Working out while traveling

If you enjoy working out, and especially if you’re traveling for a longer period of time, you might start missing your home gym at some point. Fortunately, you still have two legs, two arms and a body wherever you go, so even when traveling, exercising is possible.

I personally have quite an intuitive take on working out. I work out when I feel like moving and how I feel like doing it, which means there might be weeks when I do close to nothing, and others when I’ll work out almost every day. That’s what works for me, and what I also do during traveling.

There are many options for working out when traveling, and you can get creative with it to find new ways to get your exercise in. Depending on where you’re traveling, the options will also be different and need to be adapted according to what you have at hand. Here are some ways I exercise when traveling:

1. Running

I feel that this is one that everyone feels really strongly about, one way or the other. I used to hate running, but nowadays, I actually even enjoy it. I started running because I realized that when you travel a lot or your schedules at home are changing constantly, this is one of the easiest ways to break a sweat. You literally just need your body and a pair of shoes. I won’t get into how to start enjoying running if you hate it here, but shortly, I’d just say “give it a go”.

2. Find a local gym

This one requires a little bit of research or the chance to have a gym close to your accommodation, but if you like working out at a gym, this is as much of a possibility abroad as at home. A single entry to the gym can be super cheap or super expensive depending on the place and the gym, so you just need to get informed about the prices at your destination.

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3. Take a class

Whatever the sports that you enjoy at home are, you will find fitness, yoga, dance, boxing, and any other classes, especially if you’re traveling to cities. Or if you’re feeling like trying out something new, use the opportunity to break your routines and chose something that you’ve never tried! You could also look for something specific to where you’re traveling, like traditional dances or other sports typical to that region, for a cultural experience at the same time. The instructions might be given in English or in the local language, but that doesn’t really matter. The most important is just the get some exercise and have fun.

4. Join the locals in a game of football

I mean, why not? It’s a universal language, so if you see people playing, why not ask to join them? I’m sure that most of the times they would love to take you in, and in addition to a workout, you make a great memory.

5. Hostel workout

I carry a yoga towel and some rubber resistance bands in my backpack to be able to work out at the hostel/hotel where I’m staying. That gives me some extra comfort and a possibility to widen the range of exercises I can do (resistance bands are so versatile!), without taking too much space in my bag. But you can just as well do your squats and pushups and crunches or a yoga session without those. The common area in hostels is usually the most spacious spot, or some also have a garden, which is even better because you’re not in the middle of everyone. The problem with working out in a dorm or the common area can also be that if the air-con is bad, the whole space turns into a sauna. Been there done that. In hostels, there’s often other travelers who would be in for a workout, so you can ask if anyone is up for it and do something together! It’s way more fun and everyone can contribute to the content of the workout.

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6. Walks, hikes and bikes

Maybe you don’t think of it as a workout, but when traveling, we usually walk way more than at home. Or I at least do. It might not make you break a big sweat all the time, but your body appreciates it anyway. If you’re somewhere where you can go hiking, that’s also a great way to visit and move at the same time. Or instead of walking, you can rent a bike, which allows you to go further and faster without relying on public transportation or cabs. During my seven weeks of backpacking, I worked out a few times, but mostly I walked a lot. When I came back home, I was able to run a 10k within a week, whereas before I barely managed a 5k. That’s how much my endurance increased just by walking and carrying a backpack.

 

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