I’m writing this while sitting in a hotel room during a road trip, so staying fit while traveling has been on the front of my mind.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it can be a challenge trying to fit exercise in during your trip. Whether it’s a busy sightseeing schedule, a conference, or business meetings, exercise can sometimes fall off your radar and before you know it, it’s been days since your last run.
With some planning ahead, that can change.
Planning to Exercise
When you book your hotel, make sure it’s a hotel with a gym. While most hotel pools are small, I like to make sure there is a pool. You may not be able to get in the swim workout you’d normally get in a larger pool, but you can work on your swimming technique by doing some swim drills. If swim workouts are a priority for you, consider getting a swim tether so you can get uninterrupted swimming in while using a small pool. And don’t forget to check out our partners for some great swim related products.
If you’re visiting an area that’s runable, ask the concierge for some popular running routes from the hotel. You can also check online for trails or running routes. If that’s not possible, at least you’ve got the hotel gym. Even with limited equipment and space, you can get in a good workout.
Hotel gyms usually have a treadmill, dumbbells, and a few other various exercise equipment. Even if it’s a small space, you can get in a decent workout with running and strength training.
Don’t forget these tips on treadmill running.
Packing for Exercise
When packing for your trip, take along a small massage stick or foam roller, exercise clothes for the gym, outdoor running clothes, and a bathing suit. Depending on the weather, you may be able to use you’re outdoor running clothes for the gym.
Having a few sets of exercise clothes will keep you prepared for every option, so you’ll be ready to exercise in various locations.
I always take a small massage ball since it’s small enough to travel with, which is always a bonus with me. Plus all the sitting done while traveling can really do a number on tightening your muscles. You’ll be grateful you have it to loosen up those tight spots while stuck in a hotel room.
When to Exercise
When you exercise will depend on your travel schedule. Know what your schedule is before you leave and decide when the best time be to fit your workout in.
I find the best way to get in exercise while traveling is to schedule it in the morning. This way, I get up first thing in the morning, exercise, then shower and prepare for the rest of my day.
Waiting for the end of the day could make it more difficult to squeeze in an exercise session because you’ll be tired from a full day of travel, sightseeing, or conferences. Exercising while you’re fresh in the morning will leave you feeling ready for the day and able to relax and enjoy the evening.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
How much you exercise and the types of workouts you do all depend on what your training for. A good rule of thumb is to prioritize maintaining fitness rather than improving fitness. While setting a goal of improving and increasing fitness during a trip is doable, the planning and effort may not be worth the stress for some people. The key to maintaining fitness is to give yourself some slack; enjoy your trip and don’t be so hard on yourself. If you can’t get in the full workout that you originally had planned, remind yourself that it’s ok to get in a short workout.
Aim to get in at least some sort of exercise each day. My goal during a busy trip is a minimum of 30 minutes, which is long enough to maintain fitness and it feels like you at least accomplished something, but it’s short enough to fit in if you’re on a tight schedule.
Bonus Tip: If you have some extra time at the airport, walk around and get moving. I once went through an airport that actually had a yoga studio and mats available for travelers. Getting in some stretching made such a wonderful difference for the rest of my trip.