Cedric X. Bryant by Cedric X. Bryant

This article originally appeared in U.S. News and World Report on June 7, 2021.


5 Tips for Staying Active on the Go

Maintaining an exercise routine away from home can be challenging. But there's no reason to take a break from habits that keep you happy and healthy.

As travel restrictions are lifted – or at least loosened – in many places around the U.S. and the rest of the world, people are starting to plan vacations, road trips and even business trips.

Pandemic aside, many people struggle with maintaining an exercise routine – or a healthy eating plan – while away from home. A vacation or business trip doesn’t have to mean taking a break from those habits that keep you happy, healthy and balanced in your day-to-day life, but it may be an opportunity to shake things up and take a new approach to wellness, even if only for week or so.

Here are five tips for staying active on the go, whether you’re flying to a trade show or road tripping with your family.

5 Ways to Exercise When Traveling

1. Plan ahead.

As with most things, planning can be the key to success. From mapping out places to stop, stretch and grab a healthy meal when on the road, to leaving time for workouts when you’re attending a work event, it’s important to think ahead and have a plan.
Deviations from that plan are okay, but some forethought may keep you from completely losing focus on your wellness goals. And, if you simply can’t survive without hitting the gym and maintaining your usual routine – and you have a membership to a national chain – find locations in your destination city and book a nearby hotel.

2. Pack wisely.
Most hotels have gyms and pools. But if you’re staying with family or simply don’t have time to make it down to the gym each morning, be sure to pack some light-weight exercise equipment, such as resistance bands, a jump rope and a yoga mat.

simple but well-rounded routine can be performed with nothing but your body weight, a few pieces of equipment and some ingenuity.

3. Get outside and explore.
Every destination has its attractions. Whether it’s the River Walk in San Antonio, a local park with walking paths or a trailhead near your hotel, there’s always a good reason to get outside.

Outdoor exercise – also called green exercise – is a great change of pace if your typical workout regimen keeps you indoors. It’s also an opportunity to try new types of exercise that shake up your routine. The switch from indoor cycling to mountain biking, or from treadmill walking to hiking, can challenge your body and mind in new and fun ways.

4. Use online videos or workout DVDs.
Getting a quick workout done in your hotel room is a great way to squeeze in some exercise before starting your day. The options are endless, so don’t be afraid to mix things up by trying types of exercise that are not part of your typical routine.

And don’t think you have to maintain your “60 minutes a day” rule while on vacation in order stay fit. Every little bit helps and will make it easier to get back to your routine once you return home.

5. Focus on nutrition and hydration.
Always drink plenty of water, especially if you’re flying. And no matter how or where you’re traveling, be sure to pack some healthy snacks. If you’re on a road trip, map out some food destinations so you’re not pulling off the highway for fast food every time someone gets hungry. In addition, it’s always a good idea to look at restaurant menus online before arriving so you can be prepared to make healthy choices.

Finally, here’s a bonus tip: Don’t be too hard on yourself if you stray from your plan or indulge a bit while you’re traveling. While a vacation or business trip can be a welcome break from your routine, it doesn’t have to be a break from your hard-earned healthy habits. That said, don’t be afraid to splurge on some local cuisine or enjoy a day of relaxing on the beach – you're on vacation, after all.