A holiday doesn’t mean you have to give up a cherished fitness routine. These four quick tips by guest writer Suzi Morales will help you maintain your exercise routine – and hopefully your sanity – while traveling.

Tips for Fitness on the Road

One recent Saturday morning, I received a text from a friend who was traveling. “I wanted to go for a run this morning, and I brought everything except a sports bra!” she wrote. The text was followed by several angry emojis. Even for frequent travelers, keeping up a fitness routine on the road can be a challenge, but missing your workouts can lead to more travel stress. A little preparation and planning before a trip can help keep you on track.

Research Your Destination

Whether you’re traveling abroad with the family or on business in the city, find out in advance what facilities are available at your destination. If staying at a hotel, call ahead and request information like:

  • Is your fitness centre open and available to registered guests for free? If not free, what is the additional cost?
  • Are there gyms nearby? (If there are, contact the gym to arrange for a guest pass.)
  • Is the neighborhood safe for runners/walkers at the time of day you would be out? What’s the topography like – hilly, flat, at elevation?
  • If you’re staying with family or friends, ask if they have any equipment you could use.
  • Is there a playground nearby where you can exercise while the kids play?

Plan Your Workout

Once you have an idea what’s available, schedule the best workout for your location and schedule. I try to stick to my workout plan if possible, but often it needs to be modified to accommodate my sightseeing or work schedule. A little flexibility allows you to take advantage of the location and amenities. For example, one of my favorite vacation memories was a challenging trail run on the cliffs overlooking the ocean at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego, California.

Download an App

Apps are great for helping you keep track of your fitness goals and maintain a schedule. My go-to travel workout apps are:

MapMyRun – In a new city, you can enter your location and find running routes in a variety of distances, with a map to follow.

Sworkit – This app provides timed workouts that let you choose your focus and don’t require any equipment.

Nike+ – This app provides slightly less autonomy than Sworkit to customize the workout. On the other hand, there are easy-to-follow videos and the option to use weights, resistance bands, and equipment.

7 Minute Workout – The beauty of this app is that you can do just one workout round or several, depending on the time you have. On that family trip to San Diego a few years ago, I did some seven-minute circuits at a playground across the street from our hotel while my husband went for a run.

Check Your Packing List

Once you’ve decided what you’re planning to do and when, make sure to pack the right gear. If you use packing cubes, have a dedicated cube for your workout gear. Think through everything you’re going to do and include it on your packing list, or see if the place you’re staying rents workout gear. Depending on your workout routine, your fitness packing list can include the following:

…and, of course, that sports bra.

Suzi Morales is a freelance writer specializing in travel, fitness, business, and organization, as well as a lawyer. She loves family adventures with her husband and two sons, but admits that her inner introvert enjoys solo business travel, too. In her “spare time,” she writes about being a working mom and very amateur triathlete at www.thereisatri.com.

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