How To Stay In Shape While Traveling

March 20, 2013 · 10 comments

Traveling for work can take a toll of your fitness level. However, it’s not impossible to stay in shape while traveling. I’ve been able to my readers lately in Boston and two people told me that they were frustrated with how much they travel and trying to stay in shape. I decided to create this video as result knowing that many of you may share the same question. This advice can also be applied if you are traveling for Spring Break or just a personal vacation.

Take this quick quiz to determine your best workout:

1) Do you want strength or cardio?

2) Are you in a city or rural area? Are you in a foreign county?

3) Do you have an iPhone or Computer Handy? Do you have internet access?

4) How much time do you have?

Based on your answer to the above questions here are my suggestions:

For strength, cardio or yoga in a city or suburban area, look up a studio near your hotel that you can walk or jog to. If you have a rental car, then you have a little more wiggle room. Check out Yelp or GoRecess for class suggestions. GoRecess will show you the times and dates for your area by linking into the studio Mind Body reservation software. Try a new class like Barry’s Bootcamp, SoulCycle, FlyWheel or Core Power. Find a time that fits in with your schedule. This is my favorite option when I visit California and New York.

For strength in a rural area or overseas where it might not be safe to run around outside, download the Nike Training Club app if you have an iPhone. You do not need internet to access the workouts. They range from 10-45 minute workouts. This can be done in your hotel gym area. Want to workout in your room or don’t have an iPhone? Bring your favorite fitness DVD and set it up on your lap top. If you have internet, you can always watch and follow along with your favorite YouTube fitness stars.

If you do not have an iPhone or computer available and are in a safe area, for cardio, I suggest exploring the city you’re visiting! It’s a great way to get acquainted with your surroundings, do a little sightseeing and perhaps experience the area in a way you otherwise would not have. Last year when I was in Mexico for Spring Break, I would run a 3/4 mile loop around our resort. I also did an NTC workout once and a run/strength interval workout as well.

Schedule your workouts for first thing in the morning if you have a jam-packed schedule or are visiting a hot climate and plan to workout outdoors. Even waking up an extra 10 minute early to fit in a 4 minute tabata interval in your room will ignite your metabolism for the rest of the day.

In Hawaii, I enjoyed swimming and running. I didn’t bother with the strength much because I was enjoying the swim so much! In Utah, we skied all day and I used the hotel gym for a quick session on the spin bike. Oakley also included a fabulous Yoga class into our schedules. Nashville was a run around the Vanderbilt campus and Miami was a class at FlyWheel and run along the famous South Beach. In Argentina last year, I went running in the rainforest and around the city. I used the hotel gym for two NTC workouts, and was very sore for the plane ride home. Lastly, in Nantucket last year I would go running early before it got too hot and even tried out a local class at a nearby gym featuring their own take on the Bar craze.

What is your go to for staying in shape while traveling?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura March 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I think the toughest part about travel isn’t working out, since it’s easy to find no-equipment workouts that you can do right in your hotel room. But eating is rough! I travel four days/week for business, which means that 80% of my meals are in restaurants. It’s not that hard to order healthy by yourself, but when you’re out with clients and need to eat a multicourse meal + drinks without making others uncomfortable by special ordering, THAT’S the tough part.

Still, great workout tips!

Reply

2 Sarah March 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Hey Laura, You bring up an excellent point and something that I agree with you 100%. My tip to you would be trying to really fine tune your bodies ability to understand when it’s full. I would suggest NOT cleaning you plate. When it comes to alcohol, that can be the deal breaker because it lowers your desire to want to eat a nutritious meal. This is such a tricky topic because I just dealt with this on my Miami trip. Good food for thought for a future post!

Reply

3 Laura March 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

And being a plate cleaner is the hardest thing for me to break free of, no matter how much I work on it! Excellent point :)

Reply

4 Sam L. April 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Yes, actually, I’m traveling now. In DC for 5 days…I do manage to find time to workout (though maybe not as long as my usual routines), but the eating is rough! Especially for the happy hour receptions! I’ve been making it a point to at least find the trendy/hipster-feeling organic type places for lunch though, and that helps…well, unless I see a food truck. :-/

Reply

5 Lesley March 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Hi Sarah, really excellent tips. I’m going on a cruise in just over a week and I’m hoping to keep up with my work-out routine. I know on the “sea days” I should have plenty of time to work out and I plan on taking some of the fitness classes they offer first thing in the morning. I’m not going to stress about not working on days at port when we have tons of activities planned. It will also balance out in the end!

I have a general fitness question, for my cardio I use the elliptical alot I’m nots sure what the machine is called but it’s a little different than your normal elliptical. I spend about 45 minutes on it and burn about 350-400 calories on it according to my HRM. Do you think it would be more beneficial for me to run. I just really don’t enjoy it and it seems like it takes a lot more out of me so I can’t do other strength training things after. Is it fine if I just don’t use it or should I push myself to use it once in a while because it’s more beneficial?? Thanks for your advice :)

Reply

6 Lynn March 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm

This is the post I needed to read. I’m sitting in the airport waiting to go to flordia drinking my ice coffee with steevia and soy milk because no one carries almond. :) I lost 80 pounds since the end of June and have created a healthy lifestyle and routine for myself. Although I am excited for this well deserved and much need vacation I have had alot of anxiety about how I will make healthy choices this next week. As always thanks for your awesome posts!!! I read alot of health blogs and yours is by far my favorite. I tell everyone about it. I hope this isn’t weird but I’m coming to boston sometime this summer and would love to go to a spin or barre class with you. I have fallen in love with spinning and want to try the studios when I’m there. I have never taken barre but would like to try it. :)

Reply

7 sara @ fitcupcaker March 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Great tips.. I dont travel for work but I always want to check out new places when I travel for vacation etc.

Reply

8 Kelly March 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I’m a firm believer of working out first thing in the morning during vacation, otherwise I’ll never go! I like to write out mini bootcamps with body weight exercises than you can do anywhere – a hotel room, outside, or even on the beach. I’ll usually pick 4 or 5 pairs of 1 arm + 1 leg exercise, and repeat them each twice with a minute of cardio (jump rope, high knees, etc.) in between. I swear, if I write it down I’m more likely to do it!

Reply

9 Melissa March 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I travel about 40% of the year for work to a variety of places, many in very rural areas. It’s rare that I’d get the time or opportunity to take a class and rarely take classes at home to begin with. A lot of gyms I’ve found on the road are often expensive to buy a 1 or 2 day guest pass. When you travel often, and are already paying gym memberships at home, this is very pricy. Gym passes typically aren’t allowable business expenses, either. Rule of thumb for frequent overnight business travelers is to stay at convenient hotel chains that offer fitness rooms. My favorites are Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, and Holiday Inn Express. At a minimum you’ll have some cardio equipment and space to do body weight exercises such as push ups and dips. Some chain hotels offer small weight areas as a bonus. I fully second the suggestion to get some good fitness DVDs /laptop and bring those along. Great for times when the hotel lacks a gym.

I’ve had the opportunity to go for a run in some beautiful places and cities on work trips. But do keep an eye on your surroundings and be smart. If the area looks sketchy, don’t chance it. Read up on places ahead of time and find safe (from crime and wildlife) areas and trails for recreation. This is the advantage of traveling to rural areas as a runner – some fantastic and fairly safe routes to run and walk. Cities…it’s a mixed bag.

If you’re on vacation, remember, it’s vacation. It’s not a time to be anxious about missing workouts. Relax, unwind, maybe do a little yoga, rent bikes and do a tour, or go for a swim.

Reply

10 Kate March 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Traveling is always my weak point! Usually the trouble is finding a time that won’t inconvenience my travel companions.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: