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Staying fit and healthy when you travel

Staying fit and healthy when you travel

Staying fit and healthy can be hard enough when you’re at home, never mind keeping up with a fitness regime when you travel!

When you’re travelling you don’t have access to the same equipment, your schedule goes out the window, you want to enjoy all the new foods and drinks and your focus is on fun, not fitness.

But if you travel regularly and you enjoy keeping fit at home then chances are you like to keep up some semblance of an exercise routine while you’re away. 

Personally, I feel that if you have a handful on holidays each year and don’t want to exercise while you’re away then it really doesn’t matter. Relax and enjoy your holiday and then pick it back up when you’re back at home. 

But if you want to exercise while you travel, here are my top tips:

Lay off the alcohol

If I ever slip up when it comes to my exercise routine, it’s almost always due to alcohol. Whether I’ve drunk too much, stayed up too late, made bad decisions or not slept well, alcohol is often to blame.

Something I’ve come to realise is that I very rarely have a better night if I drink more. But I always have a better day if I get up and exercise. 

Exercise in the morning

I’m sure you’re well aware that anything can happen on holiday and evening exercise rarely happens. Get up a little earlier and squeeze in a workout before breakfast. There’s nothing more satisfying then hitting the hotel breakfast buffet after an intense workout!

If you struggle to exercise in the morning, read my post 20 tips for exercising in the morning

Pack your favourite gym clothes

I know this is a superficial one but something that always motivates me to exercise (no matter where I am!) is having nice workout clothes. I choose gym clothes I genuinely want to put on in the morning and I lay them out the night before. 

Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting dressed and getting into the gym. If I’m happy to get dressed, it makes everything a little easier!

Use the hotel gym and don’t be a gym snob

I know a lot of gym-goers will roll their eyes and groan at the hotel gym because it isn’t up to the standards they’re used to at home. My advice? Stop being a gym snob and use what you’ve got available to you. You can have a great workout even with the most basic equipment. Use your imagination, follow some online workouts and embrace that good old-fashioned cross trainer!

Plan ahead and find pay-as-you-go gyms and fitness centres

If you’re hotel doesn’t have a gym and you’re really serious about then search online for local gyms and fitness centres.

I’d probably only do this if I were away for a few weeks but most tourist destinations have gyms offering day passes of class passes because they’re used to holidaymakers and business travellers using their services.

Find your favourite exercise apps

20 tips for exercising in the morning

I’m a massive fan of Peloton and I use a Peloton bike and Peloton weight training and exercise classes when I’m at home. While I travel, I continue to use the app but focus on bodyweight strength training classes and yoga.

Finding an app you love it half of the challenge but once you find one it’s the best!

Try something new

If you’re staying in a hotel that offers fitness classes then now is the perfect chance to try something new! I stayed in a hotel last week that offered spin classes in the water! It was really hard and lots of fun so it was great to try it.

Create a short routine you can do in your hotel room

20 tips for exercising in the morning

The simplest way to ensure you exercise while you’re travelling is to create a short workout routine you can do in a small space. Incorporate bodyweight exercises such as pushups, planks, squats and lunches and other exercises like jumping jacks and burpees to get your heart rate up. 

If you’re unsure what to do, search for ’30 minute bodyweight exercise’ on YouTube and you’ll get loads of options.

Travel Hack Tip: If you’ve got space in your case, pack a workout mat. I know it’s possible to do these workouts without a mat but for some reason it feels so much easier on a mat!

Get outdoors

Don’t forget that some of the best exercise is also the most fun to do on holiday. Go for a hike or a swim or a bike ride.

Easy exercise

If you’re not the ‘active outdoorsy type’ then just do what you’d normally do – only more.

If you’d normally go for an after-dinner stroll, take it up a notch. Instead of strolling, pick up your pace and walk for an hour.

If you’d normally go for a dip in the pool, keep doing that but aim to do 30 lengths of the pool. Do that every time you get hot while you’re sunbathing and you’ll soon be burning calories!

This is the kind of exercise that those around you will barely notice you doing and it won’t really alter your day or your holiday routine at all.

Things to take to the beach

Active sightseeing

Love sightseeing on holiday? Why not step this up a notch too.

Instead of just strolling around the Old Town, take a cycling tour. Instead of taking a morning stroll, take a running tour (yes, that’s a thing!)

Go scuba diving or hiking. Rent a paddle board or kayak. There are so many possibilities that are really fun and a great way to explore your destination while keeping fit.

Stay hydrated and eat well

And finally, the most important way to feel healthy while you travel is to stay hydrated and eat well. It’s easy to get carried away at the hotel buffet and I’m not saying you shouldn’t try a little bit of everything, just keep an eye on portions and double helpings!

Travel Hack Tip: I always travel with an insulated water bottle and aim to refill it at every meal. I’m the type who forgets to drink water (especially on holiday!) so this really helps.