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Keeping Fit While on the Road

I can’t help it:  I over-indulge foodwise when I travel.  I try to eat healthy, but all my good intentions fly out the window when I’m presented with temptation. Crusty rye rolls, jacket potatoes, and other food stuffs dripping with cheese are just a few of my weaknesses. While I usually fail at limiting what I eat, there is another way I minimize the damage:  exercising while on my trip.

My exercise of choice? I run.

To be honest, I don’t love running.  But it’s my preferred method of exercise when I travel for 3 reasons:

1.  You don’t have to weigh your luggage down with a bunch of equipment– all I bring is a good pair of cross-trainers and t-shirt and shorts/leggings for my runs.

 

2.  You can do it almost anywhere that has an open space.  I love that I’m not reliant on my hotel/hostel having gym facilities, especially since I prefer to run outside.

 

3.  You get a better sense of your destination’s surroundings and discover new areas on your runs. My runs through the town of Antigua, Guatemala last summer took me through streets not typically on the tourist trail.  I stumbled upon a number of  cute little shops not written up in my travel guide!

I tend to run in the mornings when I travel because I’m an early riser and love starting the day with some exercise. I also run in the mornings because I know that my days are going to be jam-packed with sightseeing and exploration.  Why not in the evening then?  Besides being exhausted after the day’s events, I don’t think it prudent to run in the dark in an unfamiliar place.  Safety first, folks!

Do you make it a point to exercise when you’re on a trip?  What type of exercise do you do?

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Memoria
    July 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Once I get over my painful shyness, I want to start running along the Mediterranean sea here in Reggio Calabria. I must must take advantage of my current location! Thank you for posting this. It was most timely.

  • Reply
    Lu-Gerda
    July 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Hi Oneika, I got a lovely suprise when my Frommer’s Londen Guide arrived in the post yesterday. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Jai
    July 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I’m just packing for a trip tomorrow and put my running shoes in my bag first. A jumping rope is good too when it’s raining.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    July 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I also run when I travel even though it’s not my favorite activity. Like you said, there’s no special equipment needed and it does allow you to see parts of town you might otherwise miss. And best of all, getting up and out early allows you to take pictures of some of the prime tourist destinations without a whole bunch of tourists around!

  • Reply
    Andi
    July 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    I don’t exercise on my travels, because my trips are too short to waste time exercising! Plus, I’m usually pretty active whether it’s walking around or scuba diving.

  • Reply
    The Rowdy Chowgirl
    July 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I’m a runner too, and all the reasons you gave for running while traveling are excellent. I usually don’t though, for two reasons: 1. it’s hard to find room for another pair of shoes in my bag, and 2. I can’t imagine running somewhere really hot, like Thailand. I’m from Seattle! I’m used to cooler running temperatures.

  • Reply
    Shey
    July 13, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I’m a sucky runner. At home I love to do Zumba, so maybe my form of exercise on the road will be dancing all night long lol!

  • Reply
    JoAnna
    July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Running is my number one option as well, but yoga’s also great and requires only shorts/capris, a top and a 2lb travel mat. You can do it in your hotel room (or, if you’re adventurous: find a class in the town you’re in…most yoga teachers I’ve come across are extremely open and friendly even if English isn’t a language they’re comfortable with) and really get your heart-rate going with some fast sequencing.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      I’ve never actually done yoga (gasp!) but I always here great things about it! All the better that it’s easy to do while travelling!! I’ve always gotten the impression that classes are expensive, though, is that true?

      • Reply
        Marie-Sophie
        July 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        Hey Oneika,

        just found your blog through Gillian’s recommendation (from battleofthebites.com) … love your blog! 🙂 If you’ve never done yoga, it is a bit harder to do by yourself (since you’re not that familiar with poses and won’t be able to adjust or change poses) but once you’ve got a bit of experience (through some yoga classes, they help tremendously at the start!), you can create your own yoga flow or download 20min yoga classes for free!!! (I like the ones from yoga download.com)

        If you get the chance to visit a yoga studio, give it a try! 🙂 (most yoga studios offer a first time-pass for a week or the first yoga class for free or a reduced price)

        And if you ever come by Germany, shoot me an email! 🙂

        • Reply
          Marie-Sophie
          July 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm

          As I was clicking through your blog, I read that you have a German boyfriend! 🙂 Wohooo!

          • Oneika
            July 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

            I do!! Er ist sehr schoen. 🙂

        • Reply
          Oneika
          July 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

          Thanks for the yoga website recommendation! And so glad that you’ve come on over from Gillian’s blog, she rocks… Where do you live in Germany? I go to Berlin very often!

  • Reply
    jen
    July 14, 2012 at 10:53 am

    despite the best intentions, i never excersize while travelling. i like to think that all the walking makes up for it, though.
    i can’t run in the morning — NOT a morning person, nor is my body!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Luckily (unluckily?) I have problems sleeping, so I’m always up early and raring to go!

  • Reply
    Emm in London
    July 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I’m also terrible at keeping fit. My worst trip was my honeymoon when I went up two dress sizes and never quite recovered. Which is to say I didn’t recover at all. I’ve started walking while on holiday and Stephen tracks our miles each day. It’s a lot of fun!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      LOL I had to laugh at your statement “which is to say that I didn’t recover at all”! I am trying really hard to keep my exercise consistent while away and whenever I can’t run I try to walk everywhere with Liebling 🙂

  • Reply
    Kat
    July 16, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Wow, I’ve just spent ages reading through your blog and am rather jealous! I think it’s great that you continue to keep up your workout routine when you travel. When I go abroad I always end up losing weight for some reason and try to do a lot of walking – but always come back really unfit. Next time I’m going to pack the trainers and get out there for those morning runs. Nice work!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks for reading, Kat! I also tend to do a lot of walking while I explore, but all the junk I eat ends up counteracting that activity… 🙂

  • Reply
    Ayngelina
    July 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I just bought a pair of light weight running shoes because I need more flexibility on the road and I just gave up on exercise. Good for you for keeping at it.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      The first step is getting the shoes!

    • Reply
      Jill
      July 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      I’m headed out today to get some light weight trainers! I never want to pack my clunky trail shoes when I travel.

      • Reply
        Oneika
        July 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm

        I got a pair of fab running shoes 2 months ago, the only problem is that I don’t want to bring them when I travel- they are too nice! So I bring my old trainers, I don’t mind if they get battered/messed up.

  • Reply
    Vanny
    July 17, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I run too and will usually do it at the start of my day. For resistance training, I pack a resistance band. Takes up almost no space. I also like to use the Nike training app (NTC). Some of the routines don’t require any equipment.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      I haven’t used any apps or devices but I’m thinking of getting a Garmin watch. I really should add weights for resistance, thanks for reminding me!

  • Reply
    Marsha
    July 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I used to run when I traveled too, early in the morning because I’m an early riser like you. I love seeing my new surroundings when it’s just waking up. It feels really magical. Got out of shape in the last year and a half and hoping to start running again soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      No worries!! I would love to run a half marathon this year.. We’ll see!

  • Reply
    Not Just Another Milla
    July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I positively hate running, however whenever I travel I tend to run because if I have to choose being three extra pairs of shoes and sports equipment, I’ve already chosen! I find even the most luxurious of hotels have rather depressing gym facilities. Either that or I do classes if available.

    Why don’t we do a yoga or pilates class when you get back to London.

    PS – You look amazing Oneika! Those gym sessions = time well spent.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Haha Milla, this is why I love you. Seriously. A woman after my own heart!! I say yes to the yoga and pilates classes- I’m good at cardio (i.e. running), but my core is terribly weak!! Thanks for the compliment, lady, you are looking pretty hot yourself!

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Oh how I wish getting up early and going for a run sounded like a good idea for my life. I just tell myself that I walk more than usual while traveling and therefore deserve donuts everyday.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      I still do the same from time to time 🙂

  • Reply
    Monica
    July 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I’m like you and I don’t love running but I do love my food so I always try and get out for a run while I’m away. I love an early morning jog round a new city but I have gone out early and got completely lost before and not made it back to the hotel until lunch time. Oh well, I’m sure I discovered way more than a would have otherwise.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Getting lost when you travel is almost always a good thing, lol.

  • Reply
    Christina
    July 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I should make running a must while traveling! All you need is your sneakers and gym clothes, =D But do you end up doing some upper body workouts as well?

    C.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      July 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      It’s very rare that I work my upper body- I really should though!

  • Reply
    Today the Travellers Eye is Oneika in Wadi Rum, Jordan - TravelwyseTravelwyse
    July 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    […] The one thing you always do when travelling is eat…and eat-eat-eat, but thankfully Oneika has some advice for Keeping Fit While on the Road. […]

  • Reply
    Bradford
    July 30, 2012 at 4:44 am

    I agree with you on the running thing. It keeps you in shape and is invaluable as a method to better get to know a place. I think folks really miss out on that benefit by being holed up in a hotel gym.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      It s so much more interesting for me as well! I hate the DREADmill 😉

  • Reply
    Kiri Bowers
    August 16, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I’m a skipper. Skipping rope takes absolutely no room up in my backpack, you can do it inside even when it’s raining and it’s apparently been proven that shorter bursts of super high intensity cardio is better for you than long midpace cardio. That and I can’t run for sh*t! I also walk almost everywhere so am with you on the exercise to discover new places bit…

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Wow! How long do you skip for? This is probably even a better option than running! How do you keep your interest level up, though? Doesn’t it get repetitive?

  • Reply
    Julie
    April 4, 2016 at 2:20 am

    I tried to run, but I hate it SOOOO much!! Finally, I run occasionnally but I’ve found my favorite way to exercise abroad : jump rope. It’s very complete as you work out pretty much every muscles and it’s also cardio. It’s hard but shorter than running (I started with 12mins every other day). In addition, I often do abs and then I sleep very well ;).

  • Reply
    Heather @ Art Travel Eat Repeat
    September 20, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I like to either run, hike, swim, or kayak…something that keeps me active but also gets me outdoors, enjoying the surroundings. The other thing I do is find a local Crossfit affiliate and do a walk-in class. I’ve been doing Crossfit for almost a year so it’s easy to do a walk-in anywhere. That’s fun too because I get to meet locals and ask them what’s cool around town. I would imagine if somebody doesn’t Crossfit, any other kind of walk-in fitness class would work as well (yoga, pilates, Zumba, etc.)

  • Reply
    Korii
    September 20, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I like to think I’m pretty active when travelling as I do a lot of walking/hiking. However if I’m travelling for work, I’ll try and do a bit of a workout in my hotel room just using my body weight so things like push ups, burpees, squats, lunges. There’s a cool method called tabata where you do as many of a single exercise as possible in say 20 secs then have a short break then go hard for another 20 secs with another exercise.
    Also, a TRX is really handy to take when travelling for doing upper body exercises. ?

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