Staying active while travelling often requires next level motivation. When you’ve been pretzel-ing yourself into planes, cars and buses for days, often the last thing you feel like doing is going for a run—despite knowing that you need it!
But regardless of your constantly changing schedule, the lack of your regular running route and the total up in the air-ness of almost everything when you’re on the road, there are ways to keep moving your body to stay fit when you’re travelling.
Habit Stacking is the latest craze developed by James Clear in his New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits. And it’s super simple and effective. The idea is this—when it comes to creating new habits, use current behaviours to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to stack it on top of an already established one. Even when you’re travelling there are habits that you stick to every day. Having your morning coffee or tea? Brushing your teeth? Try this: When you’ve finished brushing your teeth in the morning, do a five-minute quick HIIT exercise routine. Just a handful of star jumps, some squats, push-ups and high knees running on the spot will do the trick—or whatever feels good for you. Which leads to our next point…
Burn in bursts
Did you know that three 10-minute blocks of exercise can be at least as effective as one thirty-minute workout, because of the caloric after-burn? This is great to know if you’re short on time and have convinced yourself it’s not worth doing a lap around the block. Try to include simple, high intensity exercises into your travel routine wherever you can.
When you’re packing your bag, put some music on and give it your all. Throw a few squats in and you’ll burn calories without even noticing. Can you walk to your morning café instead of taking the bus? Make the most of any extra time you have to move your body. Take the stairs at the train station instead of the elevator. Do a few laps of the airport instead of sitting on the massage chair. And explore on foot as much as you can.
Nourish in nature
One of the best things about travelling is exploring peaceful pockets of nature. It might be a run around a park in the middle of the city or a sunset stroll around the suburbs. If you’re near a beach or a lake you might even enjoy a swim. Immerse yourself in the elements. It feels good, and it will keep you fit.
Scope out the fitness scene
Sometimes, scoping out the local fitness scene can add an extra element to your travel fun. If you’re into yoga, see if you can find a local studio or two to try out. If you love group fitness, then check out what the local gym is offering. It’s fun and can give you a whole new insight into the area you’re exploring. You might even meet some locals!
There are plenty of online spaces that offer an array of activities catering to all fitness levels—and some of them can be accessed through a simple phone app. You can start with YouTube for free while you’re exploring and work your way up to a monthly subscription if it feels good—I recommend Glo (for every type of yoga under the sun taught by expert teachers) and Centrfit (HIIT, strength training, boxing, yoga and more).
When you’re waiting in line, instead of picking up your phone, you can burn calories just by breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing (deep breaths into your lower belly) not only helps to calm your nervous system and reduce stress, but also teaches your body to use its core effectively and hence burn calories.
Jessica Humphries is a writer, yoga teacher and passionate traveller. After studying philosophy and immersing herself in the Sydney corporate world, she threw it all in to become a yoga teacher/writer, relocating to the lazy Northern Rivers to enjoy life. Jess has taken many a travel sabbatical and continues to jet around to scope out the best wellness escapes and yoga goodness, whilst working as a freelance writer, editor, copywriter and yoga teacher. See her own travel blog at www.jesshumphries.com