How to keep fit when you travel

As a person who loves the routine of gym classes and thrives on dedicating a few hours a week to my favourite workouts, I know all too well that going on a holiday can throw your fitness schedule into complete disarray. 

A combination of jet lag, late nights knocking back margaritas or simply wanting to get out and make the most of your break (I hear ya!) all mean that exercise can slip off your radar during a holiday. If you’re someone who isn’t all that fussed about exercising when you’re away or seizes the moment to take a well-earned break from squats and sit-ups that’s brilliant – the most important thing is to do what’s right for you.

Paddleboarding in Florida

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never force myself to stick to a workout routine on holiday and I’m all for tucking into that double-decker burger or indulging in a second or third cocktail at the hotel bar. But I genuinely enjoy exercising, and try to make it part of my week, every week – whether I’m on holiday or not.

Here are my favourite ways to squeeze in a workout while I’m away from home.

1. Pound the pavement

One of the best ways to see a new place is to head out early one morning and go for a run, walk or hike. Whether it’s a city break or a beach getaway, running or walking around the area gives you the chance to make like a local and see hidden places that you might miss on your standard bus tour. I try to get at least one run in while I’m away, even just for 30 minute dash for my morning coffee. 

Walking in Yosemite

2. Try a YouTube workout

If I have a spare 10 minutes one morning, I’ll often stick on a YouTube fitness video to get my sweat on. Not only is this a really quick and easy way to squeeze in some exercise in the comfort of my hotel room, but it allows me to get on with my day knowing that I got my workout in the bag early doors.  There are workouts of every kind available online – from 1 hour yoga sessions to pulse-racing HIIT. My favourites are the 10 min at-home abs workout by FitnessBlender and the Pilates-based vids from PopSugar Fitness. All you need is a little room to manoeuvre and you’re good to go – no equipment required.

3. Hire a bike for the day

I’m a big believer in making exercise fun and what’s more fun than a good old fashioned bike ride? One of my favourite things to do is hire a bike and make a day of it, usually cycling along beachside bike paths and stopping off for lunch before slowly making my way back to town. I’ve found that lots of hotels offer bike rentals or can recommend somewhere local if they don’t, especially in beach resorts. It’s a really inexpensive way to explore the local area and you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even notice the thigh burn!

Cycling in Charleston

4. Make the most of the hotel gym

If you’re staying in a bigger hotel chain, chances are there will be an onsite gym. Whilst they probably won’t be all singing all dancing hi-spec super gyms, they are usually geared out with a basic elliptical and weights section. I tend to stick my headphones in and do a quick cardio blast on the treadmill before some basic toning exercises using hand weights. 

5. Be a water baby

Swimming is one of the best exercises out there and I always try to do a few lengths of my hotel pool on a beachside break, usually in between cocktails. I’m also a big fan of water sports as they are such a great way to exercise but more importantly, they’re fun! Take your pick from surfing or paddle boarding for a sure fire way to enjoy a couple of hours out on the water.

Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

6. Try a local fitness studio

If you’re feeling daring, why not try out a nearby fitness class? Whether spinning, barre or yoga’s your jam, it’s worth seeking out a non-members studio if you’re craving your class fix. Websites like Class Pass operate in quite a few countries, making it incredibly easy to see which studios are in your area and help you seek out your favourite class from the list.

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