There are many things to love about traveling— the new scenery, food, adventure, and much more stuff you may experience. However, if you’re used to working out regularly, travel can often put a damper on your fitness routine. From long days of sightseeing to less-than-ideal hotel gyms, it can be tough to stay on track. But with just a little planning and effort, you can make sure your fitness goals don’t go by the wayside just because you’re on a vacation. In this article, you’ll find tips for working out while traveling, a sample travel workout routine, and ideas for fitting exercise into a busy travel schedule.
How Do I Exercise While Traveling?
Traveling presents unique challenges for the average fitness enthusiast.
Here are some reasons why you may find it hard to stay on track while traveling:
- You’re out of your normal routine.
- You don’t have access to the same resources (gym, pool, etc.).
- You may be indulging in unhealthy foods more often.
- Time constraints may be difficult for you.
- Fatigue can take a toll on you.
Despite all of these challenges, there are ways that you can stay on track and even improve your fitness while traveling.
Here are some tips:
Decide what your fitness goals are for your trip. Maybe you want to maintain your current level of fitness or maybe you want to step up even more. Whatever your goals are, write them down and make a plan to achieve them.
If you know you will be indulging in unhealthy foods, plan for it by working out a little harder beforehand. If time is going to be an issue, schedule your workouts into your day like you would any other appointment.
Read More: How To Create A Workout Plan?
Think Outside The Gym
You don’t need a gym to get a good workout. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that you can do in your hotel room or even while waiting for your flight at the airport.
If you’re traveling with a friend or family member, take advantage of that and play some sports together. Go for a run, hike, swim, etc.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your workouts and use your environment to your advantage.
Don’t Overlook Bodyweight Workouts
If you’ve been lifting weights, bodyweight workouts while traveling might seem too easy and ineffective. However, if you focus on exercises that can target your entire body, you’ll be surprised at how challenging they can be.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to bodyweight workouts, but some of the favorites are push-ups, squats, lunges, and sit-ups.
Consider yoga and pilates moves too as these can be done in a small space without any equipment. These are known to strengthen your core and improve various aspects of overall fitness.
Look Into Travel Workout Equipment
Depending on how long you’ll be traveling and where you’re going, it might make sense to invest in some travel workout equipment. This could be something as small as a jump rope or a resistance band, or something more substantial like a portable pull-up bar.
If you decide to go this route, make sure you do your research and buy high-quality gear that can withstand the rigors of travel. Cheap equipment is often flimsy and will break easily, which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to stay fit on the road.
In today’s day and age, there are endless fitness resources at your fingertips. If you have a smartphone, download some apps that can help you work out while traveling.
Fitbit and other activity trackers can help track your steps and make sure you’re moving around enough throughout the day.
There are also many yoga and meditation apps that can help you relax and de-stress while traveling.
Get Some Rest
This may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best things you can do for your fitness while traveling is to get enough sleep. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make poor food choices and skip workouts.
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Check Your Diet
While on holiday, or traveling for business in a new destination, it can be easy to let your diet slip. Trying to work out after a night of heavy drinking and unhealthy eating is not only difficult but can also be dangerous.
If you’re going to indulge, do so in moderation. Balance it out with healthy meals and snacks throughout the day and make sure you’re staying hydrated.
It’s okay to enjoy the local cuisine while traveling, but be mindful of how much and how often you’re eating. A good rule of thumb is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied– not stuffed.
Being overly restrictive can also lead to unhealthy behaviors, so find a balance that works for you.
The most important thing is to be flexible with your goals and plan. If you miss a workout, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just pick up where you left off and keep going.
Traveling can be a great opportunity to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Use these tips to make the most of your trip and stay fit while you’re on the road.
How Can I Workout On Vacation Without Equipment?
Here are some bodyweight exercises you can do in your hotel room, at the park, or really anywhere you can feel comfortable moving:
To Target Your Arms
- Use a sturdy chair or bench. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the sea and extend your legs out in front of you with your feet flat on the floor.
- Lower your body by bending your elbows until your arms are at a 90-degree angle, then press back up to the starting position.
- Get in a standard push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from your head to heels.
- Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, then press back up to the starting position.
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a can of soup or a water bottle in each hand.
- Curl your right hand up toward your shoulder, keeping your elbow close to your side.
- Lower your back to the starting position, and then repeat with your left arm.
To Target Your Chest
- Get in a standard push-up position, but as you lower your body toward the floor, explosively press back up so your hands leave the ground.
- As you come up, clap your hands together before returning to the starting position.
- Start with your palms flat against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lean forward and place your weight on your hands as you walk your feet backward.
- When your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels, press your palms into the wall and push your body away from the wall until your arms are fully extended.
To Target Your Back
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a can of soup or a water bottle in each hand, palms facing your thighs.
- Bend forward at the hips until your back is parallel to the floor, then raise your arms out to the sides, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
- Return to the starting position.
- Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended in front of you and your legs together.
- Slowly lift your head, chest, and legs off the floor, then lower back down to the starting position.
To Target Your Legs
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body down into a squat, keeping your knees behind your toes and your weight in your heels.
- Press back up to the starting position.
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Step forward with your right leg and lower your body until both knees form 90-degree angles.
- Return to the starting position, then repeat with your left leg.
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight in your heels.
- Raise onto your toes, then slowly lower back down to the starting position.
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To Target Your Abs
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
- Place your hands behind your head, then lift your head and shoulders off the floor, contracting your abs.
- Return to the starting position.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
- Place your hands behind your head, then lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Then, bring your right knee toward your chest while extending your left leg out.
- Switch legs, bringing your left knee in and extending your right leg.
- Start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Bend your elbows and lower yourself down so you’re resting on your forearms. Hold this position.
How Do You Build Muscle While Traveling?
Maintaining your gains is simple— all you have to do is keep up with your workout routine. But if you want to build muscle while traveling, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re still making progress.
Figure Out How To Progressively Overload
Progressive overload is the key to building muscle. It’s simply the process of doing more over time, whether that means lifting heavier weights, doing more reps, or adding volume.
The good news is that there are a few ways to progressive overload while traveling. If you’re lifting weights, you can either increase the weight you’re using or the number of reps you’re doing.
If you don’t have access to weights, you can increase the number of sets or reps you’re doing or the amount of time you’re spending working out.
The key is to find a way to do a little more each time you work out, so your body has to adapt by getting stronger and growing larger muscles.
Eat Enough Protein
In order to build muscle, your body needs protein. Eating enough protein helps your body repair and rebuild muscle tissue after working out. It also helps you maintain your muscle mass while you’re traveling (2).
The amount of protein you need depends on a few factors, including your weight, activity level, and muscle-building goals.
You can get your protein from a variety of sources, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, and seeds. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you may need to supplement with protein powder to make sure you’re getting enough.
Rest And Recovery
In order for your muscles to grow, you need to give them time to recover. This means getting enough sleep and taking rest days when you need to.
When you’re traveling, it can be difficult to stick to a regular sleep schedule. So, if you’re constantly on the go, it can be tough to find time to rest.
But, if you want to build muscle while traveling, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and are taking care of your body.
Thus, going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night (1). It also means taking a day off from working out every once in a while to allow your muscles to recover.
Beer, wine, and cocktails are tempting when you’re on vacation. However, alcohol can interfere with your sleep, recovery, and muscle-building goals. It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re traveling, especially if you’re working out regularly.
Drinking plenty of water helps your body recover from workouts, prevents fatigue, and helps you maintain your strength and muscle mass. Aim to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, and more if you’re sweating a lot or working out regularly (3).
Traveling doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your fitness goals. You can still stay fit and in shape while on the road with a little planning and creativity.
By following some or all of the tips above, you can come back from your trip feeling refreshed and rejuvenated– and maybe even in better shape than when you left!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? (2022, sleepfoundation.org)
- Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise Training (2018, nih.gov)
- Water: How much should you drink every day? (2020, mayoclinic.org)