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The Broomfielder

Tips for Maintaining an Exercise Routine While Traveling

Apr 29, 2019 09:43AM

By Sara Baker, MS, CSCS

Staying on an exercise routine can be challenging with all of life’s demands. Staying consistent with workouts while traveling can be even more daunting as we often deviate from our normal schedule and might not have access to our familiar gym, equipment or classes. However, maintaining an exercise routine while traveling is possible; follow the tips below and do not let vacations derail your workouts.     

Do some research. Spend a little bit of time before you travel to figure out what is available to you.  Does your hotel have a gym? If not, do they partner with a local gym?  What equipment is available?  Are there any studios or other exercise options nearby?  Is the city you are visiting walkable?  Are their safe trails that are easily accessible? Knowing a few of these beforehand can help you be prepared to continue exercising while traveling.  

Aim for consistency over perfection. Traveling and vacation should be enjoyable.  Don’t stress out about keeping the exact same routine while away from home.  Do what you can, when you can, with what you have. If you usually exercise 5 days a week, aim for 3 days.  Be wary of the all or nothing mindset.  Just because you do not have access to your normal equipment, does not mean you cannot get any exercise in.  Get creative with minimal equipment workouts or body weight workouts which can be just as effective. 

Schedule a physical activity as part of your vacation. Many cities have walking tours. Check out to see if a guided hike is available. Renting a bike is a great way to see a new place and get some exercise.  Instead of just lying on the beach, try snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding or kayaking.  Remember, exercise does not always have to be a structured activity, any movement is always better than no movement.    

Walk, walk, and walk some more. A perk of traveling is that we often get the opportunity to walk more as we are not confined to working and sitting at a desk all day long.  Take advantage of the free time and try to get in as many steps as possible. Instead of taking a ride share or a car, see if you can walk to shops, museum or restaurants. Walking is an easy and free way to get in exercise while seeing new places.

Try a new form of exercise. Use travel as an excuse to try a class at a nearby studio that you have always wanted to try.  Don’t hike much but have access to a great trail in a new place? Try it.  Does your resort have tennis courts, but you have not picked up a racquet for years?  Try it. You never know, you might fall in love with a new type of exercise. 

Kelly Greene, M.A., Corporate Wellness Manager for Elevation Corporate Health at Century Link in Broomfield and avid traveler, gives her tips for maintaining a routine while traveling. “When traveling, I set reminders in my phone at times that make sense to fit something in. If I'm doing a vacation like a ski trip that's already active, I'll set a reminder in the evenings, to stretch and do any physical therapy or complimentary exercises. If I take a trip that doesn't already have activity built in, I'll set a reminder on my phone the evening before to do a workout in the morning. We're more likely to engage in healthy behaviors if we plan them ahead of time, so if my phone reminds me at 9:00 p.m. that I should wake up earlier the next day to exercise, I'm more likely to go to sleep earlier and wake up with time to fit something in before the day really starts. In addition, it always helps me to have a plan ready ahead of time,” she said.  

Kelly also has a few apps or has purchased programs that use no equipment and makes sure to “have one of those ready to go ahead of time so I can get up and do it without having to think about what I want to do.” 

With so many options for exercise and movement, do not let travel derail your effort to stay in shape.