Quick Guide to Keeping a Fitness Routine While Traveling - A Wandering Scribbler
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Quick Guide to Keeping a Fitness Routine While Traveling

Quick Guide to Keeping a Fitness Routine While Traveling

Staying in shape is one of the most difficult things about travel.  Forget packing properly, or finding cheap accommodation, keeping a fitness routine is nearly impossible.  But, it’s not totally impossible.  If you’re spending a lot of time in one location, this might not be much of an issue, as you can usually implement your regular workout routine in the new location.  But if you’re moving around a lot, or just have a lot of very busy days, it’s definitely easier just to forget the workout.  But we shouldn’t have to sacrifice health and well-being because of a tough schedule or unfamiliar terrain.

So whatever your dilemma: constantly on the go, or just not sure of your surroundings in your new location, I can help you keep, or start up, your fitness routine.

General Advice


Packing is the worst part of travel because it’s stressful, it can be a burden, and you never have enough enough room for everything you want.  But packing with fitness in mind is even worse!  How can I fit everything in I need, workout clothes that last a few days, and sneakers, in a tiny bag with everything else I need?  Wouldn’t it just be easier to scratch the sneakers, shorts, t-shirts, sports bras, anything else, for the sake of a pair of nice shoes, extra pants, or a comfy sweater? It would definitely be easier, but no one said working out was easy, so it only fits that packing for it is hard too.

  • Pack clothes you know you’ll wear. Don’t pack tank tops that you only wear working out in the house and won’t wear in public.  You won’t wear it, and you won’t work out.
  • Pack shoes and essentials first. You can fit everything in, just pack your essentials first so you don’t have an excuse to leave them out.
  • Pick fabrics that can be re-worn without washes. Sounds gross, but you’ll save room in your suitcase and won’t have to find a laundry or wash in the sink.
  • If you do need to wash by hand, bring light fabrics that will dry quickly. They won’t be bulky to pack and they’ll be more comfortable anyway.
  • Bring fabric refresher, powder, or air-tight bags to keep smelly clothes and shoes fresh or at least separate from nice, clean clothes.
  • Check the weather to see anything you might need to bring (raincoat) or can leave home (heavy sweatshirt or sweatpants).

Finding Places to Work Out

Finding a safe, reliable place to workout is the next most difficult thing about travel.  You want to get out there, but sometimes it might seem hard to find good places.  You might be in a brand new city, not near a park or maybe just not sure if it’s truly safe.  But it’s easy to find places to workout.

  • This is Ramblen‘s specialty. Find reviews of great places. New reviews are always being added.
  • Keep your eyes open when you’re getting into the city.  Look out for areas that feel right and look good for jogging.  Also, if you see other people jogging, most likely they’re locals and will run in good locations.
  • Choose your hotel by the workout facilities.  This gets more difficult when you travel abroad because most hotels don’t have any facilities, but if you know you’ll be working late or keeping strange hours, a workout room will make sure you won’t miss workouts because of weather, late nights, or feeling unsafe.
  • Choose active activities. If you choose to do things like hiking, cycling or anything where you’re moving, you don’t have to find a place to work out, necessarily, you just have to find a group, or area.  You get what I mean.

Modified Travel Workouts

If for some reason you can’t run, because you can’t find a place, don’t usually run, don’t have a gym, or just don’t have time, there are plenty of modified workouts you can do to keep you from totally omitting your workout and keeping up the routine.

  • Incorporate workout into your travel– going on a hike, a bike ride, or even running to a scenic overlook a good distance from your hotel- as I said above.
  • Use what you have as weights.  If you usually workout with weights, use your suitcase for leg presses, or a full Nalgene bottle as a light dumb bell.
  • Pack a resistance band.  Most bands are virtually weightless and can be packed into tiny corners without adding any weight or bulk. Use this for resistance exercises to your hotel room.
  • In-room Workout Routines. I use BBG workouts because they usually need very little room and rarely any equipment.  If I need equipment, like a bench to step on, I can use a chair.  I just like that there’s something I can look at to tell me what to do for a half hour, but that doesn’t need a lot of preparation.

Eating Tips

For so many reasons, eating while traveling is difficult.  Being on the road changes your schedule and routine so you might not eat regularly, will get hungry at different times, and won’t have the accessibility to the food you normally have at home.  And even if you’re not constantly on the go being away from home, especially in a different country, finding food to meet your needs isn’t easy.  But it’s not impossible.

  • Get food at grocery stores.
  • Still avoid fast food though it might be easier and quicker.
  • Stick to your guns. Don’t eat everything because your on vacation. You’ll likely regret it.
  • Allow for some leeway, though, you’re bound to slip up or be unable to find exactly what you need. Don’t beat yourself up.
  • Research places that fit your needs. Ramblen has reviews of restaurants that may help ease the change.

Keeping a Schedule

  • Make working out a priority, not an option.
  • Block off workout times beforehand.
  • Incorporate working out into seeing the city.

I’m also a Ramblen Ambassador!  The other great ambassadors and I contribute reviews of places to run and work out and great places to eat healthy while traveling.   Check out the informative reviews for many cities around the U.S. to make sure you keep to your workout routine while traveling and stay healthy!

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