I love to stay fit while traveling, and I hope you do too. That’s probably why you are reading this post!  If so, you will be able to take these ideas and use them when you travel.  I know that for me, these 11 things help me stay active and enjoy my holiday so much more.  It doesn’t have to be difficult to stay fit while traveling.  In fact, it makes the trip more enjoyable because I get to experience the country through fitness and adventure!

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Many times when we are on holiday or we are traveling it can be very easy to slip into a bad routine of eating large portioned, unhealthy meals, snacking on junk food that we wouldn’t normally eat and lying around drinking lots of alcohol.  We tend to sleep less, drink less water and we put our fitness routine “on hold” until we get back home.  Let’s change the mindset and stay active and in shape while on holiday. I guarantee that you will get more out of travel and life in general if you implement some of these 11 ways to stay fit while traveling.

1. Workout In The Morning

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Mornings are always the best time to get fit while traveling.  This is because it is more difficult to get your workout in when you leave it until later in the day.  People on holiday tend to be busier as the day goes on and the evening is reserved for dinner, drinking and relaxing with your family or friends.  It will be very difficult to find time in your afternoon and evening to workout if you leave it too late and this will only send you down a slippery slope of not working out at all.

Working out in the morning will also get your day started early and your body moving and awake so that you can really enjoy the day ahead and all the activities that you are going to do.  Try getting up early to go for a run or find local lane swimming pools to get in a good exercise.  The list of things that you could do are endless but the most important thing is that you get started in the morning so you can be staying fit while traveling.

2. Find A Gym To Stay Fit While Traveling

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Some people find working out in a hotel room or out on a pool deck intimidating and unmotivating when doing so alone.  I get that and I completely understand.  It isn’t for everyone but it certainly can be a free and easy way of getting a calorie burn without having lots of equipment with you.  The key to do this is simply starting and you will get better at it with time.  Others may find more motivation if they can get to an actual gym like the one they use back home.  Finding a gym is not that hard, in fact, there are several ways that you can find a gym to help you stay fit while traveling without having to look too far.

Here are my top 5 ways to find a gym to stay fit while traveling:

  • Use the Gym/Fitness Centre filter on your Booking.com, Agoda, or Air BnB websites.
  • Search to see if there are gyms in your area that provide free 1-day drop-in or cheap rates for travelers.
  • Check with your local gym to see if they have gyms in other countries or cities that will let you use with your membership.  Gyms like Fitness First provide this service.
  • Look up Yoga or Crossfit gyms as these can be some really fun ways to workout while you are traveling.
  • Use apps to help you find gyms in your area.
TOP TIP:
Use Popular Hotel Search Engines to filter accommodation with gym facilities.

3. Make A Workout Plan & Stick To It

Making a workout plan is a really important part of staying fit while traveling because it forces you to stay focused on your goals and intentions.  It’s the same as when you go to your home gym to workout.  You wouldn’t walk in without any kind of plan even if the plan is to simply use a treadmill or attend a yoga class.  If you don’t have a plan then things tend to fall apart and you aren’t as successful.  The same goes for when you travel, you need a plan for your bodyweight exercises or your intention to go to the gym in your hotel room or to attend a CrossFit class 10km away from where you are staying.  Make a plan and stick to it!

HOW TO MAKE A PLAN:
  • Make the plan to workout on your holiday long before you leave.
  • Firm up the plan for the next day on the evening before so you have already done your research and you know exactly where you are going to go and what you are going to do.
  • Use an app like Evernote, to jot down your plan and bring it with you on your smartphone.

4. Search For Healthy Restaurants

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Eating is a huge part of what makes traveling such a terrific experience.  Besides the temples, historic buildings and beautiful landscapes, it’s the food experiences we have that we love to tell others about.  I can name the local foods in all of the countries I visit because they have all been delicious (well, except the scorpion I ate in Beijing) and memorable!  Eating is social and we eat when we are with our friends and family, especially on holidays.  It’s also eating that can ruin our fitness routines and send us on a weight-gaining journey when in reality, it doesn’t have to be like that.

There is no reason for you not to enjoy the local food. In fact, you’d be crazy not to! This is a huge reason for why we travel and a big part of our holidays.  I advocate more for a healthy balance of eating healthy and also enjoying the local food.  When I travel, I actively search on facebook and google for healthy restaurants in the area I am in.  Even though I am not vegan or vegetarian I will also use those search terms because generally, the options are a bit cleaner than other restaurants.  It’s important to incorporate healthy eating into your diet while on holiday and this can easily be done without compromising all the great local food you will want to enjoy!

On a recent trip to Singapore, I was craving a clean meal with whole ingredients and decided to try a raw and living restaurant where all their menu items were uncooked and non-processed.  I didn’t eat there every day, in fact, I only ate there once, but it broke up some of the more unhealthy eating I was doing on the other days.

TOP TIP:
Use search words like “Vegan”, “Vegetarian”, “Clean” & “Healthy” when searching for a restaurant to eat at.

5. Try Not To Drink Your Calories (Drink Water)

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Some people may be surprised that we consume most of our calories from unhealthy drinking habits.  This is a general statement but the sugary juices, sodas, and alcohol we consume can contribute to massive weight gain, especially on holidays!

Calories in Holiday Drinks:
  • 1 beer (330ml bottle) = 130 calories
  • 1 general fruit smoothie (water, apple, banana, orange, strawberry) = 233 calories
  • 1 banana smoothie (with yogurt, milk and 1 banana) = 259 calories

As you can see, a few of the above drinks can really contribute to weight gain and send us in a bad routine while we are on holiday.  Try alternatives to the above or limit your portions.

What Should I Drink?
Drink water as your main source of fluids. By drinking water, you will keep yourself hydrated with the right amount of energy throughout the day. It is really important to drink lots of water to stay healthy, fit and strong while traveling!

6. Bring Your Own Travel Snacks

Eating is one of the most enjoyable things to do on holiday.  It is so much fun to experience the local food.  It will almost always be tastier to eat authentic Thai food in Thailand than to go to a Thai restaurant in Florida!  Traveling can also be exhausting and we tend to want to snack in between meals because when we are walking a lot or waiting for flights or buses and are not in an area to find light, clean snacks.  So what do we do? We head to the 7-11 and buy a bag of M&M’s.  Well, you might get something else, but M&M’s are the best snack out there (just kidding)!

Eating at the local convenience store is not the best way to snack and if we aren’t careful it will be the downfall to our weight and fitness while we are traveling.  What are some alternatives? I want to share with you 2 of my go-to ways of having snacks handy when I get hungry.

  1. Buy almonds at a grocery store or bring them from home.  Partition them into small ziplock bags and just bring one with you when you are heading out on an excursion or you’re sitting on an airplane and start getting hungry.  Don’t reach for the money to buy a Snickers bar from the trolly, reach for the bag of almonds!  Almonds are a healthy source of energy, but be careful, try to limit yourself to 12-16 at the most and only eat them a couple of times per day.  For some added flavor throw in a few other things like raisins or dark chocolate.
  2. If you’re just going on a short trip, try preparing some snacks before you go to put in your carry-on luggage.  A great snack to make for a trip are these Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars from Oh She Glows.  However, my absolute favorite snacks for traveling are found over at Vitamin Sunshine, and 2 of my favorites are her Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins & Gluten Free Graham Crackers!  All of these recipes are easy to make and they pack well as well they last for a few days making them they that perfect go-to snack for you when you need energy or get hungry.

7. Choose Active Adventure Travel Activities

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After climbing Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia

What are active adventure travel activities? Well, when you are on holiday you often have a lot of potential things to see and do, right?  Maybe it’s a temple, a historic site or a famous museum.  These are all great things to do but you can also consider activities that encourage you to use your fitness and see the place you are visiting from a different angle.  Perhaps you sign up for a local hike instead of paying a taxi to drive you around the city.  Often you can see amazing views of the place you are visiting from the mountains!  Or, perhaps you rent a bike from a city bike sharing program that will let you visit the cities top sites all by bicycle!  Maybe you opt-in for white-water rafting or zip-lining instead of staying in your hotel room.  All these things will get you moving and feeling fit.  The best outdoor hiking I have ever done was when I went on a 2 day / 1 night trip to the top of the highest peak in Malaysia!

8. Get Up, Get Out & Get Moving!

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This may go along with #1 – Working out in the mornings, but this doesn’t have to be a workout.  It could be that you choose to swim laps in the pool or run a 5km loop around your hotel, but it could also be much simpler and less strenuous.  Get moving could look like you just getting out of bed to do some simple stretching exercises without leaving the hotel room.  Maybe you get up, have a glass of water and walk around the block.  It is really fun to see your holiday destination early before the work-day starts because the hustle and bustle are very different to the afternoon/night time scene that you may be used to on your favorite beach in the Maldives!

TOP TIP:
Spend 10 minutes doing something before you go and start your day.

9. Get Sufficient Sleep

Sleep, in my opinion, should probably be at the top! It is a really important way to stay fit while traveling.  Sleep certainly helps aid the building and maintaining of muscle.  It also helps the body recover from difficult workouts and gives your body time to rest which is what we need when we are traveling. When traveling we are generally more tired and sleep should not be pushed to the side.

10. Turn Normal Activity Into Fitness

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Did you know that you can stay fit while traveling by doing a number of things that activate your muscles and keep your heart rate up a little bit more while you are standing around?  Maybe you didn’t get to the gym in the morning or you ate something you know was in excess the night before.  You can turn those bad habits around really quickly by implementing these and many other creative ways of gaining strength while traveling:

  1. Find a ledge, tree trunk, bar or ledge to do some pull-ups on.
  2. Lunge going up the stairs instead of simply walking.
  3. Run to the next location instead of walking.
  4. Get upside down whenever you can and work those shoulders!
  5. If you are waiting for a bus or taxi, get down in a squat and hold it as long as you can.
  6. While swimming in a hotel pool, get out every 10 minutes and hold a plank for 1 minute, repeat this several times.

11. Finally, Shift Your Mindset

Fitness is not something that comes overnight.  If you are committed to staying fit or getting in better shape you are already so far ahead.  A mindset change happens when we make the commitment to stay in shape, get fit or simply improve our lives by employing these above strategies.  The above 11 ways to stay fit while traveling can be life habits that don’t have to only happen on holiday.  In fact, if you use them while traveling they will most likely form great habits for when you are in your normal day to day routine.

 

These are my 3 strategies to leverage the internet to shift your mindset and consider everyday fitness a priority:

  1. Follow Youtube videos that are inspiring and motivating.  Look for fitness people on youtube that share great bodyweight exercises.  This will help you with finding your workouts.
  2. Use Instagram as a way to share your journey.  This keeps you accountable and lets other people feel inspired by your journey while also helping to motivate you in your own.
  3. Let others know of your intentions and ask them to keep you honest and accountable for your choices to stay fit while traveling.  Make sure that these people are the ones that are actually traveling with you.  If you are traveling alone then have a buddy keep you accountable over the internet.

 

CONCLUSION

There are so many ways to stay fit while traveling.  I hope you found some inspiration and simple things to implement in your lifestyle – whether you are traveling or not.  What’s most important is my last point about shifting your mindset.  None of the things above are going to matter to you if you aren’t already committed to getting in the best shape of your life.  Let’s stay fit and travel often together – and remember, each day is a small step towards your goals.  Don’t be discouraged by allowing setbacks to ruin your forward motion!  You can do it.

 

OTHER GREAT POSTS ABOUT HOW TO STAY FIT WHILE TRAVELING:

1. How To Stay In Shape While Traveling by Nerd Fitness

2. How To Stay In Shape While Traveling by Two Wandering Soles

3. Staying Fit On The Road by Just A Pack

 


I would be thrilled to connect with you on my social media channels.  You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  I post photos, articles, and inspiration for staying fit and traveling often.

 

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stay fit while traveling / staying in shape while traveling / fit for travel / fit travel / travelling fit / travel and fitness / stay fit / 

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My posts may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you! 


As always, please leave a comment if you have something to add to this content. How do you stay fit while traveling? Do you have tips for staying fit on your holidays? I would love to hear from you!

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Tim Gascoigne is a Canadian, full-time traveler/nomad who has found a love of fitness and how to combine this with living a life of purpose and freedom.  Tim writes at One Fit Nomad and shares content on Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter.  Crossfit is his favorite form of fitness and he likes to write about how you can live the life you want while being the best version of yourself.  Tim has been a fulltime teacher in schools in Canada, Beijing & Malaysia for 10 years and is currently taking time off to see the world & hopefully create meaning for others.

5 COMMENTS

  1. This is such a timely post! I am currently living on Gili Air, Indonesia, and, although Asian food is gorgeous, it’s deep fried, plus it’s hot here and I lost my mojo … but never fear, I think I have found it again! I have joined the gym and am putting together a different work out for each time I visit so this post is perfect! I also know a number of people in our FeetDoTravel Facebook Group that will appreciate this read! Pinned! #feetdotravel

  2. I’m going to incorporate some of these tips in to my regular routine and definitely into my next trip. I’m heading to Australia for 2 months to catch up with family and friends and that will revolve around eating and drinking so this is perfect timing to crank up the routine. Great post.

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