When traveling, my workout routine is often the last thing on my mind and the first thing to suffer. I much prefer relaxing and exploring everything a new city has to offer.
Even though I would love to lay on a beach all day there are a few things I have realized throughout my travels. The biggest one being exercise is not only necessary during time off, but it can also be fun.
Below I have assembled a list of tips and tricks that will help you stay active and enjoy your journeys across the world.
1. Pack accordingly
Packing for a holiday can at times feel like a chore and the last task before ‘freedom’. This should not take away from its importance and there are a few key items that are crucial not to forget.
A water bottle. Hydration is so important when it comes to spending the day out and about. Especially when you are in the sun. A good strong water bottle will not only remind you to drink, but it will reduce the need to buy plastic bottles.
A comfortable pair of walking shoes. Exploring is such a fantastic way to experience any new place, but this requires a good pair of trainers. The last thing you want is to show up for that hike in a flimsy pair of flip-flops. A good pair of shoes allows you the freedom and flexibility to plan a day full of activity and not be afraid to tackle it.
Gym clothes. It's understandable that on vacation you may not have any direct intention to work out. So why pack gym attire? Gym clothes can provide you with the comfort to keep moving and are often soft and breathable. Perfect for a long day filled with energy and sweat. Who knows they may even motivate you to go for a sunrise jog or that hike by the ocean.
2. Free tours
Another way to keep up with your fitness is to think about what activities are offered in each city. My husband, Matt, and I, for example, love a mixture of relaxation and adventure.
Before a recent vacation to Málaga, I tried to research every bit of our day and what we would do while there to no avail. Unfortunately, planning a trip can be stressful with the sheer amount of information.
This is why it is important to remember one thing. Wherever we travel, we are not locals. So who better to ask for recommendations from than those who live and breathe the culture?
The best way to do this? Free tours. Free tours have now become a tradition for myself and Matt wherever we go.
This is an amazing way to explore a new location (and easily get in your step count). These tours often last between an hour and a half to three hours, so your workout for the day is set.
If walking is not your thing you can choose from an array of transportation methods. Walking is our favorite, but Segway tours along with biking tours can also be reserved. It is important to know that Segway and biking tours have a set price, paid upfront when making the reservation.
Walking tours reservations are also required. This is so the tour guide can get an idea beforehand of how many people will be joining. No upfront payment is taken.
Local guides are in charge of giving the tours, and they rely on tips at the end of each one. Although these tips are not obligatory, they are highly encouraged.
Our go-to walking tour company is Guru Walk. They operate worldwide and provide a unique experience for all their guests.
Tours have the key benefit of getting you up and active without you realizing it. No matter what city you are in, or method you take, they can be fascinating. Plus the mouthwatering meal from the local pub after is completely justified.
3. Don´t let the day slip away
Waking up early on an average day can be tough. On your time off, you can actually hear your bed calling to you. Don’t let the warmth under the covers fool you. Waking up at a decent time has a proven number of health benefits, even on vacation.
For starters, it lets you fit everything you want into your day. Whether it is going on an oceanside hike near Málaga (which we loved) or a kayaking trip these activities take time. They are usually broken up into morning or afternoon slots. Factor in a break for lunch, and before you know it the evening has arrived and you are getting ready for the next day.
If you are planning a more relaxed day by the beach, setting the alarm clock is still important. Waking up early can give you the opportunity to get in a quiet morning workout, and continue to focus on your fitness without any distractions.
One of my most relaxing days in Málaga included a morning run along the promenade and watching the boats. Later that day we visited the local Hammam and received relaxing massages.
To be honest, Matt and I have found that a mixture of reasonable lie-ins and getting up early is best. Energy and relaxation. It is a vacation after all.
4. Plan ahead
Throughout my travels, my exercise routine has ebbed and flowed. In the past, I have viewed breaks like vacations as a hindrance to my health goals.
I found peace of mind in sticking to my workouts as best as I could, no matter where I was. Sometimes this proved more difficult especially when focusing on such things as strength training and aerobic exercises.
Over time I have learned there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Just as it is also ok to take a break on vacation and enjoy the occasional lie-in. It is important to do what works for you.
With the digital age, finding help sticking to a workout routine has become a difficulty of the past. Keeping this in mind, I looked into booking a session with a personal trainer on OneWorkout. This platform helps you find certified personal trainers when on the go or vacation. Quite simply, it lets you focus on your fitness while still getting the most out of your vacation.
5. Remember to relax and enjoy the dessert
Time off is exactly that. Time off. When on vacation and traveling to new places, it is acceptable if exercise is not the first thing on your mind. Shockingly, my favorite time on holiday is not when I am running by the boats, it is when I am eating.
Nutrition has a big impact on your health and wellbeing, so it is important not to go crazy just because it’s your day off. Everything in moderation and lots of water. This is something I live by.
That being said, with every new trip I look forward to which restaurants we’ll scope out. Where the most authentic cuisine is, and how I cannot wait to try it.
This is not to say I don’t love to exercise, to get my energy up, and conquer a day out of exploration. What it does mean is I don't sweat the small stuff. Especially the extra triple chocolate cake at the end of a fantastic day, and you shouldn’t either.