This is a flashback to a post I wrote in 2013 (before I left my consulting job, and was still traveling weekly for work!) Hope you enjoy this revamp – just in time for spring break!

tips for working out while traveling

Many of you have asked how to squeeze in workouts while traveling, and this is something I have a lot of experience with, given that I traveled every Monday-Thursday for work for years.  It’s easy to let travel throw a wrench in your health-living plans, but it’s also quite possible to stick to your goals and get back home feeling great.  Personally, I try to stick to four things while traveling:

  1. Following the BDD Rule!
  2. Drinking TONS of water.  Flying dehydrates us, and we’re often out of our normal hydration routines when we travel.  I constantly have my water bottle near me, and am hydrating incessantly while traveling!  (If this is more motivation for you, dehydration is the #1 reason we tend to get constipated when traveling!)
  3. Bringing healthy snacks.  See this handout for the snacks I like to bring for each day!
  4. Exercising!  Whether it’s hitting the hotel gym or going for a walk on the beach, I love to fit in movement, because it helps me feel energized and healthy.

Here are my top tips for fitting in exercise while traveling!

  1. Run (or walk!) locally. One of the reasons I enjoyed traveling for work was that I got to run in new locations all the time!  As long as you scope out safe areas, and take appropriate safety precautions (run in daylight if you can, or wear reflective/ lighted clothing; always preview the area via online maps, or search for other runners’ routes via MapMyRun; wear a RoadID or carry an ID with you), I think running in new areas is a fun way to explore a new location and keep your workouts exciting!
  2. Run early. Well, I wouldn’t say this is my favorite all the time – it is often painful to roll out of bed at zero-dark-thirty!  But this is truly the only way to guarantee that my workout will happen, even now that I set my own hours to work with my clients, so I try to stick to morning workouts as much as possible.  For more on my morning routine, see this post. tips for working out while traveling
  3. Mix it up.  You know from this post that I love squeezing in 10-15 minute bursts of interval or strength training, even in hotel rooms.  So head on over to my Pinterest boards or my list of 7 hotel workouts, and get moving! If your city is anything like Dallas, you probably have a ton of LimeBikes, Bird scooters, or some similar equipment all over town. Maybe it’s time to take one out for a spin!tips for working out while traveling
  4. Keep it short on busy days.  We all have those days where every precious second counts, but even on those days, something is a whole lot better than nothing!  Try to squeeze in whatever you can, even on busy weeks – you’ll have more energy and feel more accomplished afterwards.
  5. Get running routes and gym recommendations from your hotel. Westin chains offer index card-sized print-outs of local running routes, and many other hotel chains will be able to point you in the right direction, if you don’t feel like exploring yourself!  Many hotels also partner with local fitness studios to offer discounts or special promotions for hotel guests.
  6. Plan your accommodations at hotel chains that offer fitness centers.  Even though I prefer outdoor workouts or fun new classes, there’s always that time when I’m completely time-squeezed, the weather is awful, or I need to have my Blackberry right on hand (2019 update: now it’s an iPhone, but I couldn’t erase the memory of being attached to my trusty Blackberry 😂).  In those instances, having a hotel gym is invaluable.  I always try to check the website before making my reservation to ensure that a gym will be available.
  7. Travel comfortably. Travel in comfortable clothes and shoes, so that you can walk as much as possible while traveling!  If you’re sightseeing or traveling for pleasure, walking is a great way to squeeze in exercise without thinking about it or taking time away from your trip.  If I have a few minutes to kill in an airport, I’ll usually try to walk up and down the hallways rather than sitting, just to get in a bit of movement.  I’ll even do sets of squats while waiting at the gates (Kevin gets embarrassed by this, so I try to distance myself!)
  8. Go up. Hotel staircases provide a great workout when you’re tight on time or don’t want to run or hit the gym.  Plus, you get to feel super hard-core if someone enters the staircase and you’re hammering out stair sprints!  One of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done was in a 20-floor hotel.  On the first floor, I did one burpee, then ran to the second floor, where I did 2 burpees … and on and on until I did 20 burpees on the 20th floor!  Give it a shot!
  9. Stretch. I don’t bring my foam roller on trips (although sometimes I do travel with my Stick or a spiky foot ball), but I do make sure to stretch and fit in yoga when I can, even while traveling (or rather, especially while travelling … there’s nothing like sitting in a cramped airplane seat for hours on end to create knots and aches and pains!).  I believe that taking care of your muscles and joints pays off multiples in the long run!

So tell me in the comments … do you travel often?  What are your healthy tips to maintain fitness while traveling?

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