Traveling can be a lot of fun, especially when visiting people you haven’t seen in awhile. But, it also disrupts our usual schedules, including exercise routines. Some individuals may throw in the towel and incline not to exercise while out of town, but those that are committed to health and wellness might think otherwise. Your road trip doesn’t need to interfere with your exercise routines or fitness goals. But it will look different.
When walking into someone else’s home for a short stay, you somewhat accept their personal routines and schedules while you are there visiting. In an effort to show gratitude and kindness, we often feel that being accommodating means abandoning our own health and lifestyle practices. It doesn’t have to if you don’t want to. You can be a gracious and kind guest while still following fitness practices that make you feel great!
In our family, almost every relative lives 6-7 hours away from our home. Needless to say, we do a lot of traveling to visit family during summer months, when babies arrive (!!), and during the holidays. I have personally tried out a lot of different strategies to work-in exercise without interfering with the family plans. Now as a mom of a 2-year-old (and pregnant), the way I make exercise happen takes a bit more work, but I still do it most days we are out of town. However, I do find it is necessary to…
- Plan ahead- even if just a mental game plan the night before
- Decide to commit- if I don’t see value in working out, I won’t do it
- Communicate with my husband or others- necessary, especially if you have kids
Walk or Jog Early in the Morning
This strategy is by far, the best way to make exercise happen without interfering with plans or excursions the rest of the day. While many of us might like to enjoy a little sleeping in when out of our usual routines, research shows that generally maintaining a typical sleep schedule every day of the week is to our benefit. This means that if you are a morning exerciser right now, keep doing it, even when out of town!
While you can certainly invite someone to come along, this also allows you the opportunity to a few minutes of alone time. You can listen to a book, podcast, or music, as well as pray, think or allow your mind to wander…whatever you love!
This post lists some great apps you can use to map your route and keep track of your mileage.
Most neighborhoods make this an easy and safe option for anyone and it is free! Of course, you can always ‘google’ the nearest park or school for safe walking trails or a track. The weather might be the only obstacle that might prevent someone from actually following through on this strategy. If that is the case, the check out the next idea…
A great workout is never more than a click away! HIIT, yoga, pilates, cardio, kickboxing, line dancing, barre, exercise band….the options are endless! And, there are workouts for every fitness level and any time frame! Simply search the type of workout you desire and specify the time you have to spend. If you only have a small space, there are workouts created for that! If you want a walking workout, there are tons just like that too!
Find a space and just do it! A bedroom, kitchen, garage, sun room,… even a large bathroom would work if that is the only place you can hide away for a few minutes. Be specific in what type of exercise routine you need and search away!
What gear do you need to bring on the road? Whatever you want! Many individuals will bring an exercise band as this allows them to do resistance routines and doesn’t add weight or take up space. I have been known to bring a few sets of dumbbells with me on road trips but do what works best for you! There are so many ways to add in resistance, just looking through a pantry or closet to find varying weighted items. Get creative!
These are a few of my favorite workouts that I actually do (and love!) when I am on the road/visiting…
Workout at a Gym in the City You Are Visiting
Just because you can’t get to your gym doesn’t mean you can’t go to a gym. There are dozens of gyms just waiting to be used! If you are visiting family or friends who typically go to the gym, ask to join them! Most gyms offer a 1-day pass price (usually around $10) which is perfect for anyone visiting the area. Even better, many national gyms offer memberships that allow you to use their facilities all over the US! This is also a fantastic deal for those that do a lot of travel for work too!
Make sure to ask your gym about membership options and benefits- you might have more benefits than you realize.
If you prefer classes, check out the class schedule and go ahead and mark your calendar for the times you plan to go (sign-up in advance with the gym, if needed).
Recently, while out of town visiting family, I attended HEW (Hard Exercise Works) with my aunt and some cousins who go religiously. HEW gives a great, unique ‘cross fit-type’ workout every time I have attended and have been so gracious to allow me to come ‘visit’ when I am in town. I also have several friends who are fitness instructors in different cities- I have messaged them before to ask about attending one of their classes while I am in town.
You can actually make this a fun thing! Invite someone to go to a new gym with you just to try it out! Schedule a class at Cyclebar (national cycling studio)- this allows you to pay and commit in advance so you are inclined to go. Read my full review of Cyclebar here for more details on this type of exercise experience.
Most likely, unless you are camping in the woods or visiting a city with 1 traffic light, there is a gym within a couple miles max. Look them up, check them out, and give it a try!
Catch Up with a Friend, Family Member or Mentor on a Walk
Instead of grabbing a coffee, why not take a walk? It doesn’t need to be a sweaty, cardio walk if you don’t prefer, but it can be an opportunity to move your body and enjoy the conversation. In fact, some individuals (like my husband) open up and enjoy the conversation more while doing activities rather than talking face-to-face.
Don’t think anyone would be interested? Well, you don’t know until you ask, do you?! Maybe the sunshine and fresh air is exactly what they needed, they just didn’t know it! Seek out a nearby park or trail, grab your tennis shoes and get moving!
While some people may jump up ready for a walk, others need a little more mental planning. I know several individuals who would agree to this activity if they knew in advance. These individuals might prefer it to be planned early in the morning or in the evening when it is not very hot. Be considerate and mention this ahead of time so that you don’t catch someone off guard- then, you are more likely to get a walking partner!
Plan A Group Outdoor Game or Event
Enjoy the outdoors and your competitive spirit by planning a group game. Grab a ball, few pieces of equipment and your tennis shoes!
For several years, I struggled to find a way to connect with my grade school and now teenage nephews. I am not a gamer and the thought of that puts me to sleep! But, I can kick a ball, throw a ball and run, walk and skip! When we would come visit, I began planning kickball games for a big group of us and anyone that was available would show up at the nearby field. It was a fun, competitive hour or two and a great way to build teamwork.
Planning a big family outdoor event like kickball, volleyball, yard games, frisbee, touch football or soccer allows you to include all ages and skill levels. This by far, has created some of the most fun memories, photos, and teamwork.
The key to this strategy is to schedule it, choose an activity that allows for all ages and skill levels and keep the rules simple.
The only excuse not to get moving while out of town is you. It’s always your choice. I will admit that at times, it takes some creative thinking and a bit of advance planning, but your exercise routine doesn’t need to go on vacation when you do.
Fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life. — Anonymous