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Traveling and staying in shape can often be at odds with one another. You are constantly on the move and often eating out which usually means big portions of not exactly healthy food. It can be a challenge to ensure you don’t come back heavier than when you set out, but there are some great ways to exercise while traveling which you can basically anywhere.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not in great shape. I used to be in pretty good shape when I was hiking and climbing every single day, or running every day, but road tripping through all of Latin America has meant more days off than on.
But I still want to make sure I can go on a five day trek or climb a 17,000+ foot mountain at a moments notice without suffering too much.
So that means doing simple exercises, even just for a few minutes every day. That means exercises that don’t require any special equipment. I want to be able to do these things whether I’m in a cheap hotel room, an awesome Airbnb, or truck camped along the side of the road somewhere.
Exercise While Traveling
Here are a few of the things that I use and rely on to maintain a basic level of fitness while I travel the world.
I like apps and technology, so I utilize these to help guide my exercise, record my results, or simply keep me accountable with built-in reminders.
The exercises range from planks, push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, etc. The only thing you need is a chair or a bed (for step ups and tricep dips). If you have a pad or soft surface it’s nice for things like push ups or sit ups, but it isn’t necessary.
I did these exercises diligently in the weeks leading up to a big climb in the Andes, and I got through it just fine despite the fact that I hadn’t climbed a big peak for over a year.
In just seven minutes I’m usually huffing and puffing, but if you’re feeling extra energetic, you can do an extra round or two to make it 14 or 21 minutes.
Perhaps the most effective bodyweight exercise is the simple push up. 100 Push Ups creates a long-term plan for you based on how many push ups you can currently do, while gradually ramping up as things get easier.
The goal is to be able to do 100 consecutive push ups — something I’d love to be able to do, one day.
It’s usually an on-again, off-again relationship with 100 push ups. Sometimes it feels like I never make any progress and plateau, then I forget about the app for awhile.
Either way, doing push ups until failure is a great way to build and maintain upper body strength while traveling, and they can be done absolutely anywhere and everywhere.
Running and traveling are great companions. You don’t need much beyond your running shoes and some athletic wear in order to get out there.
Plus it allows you to see the city or place you are traveling in a whole new way, on foot, often covering new or unexplored ground.
There have been a number of times where I’ve stumbled across a cool looking restaurant or shop thanks to running through a new neighborhood, then I put it on my mental list to return.
I wrote another article about how to get started with running.
How about you?
What is your favorite way to stay in shape or exercise while traveling? Sound off in the comments below.
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