Staying fit while you travel is possible. As long as you keep it a priority

By Kaye Lopez

Going on vacation in a foreign land is a great way to expand your horizons but it can likewise expand your waistline if you don’t stay on top of your fitness goals. Plan your workout routines like your travel itinerary with these five simple tips:

1. Sign up for a race

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but signing up for a race before your date of departure, with the race day scheduled within a month from the time you get back, can be just the motivation (or pressure) you need to stick to a training program. But I’m not suggesting that you sign up for a full distance triathlon when you know you won’t have access to biking and swimming facilities during your trip. Be realistic with your goals and choose a race that you’ll be able to survive with minimal training such as a fun run or a triathlon relay. For most people, committing to a race by paying for the registration fee and being accountable to other people by joining a relay team is an effective strategy for staying in shape.

2. Record your pre-travel weight and fitness level

Knowing your baseline gives you a basis for comparison when you get back and an objective measure of your progress (or deterioration). If you know where you’re currently at, it’s easier to set a goal to be better instead of worse than when you started.

3. Search and pin workouts from Pinterest

This is probably the most used application on my iPhone since I signed up a few weeks ago. It’s great for narrowing down your blog searches to only those that cover particular topics that interest you. You’ll have so many exercise programs to choose from. When you find one that suits you, just pin it and create a board so you can manage your search results into categories. That way, it’s easier for you to go back to the site when you’re ready to workout.

4. Make your accommodations conducive to regular exercise

Planning ahead by booking a hotel or apartment near a park or along the route of a walking tour you’re planning to take makes going out for a run easier. An early morning run is a great way to retrace your steps from the tour you did the previous day. You’ll get to revisit the sites minus the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals since most of them will still be asleep.

5. Choose an evening flight if possible

Flying at night allows you to work out in the morning with plenty of time left to spare for last-minute packing. Long-haul flights mean you won’t get to exercise for at least two days so squeezing in a workout before you leave will be a great way to prepare your body and mind for the trip. Skip the long, hard sessions and do an easy to moderate workout instead. You don’t want to compromise your immune system and risk catching a bug at the airport or on the plane. Sightseeing while you’re down with the flu is not going to be a fun experience at all.

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