5 Hacks To Staying Fit While Traveling

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staying fit while traveling

If you’ve ever been traveling before you know how difficult it can be to stay in shape. There’s so much good food and drink that you just want to indulge in it all. Fitness is probably the last thing on your mind, and i get it. A few days or a week vacation won’t be that damaging.. But for some of you, traveling is a lifestyle and you want to prioritize your health too. What if I told you that you can have it all while keeping fit? Yes, it’s actually possible to enjoy yourself and still stay in shape. Here are 5 hacks to staying fit while traveling anywhere in the world.

Hack #1: Workout first thing

We can all empathize that sometimes, you just don’t want to workout. Maybe you’re feeling lazy and you want to put it off. But If you’re a procrastinator like me, it’s best to get the tough things to do out of the way first thing in the morning! After that you don’t have to think about it again, it’s done and you can feel good about it afterwards. A great reason for working out first thing in the morning is that as a traveler your day can be really busy and unpredictable. Its best to play it safe, get ahead of yourself and get it done 

Hack #2: Workout quick

As a traveler time is precious, and you probably want to squeeze out as much sun out of the day as possible. So the best workout you can do as a traveler is a quick one. When you’re at home on a regular schedule you can fit in a 45 minute to an hour workout, but this is your vacation time! Forget about a long workout. Ain’t nobody got time for that. You can get an amazing workout in a fraction of the time. BUT, big but, you have to up the intensity. There’s a give and take with everything.

A 15 minute workout 1-3 days a week, every other day will do (depending on soreness). Here’s a great workout you can do at a hotel, apartment, or park.

Note: You will need one of the following (make sure that what you use is sturdy. Safety first!)

  1. Branch
  2. Table
  3. Bar
  4. Ledge
  5. Suspension trainer (recommended)
  6. Backpack or equivalent

Workout: Four (4) rounds, three to four (3-4) exercises, one (1) minute per exercise, and two (2) minute breaks in between rounds.

Depending on your fitness level you will do one of the following exercises per round. The exercises are ranked from hardest to easiest (left to right).

Exercise 1: Pull-ups , inverted rows, or “dumbbell rows” (using backpack)

Exercise 2: Push-ups, knee push-ups or push-ups on an incline

Exercise 3: Sit-ups, planks, or crunches

Exercise 4 (optional because of leg soreness, but recommended): Lunges or squats

staying fit while traveling

Hack #3 Be flexible

When it comes to exercising on the road you may have to be flexible. Maybe one day you’ll plan on waking up early to get a workout in but can’t. Its cool, things happen and that’s okay!

I remember many years ago when I couldn’t do pull ups, I made it a point to try to do a pull-up each time I walked under a door frame on my way to the bathroom. On the frame I had a Perfect Pull-up, and whad’ya know? I eventually succeeded in getting stronger at pull-ups. You can apply this random workout style to fit in some exercises too! Your body doesn’t care what you do or where you do it, that’s why working out while traveling is totally possible.

Here are some suggestions, and by all means get creative!

  • Walk, walk everywhere
  • If you’re in line waiting, do some squats
  • Avoid elevators and escalators, take the stairs
  • If you walk past something that you can hang on, crank out some pull-ups
  • If you walk past a rail that’s hip height do some dips or rows

The world is your playground.

Hack #4 Have fun

The key to a healthy lifestyle is being active, and the easiest way to stay active is to have fun doing it. There are tons of fun activities that you can take part in as a traveler while being active. Tours are great for walking, but you can also rent a bicycle. You can also go on a hike, go snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, so on and so on. Being adventurous is an alternative to what may be tedious exercise.

Hack #5 Cut calories

This is a big one for staying in shape as a traveler. Cutting calories just means making good decisions, and you don’t have to be extreme about it. Unfortunately our bodies don’t care if we’re on vacation, calories are calories. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to be on a restrictive diet. They don’t work, plus they make you miserable. For eating healthy while traveling, here are some general guidelines to follow.

Important to note: It’s difficult to exercise away a bad diet. The amount of effort to burn off an extra few hundred calories may not be worth it.

staying fit while traveling

Drink water over softdrinks and alcohol.. OK OK save them for when you’re having a meal, but keep them to a minimum. Drinking your calories is the easiest way to put on the pounds.

  • Get the bulk of your calories from whole foods. This means unprocessed food. Meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts is what you’ll want to focus on. Keep added sugar and condiments to a minimum.
  • Keep fried food and desserts to a minimum. The problem with fried food and desserts is that they contain lots of empty calories. On top of having little or no nutritional value they can be calorie dense, so they’ll give you tons of calories without being very satiating.

I understand that food and drink is a huge huge part of travel so don’t restrict yourself from anything, just be reasonable.               .

Apply these hacks and you’ll be on the right track

It’s very possible to stay in shape without having it ruin your travels. Even if you apply half of these hacks you’ll be better off. Just stay active and be mindful. I hope this was helpful. Thanks for reading and happy travels!

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My name's John Luna. I'm a burn survivor and a fitness and travel enthusiast. During my recovery I couldn't actively participate in fitness and travel, but I was able to passively participate by sharing my passions through blogging. The goal of my content is to make fitness and travel possible for everyone. You can learn more about my story through my blog and YouTube channel.
  • These are great tips, John! I have the hardest time keeping up with fitness while traveling. Walking everywhere is my only saving grace hahah. I definitely need to just bite the bullet and start working out first thing in the morning like you said

    • Hey, Jessica! Thanks! I’m glad you were able to take something away from this 🙂 Walking is definitely a life saver, and yeah, just bite the bullet. 15 minutes non-stop will get the job done. I did it earlier this week and I’m ALMOST recovered haha!