My Favorite Resources to Stay in Shape and Exercise while Traveling

My Favorite Resources to Stay in Shape and Exercise while Traveling

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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.

7 Minute Workout

The 7 Minute Workout is a high intensity interval training program whereby you go through 13 different exercises over the course of 7 minutes with just 10-seconds rest between each.

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.

7 minute workout

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.

100 Push Ups

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.

(Psst... Wanna know the "secret" to traveling forever or being free to do what you love? Here's the answer, in five simple steps)

100 pushups

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

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.

running

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 like to use an app like Couch-to-5k to record my time, distance, pace, etc while running, though there are a million different great apps like Strava and others which you can use.

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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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. Here are my favorite tools and resources to ensure you don’t come back heavier than when you set out...

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My Favorite Resources to Stay in Shape and Exercise while Traveling

Ryan

Author, Writer, and Head Honcho at Desk to Dirtbag
Ryan is an author, adventurer, perpetual wanderer, and self-proclaimed dirtbag (but that might not mean what you think). Originally from Seattle, he headed to Washington D.C. where he spent five years working for Congress before heeding the call of the wild. He set out living in his pickup truck to road trip across the American West. Since then he backpacked through Colombia, drove across all of Central America, and also wrote a best selling book: Big Travel, Small Budget. He just finished driving his old truck across all of South America -- support the adventures by visiting the D2D Shop. Follow the adventures on social media or read more about me.

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