How to Stay Fit While You Travel

Do you have a job that requires you to travel a lot so you find it hard to stay fit? Between airports, hotels and eating out at every meal, are you having a hard time either losing weight or, at a minimum, keeping it the same?

Getting and staying fit under normal circumstances is difficult, but add in always being on the road and it becomes a greater challenge. Not only do you usually have a tighter schedule, but you don’t have your regular gym or exercise equipment to help make the process easier.

So, how do you keep working toward your fitness goals when you’re travelling the world?

Follow these simple guidelines:

Take Your Tennis Shoes

set of shoes

It doesn’t matter where you go, you can always get a great workout in if you have your tennis shoes with you. You can walk the airport on layovers or venture out at your destination and see the sights while burning some calories along the way.

The nice thing about tennis shoes is that they don’t take a lot of luggage room and they’re lightweight so they’re easy to take even if you just have a carry on. Just make sure you pack some extra socks too so that you don’t get blisters during your workout.

Stay at Hotels that Have Workout Centers

If it’s an option, and if you can afford it, try to stay at a hotel that offers their guests gym services. That way you can keep up with your workout schedule even when you’re thousands of miles away from home.

Don’t forget to take your headphones so that you can listen to your favorite tunes while sweating your heart out without bothering other patrons. Some hotel gyms even have TV’s hooked up so you can keep up on the world news or your favorite shows while you’re working your body.

Look for Gyms that Offer Limited Memberships

young woman exercising in the gym

If your hotel doesn’t have a gym onsite, check out some local gyms and see if you can buy a membership for the limited time that you’re there. A lot of places are willing to give one or two week passes to accommodate travelers.

If you’re only there a day or two, some gyms let you go the first time free. As long as it’s a one-time visit to the area and you don’t plan on ever going back, you might be able to hit one or two different gyms and work out totally free.

Buy Equipment that Travels Easily

As an alternative to trying to find places to go to exercise, you can purchase equipment that travels easily and just take it with you. Exercise bands make staying in shape when you’re on the road easy because you can slide them in your suitcase and they take about as much space as a pair of socks.

You can also pack empty water bottles and just fill them when you get there to have light hand weights to do bicep curls. Or don’t take anything at all and use your suitcase, holding it while you do squats to work your thighs.

Try to Eat Healthy a Majority of the Time

close up of a woman eating a salad

One of the biggest obstacles most health conscious travelers have is eating out all the time. You’re constantly tempted with foods that look and smell great, but are usually high in fat and high in calories. You always have the option of salads, but how many times can you eat a chicken breast salad in one week?

It’s especially hard if you’re going someplace you’ve never been and possibly will never return to. You want to experience their cuisine and taste their signature dishes without having to watch every morsel you put in your mouth.

If you’re trying to be health conscious, make a majority of your meals lower fat, but don’t be afraid to give yourself one or two times to enjoy a dish that maybe isn’t so healthy. The key to success on this one is to be selective.

Not every meal you eat out is a celebration so just pick the ones that are going to be memorable and splurge on those. The rest of the time, try to make good, healthy choices.

Monitor Your Portion Sizes

Along with watching what you eat, you want to pay attention to how much you eat as well. Most places serve two to five times as much food as you should have in one sitting, so be careful.

If you have a refrigerator in your room, don’t be afraid to take half the meal with you for lunch the next day. Then you’ll actually get to enjoy the same yummy meal twice! Just make sure you get some plastic silverware to take with you so you don’t end up having to eat it with your fingers.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping your water intake where it should be is more challenging when you travel because you likely have to pay for all the water you drink, which isn’t cheap at $2-$3 a bottle. This can make you want to cut down on the amount you sip in an effort to save money, but you have other options.

You can buy a water bottle that has a filter in it and take it with you, filling up using airport or hotel drinking fountains. You can also go to a local supermarket wherever you’re staying and pick up a case of water for about the same amount that you would pay for one or two bottles. That way you’ll have it at your disposal at all times but you won’t hurt your pocketbook.

Get Enough Sleep

young beautiful woman sleeping in bed in dark bedroom

You can make the best eating choices and have access to the finest equipment, but if you’re running on empty, none of it is going to matter when you’re too tired to make your health a priority. Getting adequate sleep is just as important as every other aspect of health because this is when your body gets to rejuvenate itself and prepare itself for the next day.

It can be difficult to get enough shut-eye if you’re dealing with jet lag, sleeping in an unfamiliar bed or have noisy neighbors, so it might not be a bad idea to take a pair of eye covers and ear plugs to help you out. And, if you’re one who worries about whether the hotel room alarm clock works, you might want to take your own. Here are 5 natural ways to fall asleep.

Staying in shape and making healthy decisions when you travel may be more challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you really want it to happen, you’ll find a way. Now you know how.

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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