Is it just me, or does the phrase, I’m not home so this doesn’t count! Seem to pop up every other hour or so when you’re traveling somewhere? Meaning, those 3 am nachos on the beach with your new hostel friends and cheap beer won’t actually add up.
I’m an avid believer of “eat everything and try every food you can when you’re abroad.” If I didn’t follow through with this, I would be quite disappointed in myself, which is why I try to balance it out with exercise when I’m traveling.
No, no, I don’t join a gym or carry 15 pound weights with me wherever I go. However, big stones, bare-foot runs, and no-shame squats on the beach are my would-be gym. If I’m constantly on the move, then it’s the best I’m going to do.
I’ve compiled a list of exercises that I do while I’m on the move in a new country (Side note: I’m a 21 year old female, so you males might want to adjust this). I’m not a body-builder/trainer/physical expert/spawn of Schwarzenegger, but these have worked for me, so they may work for you, too! Oh- and you don’t have to spend a dime.
Small, packable, and easy to stuff inside any pocket or small compartment. Jumping rope is great exercise especially if you’re in a place where you can’t do any other cardio, such as running or riding a bike. If you don’t have a jump rope, doing the motion of jumping rope is good enough.
I do 4 sets of 100 jumps (so 400 in total). I break it up between every set since it gets effin hard to do. Just remember that beach bod!
Run barefoot on the beach: Don’t want your shoes to get sandy? No problem, running barefoot is just as good (except if you have foot injuries like stress fractures, then I would abstain from being barefoot). I’ve done this quite a few times and it’s awesome. Running on sand is hard, too, because there is a lot of resistance. Thank yourself by jumping right into the water afterwards! You’re already on the beach, anyway!
Run around the city: Not only will you get a great workout in, but you’ll also see so much of a new city! It’s a win- win.
Safety precaution: Never go running at night, and don’t go by yourself. If you’re traveling solo, then don’t run in secluded areas, it’s not worth it!
These are easy and also a great workout. Similar to jumping rope but you don’t need any supplies!
You’ll be doing a lot of walking when you’re in a new city. This is great exercise and a great way to save money if you’re budget traveling. When I was in Berlin, I walked around the entire city in one day- when I mapped my route, it added up to a total of 8 miles. I saw so much of the city, exercised, and saved money by not paying for taxis or subways!
If you’re near the beach or your hotel/hostel has a pool, then do a few laps. Swimming is an amazing cardio workout. It’s also great because it doesn’t put any pressure on your joints like running and walking does.
Raises with heavy objects
You can do front or side raises with any heavy object. Suitcases and bags are great because they have a handle you can grab. Stones and other such objects can be held with both hands out in front of you. Simply hold your object and with straight arms and lift it up to eye level, lowering it and repeating the motion. This is the perfect substitute if you don’t have weights handy, and will get your shoulders nice and toned.
I did this with stones when I was volunteering in South Africa. I didn’t care what I looked like, but I sure as hell felt good afterwards!
Self-explanatory, and these can be done anywhere. I like to do 5 sets of 20 pushups and mix it up: Regular pushups, then move your hands farther apart, and then move them right next to each other. Repeat until 100!
Find a clean, stable bar that is conveniently placed and PULL! Make sure it’s stable!
Dips can be done most anywhere. Just find a bench or similar flat surface low to the ground, grab onto it with your hands behind you (make sure your legs are straight outwards), and slowly lower yourself to the ground and then back up again. This is great for triceps! I do 3 sets of 8-10.
Bet you never heard of these! Kidding. Again, these can be done anywhere. Mix them up with different types of crunches: do a few sets up and down and a few sets twisting your body side to side.
These are great for your lower abs. Hang onto a bar and lift both legs up, slowly. Lift them back down and repeat. If this is difficult, sit down on a chair and bring your legs towards your body and back out again. I can see that six pack already!
Squats are a great workout for your legs, especially when you don’t have any weights to work with.
Stand on your tip toes and then lower your self back down. Repeat until you can’t walk.
Step up, step down, step up, step down, step up, step do…. got it? You’ll feel them if you do enough.
Do you have any more suggestions for exercises on the go?