Summer is a great time to travel, but traveling can really mess with my routine. I’m not the most organized or scheduled of people, but there is a veneer of order to my life that breaks down when I travel. Unfortunately, the first part of my routine that falls apart when I travel is my exercise routine. I don’t go for long, meandering walks because I’m not familiar with the area and don’t want to get lost. I don’t have my free weights with me (and I’m not lugging 20 pounds worth of dumb bells for the sake of my workout schedule), and sometimes it’s just plain hard to fit in structured exercise when traveling. But guess what? No one ever said that exercise had to be structured, or that it had to be the same every time! The point is for us to move our bodies so that we can stay healthy, so let’s do just that. Here are some of my favorite tips for staying active when traveling.
Pick something you can do anywhere.
When I say “something you can do anywhere,” I mean something that doesn’t take much (if any) equipment, and that doesn’t require much space. Yoga is a great activity to do when traveling. If you’re not a yogi and want some guidance for your workout, there are lots of free yoga classes on YouTube. My favorite classes are by Fightmaster Yoga — there are classes for all different levels, and the directions are clear enough to follow without looking at the screen.
Another easy type of exercise to do while traveling is Pilates. There are plenty of videos online, but you can also find written instructions. If you want to go so far as to buy a book, I recommend The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler The directions and pictures are extremely useful, and the mathwork is set up in such way that you can pick and choose which exercises you want to do. Whether you have five minutes or half an hour, you can create a sequence that fits that time slot. The book itself fits in a suitcase or duffle bag easily, and once you know your preferred sequence, you don’t even need to carry the book with you!
Find a playground.
Yes, even if you don’t have kids! If you like doing exercises that require some equipment and you don’t have access to your usual props or a gym, head outside and find a playground. There are tons of exercises that can be done with props that you can find on the average playground — that’s right, playgrounds aren’t just for children! If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this great workout from Nerd Fitness! Their website has a lot of great resources for people who are looking to get a good workout with minimal equipment, so check them out, even if you’re chilling at home this weekend.
Take a walking tour.
Lots of places offer walking tours, and that’s not only a great way to incorporate some activity into your vacation, but it’s also a great way to get to know your destination. Walking tours gives you a chance to slow down and really take in the sights, unlike bus tours, which, by their nature, move more quickly and don’t always give you the time to really take in the sights. Even more fun, if you’re meeting friends who live in the area, ask them to show you their favorite places. You’ll have a more personal connection to the sights, spend time with friends, and get a nice walk in the process. What a deal!
Go for a swim.
If the weather’s nice and there’s a beach around, head to the water for a refreshing swim. If you’re land locked, see if your hotel has a pool and take advantage of that! It might not be as exciting as heading to the beach, but it’s still refreshing and fun!
Vacations are great for changing up the routine and refreshing the mind, body, and spirit, but that’s no reason to stop moving! What is your favorite way to get moving when you’re traveling?