Four Ways To Keep Exercising While Travelling
The most bittersweet feeling in the world has to be the moment when you’ve been on a great run at the gym, meeting all your fitness goals, staying consistent with all your training sessions and meal plans - and then the time comes to go away on holiday.
Is the thrill of travelling worth losing all that progress?
We often speak about the benefits of rest days, and taking some time out to enjoy a well-earned break is essential from time to time, for both your physical and mental wellbeing. Taking a week’s holiday isn’t going to ruin your progress, as long as you pick back up on your fitness routines when you get back. We’ve discussed some of the potential issues you might face after a long break from the gym here, but realistically these will only really occur after a month or more away - if you’re off for a week or two, you’re unlikely to face many more issues than some slight muscle soreness when you pick back up on your routine.
However, there’s also no need to completely drop your exercise regime when you go on holiday. If you’re craving those workout endorphins and just can’t face lying still for a week, then we have you covered. Here are some of our favourite ways to keep up your fitness levels, even while on holiday.
How To Exercise When Travelling
Look into short-term gym memberships
Just about the best-case scenario you could hope for would be that your hotel or resort has its own gym (even better when that gym is actually kitted out with decent equipment).
Hotel gyms will generally be free for guests, or else accessible for a small fee. If this is the position you find yourself in, thank your lucky stars. The universe is working in your favour.
In case you’re not that blessed, your next step should be to investigate the local area and see if there’s a gym nearby which offers free trials, provides short-term memberships, or runs a pay-as-you-go scheme. These are fairly common in most popular resorts.
If you’re travelling in the UK, our gyms offer 1, 3, 7 or 30-day gym passes, with no need for previous membership. You can even sign up for our fitness classes if there’s space available. You can use the postcode of your accommodation to find a gym near you.
Focus on equipment-free bodyweight exercises
As useful as it is to have a fully stocked gym on hand, there’s no reason to despair if you don’t.
One of the best ways to ensure you can always get a good workout on holiday is to get really comfortable with bodyweight training. Also known as callisthenics, there are endless ways you can keep your body strong and healthy without the need for any equipment at all.
Pushups can be done anywhere, as can squats, and all you need to churn out some dips are a couple of chairs. Burpees are a quick and fast fitness favourite and perfect for a fast, intense fitness burst that you can easily squeeze in before heading down to the pool. If you prefer to have some equipment, then look for trees or climbing frames in the local park which can be used for doing pull-ups. Most places will have a beach or long stretches of road where you can do a morning sprint session.
We have a full guide to bodyweight training, which showcases some of the best exercises you can do, plus plenty of home workout ideas that would be just as effective in a hotel room as they are in your living room. This HIIT workout for home showcases some of our favourites.
You could also set yourself one goal to complete each day, to help keep your strength boosted, and to stop you falling out of the habit of exercise, but without needing to spend too long working out. For example:
- Start the day with sun salutations: this yoga stretch can keep your muscles supple, your spine lengthened and can help to ‘wake’ your body up ready for the day
- Do a single set of push ups to failure every day: depending on your fitness levels this could just take a moment or two, or could go on for several minutes, but either way you’ll be firing up your muscles and can aim to beat the previous day’s total
- Complete a daily timed plank: in a surprisingly short amount of time, the plank will exhaust your abs, core muscles, and maybe even legs to oblivion. Time your personal best plank hold, and repeat it once each day, always aiming to outdo your previous top score.
Pick up some portable workout equipment
If you’re planning to travel to a place where there’s not likely to be much in the way of a gym, or a workout-friendly local environment (if you’re travelling somewhere really cold in mid-winter, or staying in a bad part of town, for example), there’s still hope.
That hope comes in the form of portable exercise equipment that you can easily throw into a suitcase and use to get a good, varied workout session, right in your hotel room.
This could include different types of resistance bands to allow you to do isolation exercises like bicep curls or triceps extensions, portable pull-up bars and frames which can you can fit to doorframes without any screws needed, or inflatable exercise balls for core work. We go into more detail about the benefits of resistance bands, as well as some example exercises in our resistance bands exercises for beginners guide.
With a little creativity and a bit of cash spent, you’ll be able to turn any hotel room into a mini-gym. You may not set a new deadlift PR training this way, but you will keep your muscles engaged, and may even improve your overall strength by shocking your body with a new physical stimulus.
For short but effective workout ideas, check out our free workouts section.
Make the most of your holiday surroundings
Having a holiday or visiting a new place is an excellent opportunity to make the most of a new location and amenities. What better way to see the sights than by hiking up a mountain or spending your days exploring towns and cities on foot? Hotel swimming pools, lakes and, of course, the ocean provide great opportunities to practise your front crawl and you could maybe book a snorkelling trip so you can work in some exercise at the same time as spotting the local wildlife.
Wherever you go, there’s likely to be some kind of local activities you could sign up for. Look for options like tennis, skiing, hiking, yoga, climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing - it all counts, and will help to add enrichment and fun to your holiday experience! It may not be your regular exercise routine, but you’ll be benefitting from a change of scene and could discover a brand new exciting fitness option you can pick up back home too.
Start your fitness journey by signing up for a PureGym membership today. For more workout, nutrition and fitness tips and inspiration, check out our blog.