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  • Mattias Johansson
  • "How do you stay in shape while travelling?"

Mattias Johansson

Halmstad, Sweden

How do you stay in shape while travelling?

Good day to all of you!

I'm very curious to hear about how you, if it's a priority, stay in shape while being away from home - particularly during long-term travel. I find it to be an interesting challenge when being out of one's normal environment and having less control.

How do you handle temptations in terms of new foods and drinks, eating out, or shopping for groceries in markets that are completely different from what you're used to?

How do you keep up on your workouts when you don't have access to equipment, gym, or just don't know much about the surroundings?

In other words, how do you manage and maintain your exercising and nutrition?

All the best,

Mattias

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18 Answers

  • Reg Gatmaitan

    top answer by

    I love to eat and drink when I travel. Food usually makes me go back to places I have been to. So how do I try to stay in shape? I usually bring a jump rope. If I won't be walking the whole day, I make sure that I do jump rope inside my hotel room and some light exercises. Here's my routine: 2 minute jump rope, 10 push ups and 50 crunches in 10 sets. Hope this helps.

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  • Nan Zhou

    answered by

    The best way is just walk everywhere! You can save money AND keep fit. The benefits and effect walking has on staying in shape have been known for a long time now.

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  • Radhina Almeida Coutinho

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    I can't resist eating out and drinking while on holiday but I walk to stay in shape. All day. I find this is usually the best and most enjoyable way to stay in shape while traveling - you get to see so much more of the place and get a real street-side feel for a city.

    In addition, I try and make sure that on most holidays I tag on some mildly physically demanding activity, whether it's diving or a short hike. It means that I anticipate needing to be in good shape before the holiday and eat and drink relatively healthy while traveling - I find you really don't feel like diving or going on a hike with a really full tummy or after a late night out :)

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  • Alex Schnee

    answered by

    One of the realizations I came to when starting to live a nomadic lifestyle is that the best way to see a place and to stay in shape was simply to run around your location. If you're headed to Europe, most cities are easily jog-able.

    Also, instead of taking buses or public transportation, walking is usually the best way to go. Again, you get to see the spot you're visiting much more than you would while on the subway or tram and you get a little extra cardio in.

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  • peggy robbins

    answered by

    Yes to walking. When we travel we leave the hotel by 7AM and return around 11PM. Long days. But guess what? We walk the entire time. I have never put on any weight when traveling and we stop at every pastry shop, gelato shop, we eat the fresh bread, etc. It is the best way to get around and see everything and stop everywhere and eat everything! Occasionally, we hop on a train if a place is very far out, but that can be a great workout too! Once, in Paris, we took the Metro to see the Basilica of Montmartre. We must have gone up hundreds of steps to get out. At one point, we were getting tired and heard the arrival of another train below. Before we knew it, hundreds of people were coming up the steps behind us, very quickly! Some were even running up! We just looked at each other and quickened are steps. Now that was a workout!!

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  • Andrea Florescu

    answered by

    I try to do a workout every morning before my husband or party wakes up. I am an early riser and I usually wake up before everybody else. If that is not possible, I try to take the long route from the restaurant to our room, or something similar. That will give you extra time to walk. Also food settles in your stomach by the time you get there. I also carry my Isagenix products with me everywhere I go. Although I do not take them as regularly as I would do it at home (I want to enjoy good food if I have the chance), I try to have at least 1 shake/day, take the supplements, and limit the amount of alcohol I drink (I still drink....who wouldn't while on vacation.). This helps me not to pack on the extra lbs I would normally do while on vacation. I think the key is balance and do not over do it with the food, drink, etc. @RivieraNayarit, Bahia De Banderas, Mexico

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  • Tanya Roberts

    answered by

    1. Lots of walking

    2. Skipping rope

    3. Elastic exercise band

    4. Yoga 2 Go travel cards

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  • Kat D

    answered by

    I think this depends on what kind of trip you are taking. If you're staying in a nicer hotel or resort, they will almost always have a gym and that gym will almost always be empty. Otherwise, I stick to being active in other ways that require a very limited amount of equipment - running and yoga mostly. Anywhere you go should have an option for some form of outdoor exercise too: biking/swimming/hiking/kayaking/etc etc.

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  • Juan Manuel Rojas

    answered by

    Walking from one place to another is certainly the best way to stay in shape, specially if you go to a place like Paris (not to mention the metro stairs). To keep your metabolism high, I would recommend doing a 5 minute plank workout every other day, or even 10 minute full body workouts (there are several apps you can get for free that have lots of examples). You don't want to be tired all day when you have sightseeing to do so you can't really have hard and long workouts.

    In terms of nutrition, I always carry fruits with me (apples, oranges, bananas) if I know I'll be on a hike or a long field trip which would force me to eat junk food.

    Hope this helps!

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  • claus andersen

    answered by

    I get in shape when I travel as I usually travel by bicycle and by foot when I go around the world. I work as a tour leader and live in hotels when I work and that is a challenge in terms of not putting on weight, when you live in a hotel with free food.

    When I travel for fun on the other hand, I love to stay active and cycle around the world. I have been cycling in more than 30 of the 73 countries I have visited over the years and been hiking in most of them too.

    To travel for me usually means cycling 80 to 100 kilometers a day and I bloody love it :)

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  • Maria O'Dwyer

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    answered by

    I walk everywhere and generally only use public transport for longish distances, that way I can really get to know a place too. Food, for sure, is a temptation (especially in Italy and France) but I usually eat a proper breakfast and dinner and a snack at lunchtime, like fruit and a handful of nuts.

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  • Rasto Elgr

    answered by

    I'm pretty slim guy, but when traveling I always shed 2-4kg. I'm generally very active almost every single day - mountain hikes, jungle treks, sea/lake kayaking, scuba diving,... since this is my kind of relax and escape from 10 month in cubicle life. When in the cities, I tend to walk a lot as well.

    And as for the food, I try to stay away from western popular type of junk food like fast food burgers and pizzas and most of the time experiment with what locals eat be it street food or restaurant with local cuisine. Been lucky so far, never got sick from food and I'm not picky one - can eat almost everything.

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  • Sean Kelly

    answered by

    Walk. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk!

    On an extended European trip in 2004, I started out running every day. Before the first week was over I blew out my knee bicycling. Still, I walked as much as I could. By the time I was ready to leave (from Spain) I was a tapas locust. I ate whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. The thing is, When I left for my trip my clothes fit me well, and when I returned home they were hanging off me. My family questioned me as to my health. I assured them I was well, and they questioned why I chose to starve myself. They were skeptical when I told then how I ate.

    The thing is, you may be out of your normal environment, but you have far more control than you may realize. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. In addition to walking everywhere, take a walking tour or go hiking. Yeah, I know it's the same thing. The trick is not to think of it that way.

    Go bicycling if possible. This is always enjoyable in Ireland and Amsterdam. If you do any volunteering when you travel, make sure you do some physical work. I've shingled roofs, installed windows and sheetrock, laid cement, pitched hay and bussed tables in my travels.

    The markets and restaurants may be different but that doesn't mean you need to abandon your usual level of self restraint. Just don't go overboard.

    Although you may not have access to your usual exercise equipment nothing prevents you from doing push-up, sit-ups, yoga, isotonic or isometric exercises.

    In short, there is plenty you can do to maintain you exercising and nutrition. Just practice moderation, and don't deny yourself the "temptations" of you new surroundings. They're part of the reason you travel in the first place.

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  • Rafael Tikva

    answered by

    Long-term travel in new destinations is actually an advantage.

    I've found the best way to get to know your new neighbourhood, and exercise at the same time is to go out for a run.

    I always travel with my running shoes, and go running every morning/night. That's when i discover all the nearby shops, cafes, bars etc'.

    I also usually start conversations with people i meet during my run. I ask them about places to eat, cool places to hang out, cafes/offices to work from etc'.

    Sometimes you'll end up meeting someone nice enough to who will invite you to hang out with his/her friends, which is always nice :)

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  • Phil L

    answered first by

    When I am away, I walk, that is my exercise. The best way to see anything is to walk, to get the view, and walking is a way to keep fit, in shape and enjoy what you are doing. Eat can be a problem, especially in certain areas of the world. I don't change my diet much, try and eat the same type of foods I would at home, and every once in awhile treat my self to a new and exciting different taste. Where ever I go, home or abroad, fruits and vegetables are important to me

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  • Mandy Hand

    answered by

    Edit: Squats and push-ups ARE effective exercises. Not sure where that "no" came from.

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  • Mandy Hand

    answered by

    Personally, it's easier for me to stay in shape while traveling because I walk so much more. I can afford to indulge in the local food because I tend to eat 3 meals rather than graze all day like I do at home. Squats and push-ups are good no effective body weight excercises you can do daily just about anywhere. And if your hotel has a gym, use it!

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  • Marcus Andrew D

    answered by

    Pilates and yoga are great to do anywhere. I've started traveling with my TRX ropes. They don't take up much room in the suitcase, and with a little bit of creativity you can create some awesome workouts. It also give me a great opportunity to see parks or beaches wherever I am visiting.


    As far as food and drink, I find that the food outside the US is much healthier and not full of so many chemicals! I usually come back in better shape than I left!

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