Last updated on January 17th, 2019
Keeping fit on the road requires foresight and flexibility, but with a few simple ideas and tools up your sleeve, it can certainly be done. There are endless options for exercises that require little or no equipment. There are also so many ways that you can get creative and keep an active lifestyle at the top of your mind.
In this article we’re going to focus on helping you to get more consistency in your workout routine while traveling or house sitting. Let’s get straight into some simple ideas for an active, travel based lifestyle.
Fitness equipment for traveling
As mentioned, there are plenty of exercise options that require no equipment at all, so if you’re a very light traveler, you can skip past this one. If you’re willing to carry one or two things that won’t weigh you down too much, then consider the following:
Resistance bands. These are a lightweight piece of kit used as an alternative to weights. For strength based fitness goals, these are a fantastic option that allows you to continue with your program when there’s no gym in sight. Consider carrying a couple of different colors so you have appropriate resistance levels for each exercise.
A yoga mat. If you enjoy yoga or Pilates based exercise, a mat is worth considering. Mats can be strapped to the outside of backpacks if needed. Mats are also great for other floor based exercise, such as sit ups, push-ups and back raises. You never know what environment you might end up in for your exercise session, so a mat can provide a useful barrier between yourself and the floor.
A foam roller or trigger point ball. For tight, achy muscles you can’t go past trigger point exercises. Small sized foam rollers can be purchased, and although they don’t weigh much, they do take up a bit of space. For this reason, if you are traveling light you might opt for a trigger point ball to work deep into weary muscles such as the feet and buttocks.
How to find workout opportunities while traveling
There are many opportunities to exercise while you’re on the road. The most important factor when it comes to determining what to do is making sure it is something that you enjoy! Here are some suggestions. See what resonates with you so that you can keep it in mind for your current or future destinations:
- If you’re staying somewhere for more than a few days, check out what’s on offer in the local area. Most cities and small towns will have a number of different drop-in exercise classes available to suit your preferences, or alternatively drop in sessions for the gym. You can also Google local climbing walls, swimming and sports centers where you’ll be able to hire equipment such as basketballs and tennis rackets.
- Get a qualified fitness trainer to set you up with a personalized body-weight workout program that you can do anytime, anywhere. If you have exercise equipment with you, let them know what it is so they can incorporate it into your program.
- Learn a five minute stretch routine. A dynamic stretch routine that will help you to loosen up after you’ve been traveling for long periods of time.
- If you have the opportunity to book accommodation with gym or pool facilities, go for it! It is always easier to stay active when you have options close at hand.
- Do an online workout. You Tube is a great place to start looking for online workouts. First decide what type of workout you want to do, then type that into the search bar. For example, you might type something like ‘Pilates workout for beginners’ or ‘Advanced body weight workout’, or ‘five minute cardio workout’. The more specific you are about your requirements, the more likely it is that you’ll find something to suit you. After a few sessions you may find particular channels that work well for you, so you can subscribe to them and get notifications when they post new classes.
- Find opportunities to stay active while you see the world. In a new area? Find out what trail walks are around, or what mountains you can climb. Could you hire a bike to ride between the vineyards, or to see the city?
The fit traveler’s attitude
Traveling has its ups and downs. It can be unpredictable and your plans may change at the last minute. It’s important to have flexibility in your workout plan and adjust as you go. Here are a few final tips to stay on track and keep a positive attitude along the way.
Learn to listen to your body. For low energy days when traveling has drained your energy, select something short and easy that will uplift you. If your body is in a depleted state, a full workout could cause you to feel run down. Opt for an easy stretch or yoga session, or a gentle walk rather than an “all out” workout on these days.
You may experience very busy days where you feel like you can’t fit even five or ten minutes of organized exercise into your day. Instead aim to get better at including incidental exercise into your life.
Incidental exercise is the type of movement that can naturally fit into your day without too much adjustment or effort. Examples include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, or perhaps doing a set of calf raises while you’re waiting in line to buy a ticket.
If your workout doesn’t go to plan on one particular day, instead think about what you CAN do, and then move on. Tomorrow is another day and missing a planned exercise session doesn’t mean that you need to wait until Monday to start being active again!
As a traveler or house sitter, you can still set big fitness goals and get excited about working towards them. Can you enter a half marathon or 10km run/walk event someplace you know you’re going to be in future months? Or perhaps you want to enter an online fitness challenge to help keep you accountable to the results you want to achieve?
What are the ways that you like to keep fit on the road? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with our readers? We’d love to hear them!
Elly McGuinness has been inspiring people to make sustainable changes to their health, fitness and lifestyle for the past 15 years. She offers online solutions for people who are looking to get started on, or improve their health and fitness. Elly blogs regularly, writes for a number of health and well-being publications and is the published author of a holistic weight loss book. She has a few tools up her sleeve to specifically help you maintain an active lifestyle while traveling. Check out this article to get the lowdown on resistance bands and find out how to use them.
Elly is mum to a spirited three year old girl. Along with her partner Colin they embrace a digital nomad, world schooling lifestyle. Check out Elly’s website and social links at: