Friday 10: Staying Fit While Traveling

I'm back! I hope everyone had a great Labor Day. We had a wonderful long weekend, but it went by far too quickly. Doesn't it always, though?

On Saturday, I went dress shopping with my Matron of Honor, mom, and aunt. Such a lovely day! Then, S and I went antiquing in Freelton, Ontario and found some fun stuff, like an old Oriole's helmet. You better believe I will be wearing it when we go to the O's/Jays game at the end of the month. It looks so ridiculous. Love it!

On to the Friday 10 for this week! It's a topic near and dear to my heart: fitness. Over the past couple of years I've been focusing on finding a fitness routine that I enjoy. It was no small feat, but it paid off in spades. Not only do I look better, but I feel better, and I look forward to working out (really!). 

Since I enjoy workouts now, I like finding ways to stay active on the road. Don't worry, there's nothing hardcore on my list. It's just 10 easy, quick, and fuss-free ways to fit in workouts. Remember, travel workouts should be an extension of what you already love to do. 

 Hiking through the clouds on Mount Mansfield in Vermont

Hiking through the clouds on Mount Mansfield in Vermont

#1 Walk or Hike or Run

This may seem obvious, but sometimes I overlook how much walking I do on trips. Get up early and go for a walk to get breakfast. Wander around with your post-lunch ice cream in hand. If you're in a beautiful, walkable city, plan your day so you can use minimal transit. If you're close to trails, go for a hike. Or use a site like All Trails to find one nearby. It all counts! I recommend using a pedometer app like Argus to put it all into perspective. You might be surprised at how many miles you can cover in a day.

Just like walking, running is a great way to see a new place while staying active. I used to run a lot, but now I save it for when the scenery is extra enticing. Like that time in France I ran through the woods from Beynac toward the neighboring castle at Fayrac.

It's a nice way to start the day energized yet relaxed. Unless you start thinking about crazy axe-weilding murderers from the 15th century popping out of the deserted woods to chase you. Then you start the day really, really energized. You might have a less. . .active. . .imagination than I do, though. 

Need help finding routes? Check out Map My Run. Or there's always running tours. I've never been on one--they don't seem like my cup of tea--but there are so many options for cities around the world like: City Running Tours in the US, or Paris Running Tour, or Go! Running Tours Barcelona

 Heading home to Beynac via canoe. Nothing quite like this view coming into sight!

Heading home to Beynac via canoe. Nothing quite like this view coming into sight!

#2 Canoeing

Canoeing the Dordogne is one of my favorite trip memories. My dad and I shared a canoe. We had lots of time to talk, he got to teach me how to actually canoe, and we stopped off at the picturesque village of La Roque-Gageac for lunch. The great thing about canoeing is that it can be as easy or as adventurous as you want it to be. 

#3 Cycling

Cycling also allows you to choose your level of adventure. Look into bike shares or rentals and do as the locals do in cities like Amsterdam. Or check out Frommer's World's 10 Best Bike Trips and sign up for a full cycling tour. 

#4 Yoga

There's something wonderful about doing a small yoga practice at the end of a travel day. It doesn't have to be much, just a few poses to unwind and release tension after lots of walking, sightseeing, and time on your feet. 

I recommend the Yoga Studio app for classes of all levels and lengths. If you have a computer or ipad with you, I also love YogaGloKathryn Budig is my favorite teacher. She makes every class fun. Looking for some free options?  Doyogawithme.com and Erin Motz have some nice classes for beginners to advanced yogis. 

#5 Nike Training Club

A iPhone and Android app from Nike that focuses on women's fitness (although, I think anyone can do the routines). There are over 100 workout options. I find the Get Lean high interval cardio drills and Get Focused 15 minute workouts are excellent on the road because they usually don't require any extra equipment. Plus, who doesn't love a fast 15 minute workout instead of a long, boring cardio-fest when you're trying to get out and about? 

#6 Greatist WOD

Lately, especially when I'm short on time, I've been doing Greatist's Workout of the Day (GWOD). They are super-quick, bodyweight-based workouts you can do anywhere. Challenging, fast, and perfect for travel. 

#7 Fitness Blender

Fitness Blender is a website run by a husband and wife team, Daniel and Kelli. It's become my go-to site for high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. They have a substantial library of free videos that use bodyweight only. The search function allows you to narrow down the options by focus, difficulty, and duration. Bonus: Kelli and Daniel often do the workouts, too, so you can suffer with someone. 

#8 You Are Your Own Gym

Another app I love by Mark Lauren who focuses on bodyweight only workouts. The app lets you choose a quick workout based on how much time you have. What I really like, though, is that it also has 10-week programs for three different levels. I did the intermediate level recently and saw great results, especially in my upper body strength. He also has a book, You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises, that I've heard great things about, but the app has been enough for me. 

#9 The 7 Minute Workout

All you need is your body, a wall, a chair, a timer, and these 12 exercises:

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Wall Sit
  3. Push-up
  4. Crunch
  5. Step-ups onto a chair
  6. Squat
  7. Tricep Dips using a chair
  8. Plank
  9. High Knees
  10. Lunge
  11. Rotational Push-up
  12. Side Plank

Perform an exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next one. That's it. The New York Times ran an article about the science behind it in 2013. Naturally, the concept took off and now there are a ton of apps for Android and iPhone. There's also this online timer, but you don't need any of that, a good watch will do. 

 Lazing on the dock at the cottage this summer

Lazing on the dock at the cottage this summer

#10 Just Relax!

That's right! Number 10 is to not workout. In the end, sometimes it's better just to relax and enjoy your trip. Rest--and recovery--can be just important as a good workout. If you've been going full throttle back home, it can be great to take some time to catch up on sleep, eat delicious food, and then, head back home fresh and ready to go.


That's it for this week, but these 10 just begin to cover all of the ways you can stay active. The other week I was talking to a friend who does Crossfit and she told me all about an app called Wodify that lets you find the nearest Box (gym) to work out in while traveling. She loves it!

What it boils down to is staying fit while traveling is about finding what you love to do and adapting it to fit your travel plans. Make it part of the adventure.

Do you try to stick to a fitness schedule when you travel? What are you favorite ways to workout on the road? 

Happy Weekend Everyone!