’t checked in since Marine Corps Marathon on October 22nd, but just wanted to say that it was one of my most memorable races to date for several reasons. Stay tuned for a recap and some takeaways from the day!

In other news, Mark and I are in the middle of planning our next getaway- thinking of heading to South America! I have always been intrigued by that part of the world, as I grew up hearing my mom’s travel adventures from when she explored the region when she was about my age. While away, I’d like to keep up my fitness as much as possible but know how tough it can be while on vacation.

With the desire to just lay back and relax for the duration of your stay combined with the temptation of on-the-go treats, it’s sometimes a challenge to keep up with fitness.  Here are some quick tips I have learned over time to keep motivated and focused during your travels.

Bring equipment with you

Although it’s unlikely you’ll be able to bring a gym’s worth of stuff with you while traveling, there’s some smaller equipment that won’t take up much room on your carry-on. Consider bringing a jump rope for a quick burst of cardio in the mornings – after all, just ten minutes can be as beneficial as 45 minutes of running, as suggested by Cosmopolitan.

And why not bring a yoga mat or foam roller (travel size), too? Roll it up and stuff it in your bag – once you’re abroad, find a quiet spot and unwind. Yoga is one of the most effective workouts and also one of the best for relieving stress and tension. The key to this tip is planning ahead!

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Use your surroundings

Make the most of the environment by using it as a natural gym. Find areas where you can do some strength and cardio workouts just by using your surroundings – Nerd Fitness recommends features such as bus stops or sturdy tree branches for pull-ups, for example.

I love exploring new areas by foot- it’s the best way to fully immerse into a new place. There are plenty of ways to utilize the environment in a workout. Just look around you and see how you can adapt it to your benefit – even something such as a hilly hike would do wonders. Why not push yourself and reach for higher goals by climbing a mountain? Don’t limit yourself – any activity is good activity.

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Or even better: sign up for a race in a new destination!

This is my favorite way to maintain fitness while traveling. Running a destination race is a great way to explore the area, meet new people, and combine some exciting activities.

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Try out new activities

Sometimes, you don’t even need to do an actual exercise routine to keep fit. Just take part in some challenging or new activities – white water rafting, cycling, hiking, climbing – and you’ll be keeping up shape and having fun at the same time.

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As long as you’re staying active and on the move while also maintaining a healthy diet (it’s reported that 44% of travelers tend to fall into bad habits while traveling), you’ll keep in top shape without having to try hard at all. 

It’s worth it – there’s nothing worse than heading back to the gym once you’re home after an unhealthy vacation.

Hope you enjoy those quick tips- what are your favorite ways of staying in shape while traveling?

Anyone planning any vacations? Anyone explore South America?

What are your bucket-list destinations/trips? My top three places are 1) The Pyramids 2) Country of Georgia and 3) Japan 4) Because I love to travel, I’ll include a 4th: traveling across Canada.

How was your Halloween?!

This article was written in collaboration with TINZ.

 

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16 thoughts on “Staying Fit While Traveling”

  1. Getting running workouts in has become an enjoyable part of travel for me. One of the things I now always do when preparing for a trip is to look up potential running routes near where I will be staying. It’s an excellent, unique way to see a new place – from the vantage point of being on foot on trails or paths. I especially gravitate towards routes with interesting views, and in particular next to the water. Earlier this fall I was in Omaha, and I ran on a riverfront path that took me over a footbridge and over the Missouri RIver from Nebraska into Iowa. There is even a spot marked where you can stand in two states at the same time! I timed it so I would be on that bridge right at sunrise.

    And then, worst-case scenario, most hotels nowadays do have a gym with at least a couple of treadmills. Much better than nothing, but getting out and using running as an excuse to explore is so much more fun. Looking forward to your MCM recap!

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    1. That’s a great idea- do you use a particular app for reviewing potential running routes? Mapmyrun? Your surprise run in Omaha sounds awesome. One day I’d love to add a section to my blog of people’s favorite running routes around the country/world (as a go-to for exploring new trails). One day!

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      1. Mapmyrun is the one I use, but just as frequently I sort of figure it out on my own by looking at maps. Most cities you visit are on some sort of water (either a river, a lake, or the ocean), so my first step is to find out if there is a lakefront/riverfront/oceanfront path for runners and cyclists. If so, then I Google it to find out more information. Likewise, if I am in a more mountainous area, I look to see if there is a nearby path/trail with some nice views. Frequently, visitors centers in cities have trail maps available. If none of those options reveal anything promising, then I head to Mapmyrun and find something that looks good. And I have also been known to simply lace up my shoes, venture out the front door of a hotel and make up my own route!

        The idea of a blog section compiling favorite routes is a terrific idea. Like you said, someday!

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          1. Boston isn’t in the cards for me this time unless something unexpected and last-minute happens like in 2017. I am running Chicago next October, but don’t have anything on the calendar for the spring yet. I’ll have to try and pick a spring marathon soon. How about yourself?

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  2. I love this post! My family and I are very active when we travel- we hike, walk, run, bike, and swim whenever we can. We were just in Chile this past June and LOVED it. It was our first time in South America. The people were extremely friendly and helpful and the mountains are of course beautiful. I recommend brushing up on your Spanish! I’m also dying to go to the republic of Georgia. Speaking of hiking, it looks like an incredible place for that! I’ve been to both coasts of Canada 2-3 times each and highly recommend Banff and Jasper.

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    1. Thanks so much! What was your favorite place in Chile? I’ve heard amazing things about San Pedro de Atacama and the coastal areas look cool too. I would LOVE to go to Banff/Jasper as well. So many places on my list! Thanks for your comment- could talk about traveling all day!

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      1. We were in central Chile, so we started in Santiago, went to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, then to a more remote part called the O’Higgins region. We loved Vina del Mar the best. I’ve heard great things about Atacama but we just didn’t have enough time to go there. I could also talk about traveling all day!

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        1. That’s awesome! I actually noticed that there’s a marathon in Vina Del Mar the weekend we’re down there so I’ll have to look into it. Not sure if we will make it to Chile this time, but if we do I’ll send questions your way!

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  3. I love to walk or run everywhere to explore and I definitely throw in hiking.

    I actually just came back from a 19 day trip to Europe! Lots of walking!!! And even managed to hit the gym on board the ship twice!
    I’ve been to Peru for a 6 day trip of hiking the Andes to Machu Picchu! Burned a heck of a lot of calories doing that hahahahaha!

    The Pyramids are definitely on my bucket list, I want to spend a few days in each of Utah’s big parks like Zion and Moab, and a million more.

    My Halloween was pretty boring, I worked until 11pm hahaha.

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  4. Excellent and straight-forward advice for keeping active while traveling: Just do something! right? You are right on.

    Part of what I love about running is that I can do it anywhere and all I really need is a pair of shoes and shorts. I’ve run in Haiti, my hometown in Mexico and more. I’ve got lots more places I’d love to run as well.

    Bucket-list for me? Probably more of Mexico (I’d like to go from one end of the country to the other, visiting Mesoamerican sites), Iceland and though Ive been to Peru I need to get up to Machu Picchu.

    Keep us informed of your travels. Looking fwd to your race recap.

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