There is tons of research on the benefits of exercise and tons of bloggers who talk about these benefits, so I won’t spend time talking about them. Rather, I will talk about how and why I stay active when I am not home and when my daily routine is disrupted.
As a Registered Dietitian and fitness professional, activity is part of my daily routine. If I am not active, I go stir crazy (Just ask Michael…). Moving my body not only helps to keep my muscles strong, but also helps to keep my mind in check. On days I am not active, I find it difficult to focus and get things done. Also, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Essentially, being active helps keep me smiling all day long (and not killing people). At home, I try to be active everyday. Whether it is walking Zona and Bo, teaching a group fitness class, finding a class on ClassPass, or just dancing around my apartment. As long as I am moving, I am happy.
Through our travels, I have found that If I don’t stay active I become sluggish and grumpy. I have also found that while I am on vacation or traveling I do not like wasting time in the gym when I could be exploring (or sleeping). I have found that building activity into my exploring plans allows me to move my body naturally while in a new environment.
My favorite way to be active while traveling is so simple…. WALK! Assuming you are in a safe place, walking is the easiest way to stay active! Walking is low impact and a great low intensity cardio activity. Also, when you are walking in a new place and seeing new things, the steps come so easily. While Michael and I are exploring new places we can easily walk over 10 miles in a day! We also love walking UP. In most old cities, you can take endless stairs up the pillars of old buildings to experience the best views in the city. Climbing stairs is a great calorie burner and also helps shape a great tushy.
Bikeshare programs, such as CitiBike or DecoBike, are another way to travel about a city. On a bike you can cover more distance than walking. Biking is also easier on the joints. My favorite thing about bikeshare programs are that you can leave the bikes at any bikeshare station in the city you are in, allowing you to explore a big area while starting and ending your adventures in different places. You can find bikeshare programs here.
Running is also another great way to see a new area but it is hard on the body (and most people can not run as long or as far as they can walk). Personally, I have a knee injury that prevents me from running long distances and I happen to sweat a lot, so after a run I NEED to shower, where as I can stay in my walking clothes all day long. If I happen to be up early, I may go for a short (2-3 mile) run to see the area before streets become too crowded.
Finding local fitness events or classes is also another awesome way to stay active and to get to know the local fitness scene. Assuming the weather is good, I love finding a outdoor yoga class is a great way to get fresh air. You can often find outdoor classes and events through Facebook, Instagram, and Eventbrite. I also love using ClassPass to get a sense of the local fitness scene. I recently wrote a post about utilizing Class Pass while traveling.
My other favorite way to stay active while traveling is to plan activities (and trips) involving activity. One of my favorite ways to sightsee is by arranging a bicycle tour. I know Segway tours are popular, but you can often cover the same sites with a bike tour while also getting in a great calorie burn. I also love active vacations such as skiing and hiking trips. Being outside is always refreshing and even if your trip does not revolve around outdoor activity, you can often find a great hike in or around most major cities.
I know not everyone loves being active, and working out on vacation is the LAST thing most people want to do, but moving your body will ensure you are energized and will also help you get a feel of the local culture of wherever you are visiting.
Share your favorite ways to stay active while traveling with me!