It doesn't matter whether you are one of the people who are thinking right now: "Sport on the road, who needs it?" or whether you are at the other extreme and perhaps even waived a trip once because you were afraid of losing your hard-earned form again. In both cases I can promise you: doing sports on the road is not only possible, it is not difficult at all and it it is fun - usually even more so than at home. Here are my 10 tips on how to get back home fitter than you started.
Sport while travelling - Why?
The simple answer to this question: Because there is no reason not to. Exercise helps with jet lag-induced sleep problems and gets you into the daily rhythm at your destination faster. If you are trained, you can at least maintain your current form with only a few minutes a day and even if you are an absolute sports grouch, you are guaranteed to find one or two things you enjoy doing on the road. If, on the other hand, you spend your trip lying in the sun and sipping cocktails, getting back into your everyday life at home might not be that easy.
Sport also gets you in touch with local people much faster. Whether you take surfing lessons together, take a yoga class or go to the gym - you are guaranteed to meet people you wouldn't have met otherwise and also learn a lot more about the culture of a country.
When and where do you have more time than on holiday? The surroundings often invite you to spend more time outdoors than at home. Because let's be honest: Where do you prefer to roll out the yoga mat? With a view of the balcony next door or the palm trees directly in front of your terrace door?
There is no better way to get to know a new place than during the morning run. Within an hour you have explored everything within a radius of ten kilometres, discovered new paths and maybe even brought along one or two insider tips. All you need is your running shoes and you are ready to start anywhere and anytime.
I have to admit that I have an incredibly poor sense of orientation and I still wonder how people manage to simply run off in a strange place without at some point ending up in front of a bank, a cliff or the fence of a military restricted area - as I said, bad orientation - and having to turn around again. Nevertheless I have found my way back every time so far and found at least some places I would not have discovered in the normal way.
By now, there are even running groups in many places that combine running and sightseeing. If this is too unsporty for you, do your interval sprints on the beach instead and then jump directly into the sea to cool off.
Another way to keep yourself fit, no matter where you are, is to train with your own body weight.
Even on a business trip, which is clocked from start to finish, you have ten minutes in the morning or evening to quickly do some bodyweight exercises. You do not need much space or any kind of equipment. Typical exercises are squats, burpees or push-ups, the difficulty of which can be increased by using various techniques. Maybe you are lucky and find a playground nearby, which gives you an even wider range of possible exercises.
For more variety you will find countless free fitness videos or courses on YouTube or other platforms.
But even if you prefer to train with equipment, a trip does not stop you from doing your usual training. With the sling trainer you can train only with your own body weight too - but depending on the exercise, this can be more demanding than training with weights. There is no smaller and lighter alternative that is more useful than the handy belt that you can hook into any door.
You don't even need an expensive TRX for this - a cheaper version does the job just as well.
As an alternative you can also pack resistance bands or the good old skipping rope.
Surfing is still one of the most popular travel sports in the world. Even the most unathletic among us will hardly be able to resist the temptation to get on the board themselves on a beautiful beach with great waves. Surfing is not only incredibly fun - it also burns up to 300 calories per hour. And even if every muscle hurts after the first few times - during this time you hardly notice that you are even doing sports.
If you are not traveling in the African jungle, you are guaranteed to find a gym somewhere on your journey where you can train for days on end. A good alternative if the weather is bad or you don't feel like training alone. Most of the hotel gyms are not really recommendable - but recently even smaller hotels have started to cooperate with nearby gyms, so you can train there for free or at a reduced price.
Finding a hotel that offers yoga classes directly on site should not be too difficult anymore. Alternatively, you can find a local studio almost everywhere or you can do your exercises alone or with the help of an online course.
Yoga, especially in combination with meditation, is the perfect sport for on the go. There's no way you can leave everyday worries behind faster and focus on yourself in the moment - and that's what traveling is all about.
Hiking / Climbing
Typically, one moves more when traveling than at home - thanks to sightseeing and getting lost. Hiking trips - whether it's just for a day or a week's hike from hut to hut - bring fun to exploring new landscapes and ensure that you're on your feet all day long.
Climbing tours are a bit more demanding, but also more effective and you usually have even more beautiful views with less tourists around you than if you stay on the usual hiking trails.
In the pool, in the lake or at best in the sea - if you are traveling, chances are good that there is water nearby somewhere. If you take swimming halfway seriously and do not just jump from the air mattress into the water once an hour, it is one of the most effective and most gentle sports of all. You will strain almost every muscle group and have a great refreshment at the same time, instead of just frying in the sun on the beach for hours.
Tours by canoe or kayak are a great way to explore the surroundings from the water. First of all you will see an incredible amount of the wildlife and nature of a place and secondly you will have had an effective workout. On your next trip you should definitely look for a canoe rental company. The perfect holiday fun for two or with a whole group.
Bicycles can be rented really everywhere and they are the best alternative to bus, train or taxi. No matter whether you only want to be mobile on site or plan an all-day bike tour - you are not only doing something for your fitness, but also for the environment.
Staying fit on travels: Equipment
The good news is that for all these ways to keep yourself fit, all you need is comfortable clothes and good shoes - all things you probably already have in your luggage anyway. Smaller equipment, like the sling trainer, can even be carried in your hand luggage if necessary.
A yoga mat is also always a good idea when you are out and about - not only for your exercises in your hotel room, but also for unplanned or planned overnight stays outside.
Staying in shape while traveling with kids
As soon as your child is no longer very small and can easily be put into a Baby Jogger, other things will have to make up for your workout on the road. Half an hour of bodyweight exercises in a hotel room shouldn't be a problem - even if you are traveling alone with your child. During the day, however, it's easy to combine fun and exercise. Most children enjoy hiking, swimming or cycling. The older they get, the more exciting the adventures can become and the better mum or dad stays in shape.
If you are looking for possibilities how to keep a healthy routine while traveling, make sure you read my article about it.