Two days of overindulgence in Tel Aviv had our buttons straining. Fortunately, a day trip on foot to nearby Jaffa provided the necessary physical activity. We packed fruit and water and followed the coast, using beach sand for extra resistance. Our day of hiking concluded with a stop at the Yemeni food market, where we purchased healthy food to pack lunches for a bus ride to Jerusalem. You can stay fit on the road, without shrinking your wallet. These ideas will get you pointed in the right direction.
Celebrity fitness trainer Kathy Kaehler recommends compact fitness equipment for those who want to work out on the road and travel light. “Power bands are a versatile piece of exercise equipment requiring minimal luggage space,” Kaehler says. She also recommends a deck of playing cards, which can be used for entertainment and exercise. With a straight back, stand with your feet apart and do squats, dealing one card at a time to the floor and rising up again. Next, perform a second set of squats, while picking up one card at a time.
Use hotel fitness centers, which typically include stationary bikes, treadmills and weights. If you’ve packed a multipurpose set of leggings and a T-shirt as your lounge outfit, you’ll only need athletic shoes to trot down the hall for a workout that won’t cost precious luggage space. The hotel pool is an aquatic gym. With only a swimsuit and a hotel towel, you can swim laps or do a low-impact water aerobics workout. Definitely frugal fitness at its finest.
Traditional workouts such as walking and biking can be incorporated into your daily tourist routine. For example, there are several walking tours in the Tampa Bay area that provide scenery, cultural venues and even some great lunch spots. One of our favorites is in Ybor City, but Tarpon Springs is also a precious place to spend a morning or afternoon. Urban destinations aren’t the only places you can get a workout on foot. My husband and I have more than earned our calories while exploring Machu Picchu, state and national parks, lengthy beaches and even the ruins of Petra. When it comes to biking, the options are equally diverse. The scenic wine trails of places like Bolzano, Italy are certainly worthy of your tourist time, as are the streets of Belgium and the Bavarian countryside.
Many cities, national parks and even hotels offer free fitness activities for travelers. For example, locals and vacationers to Miami can enjoy free waterfront yoga sessions, and the same is available to guests of the One and Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Guided hikes and snorkeling sessions at family resorts are often included in the package price, and many public parks allow free access to kayakers, kite surfers and shore divers. Walking trails in countries like Scotland and Wales allow excursionists to experience spectacular scenery through a free public access program. In Scotland, this even includes free camping, depending upon your location.
Your travel workout schedule might be different than the one you maintain at home, but there are ways to burn off calories by working out while traveling. These four areas represent some of the more streamlined opportunities, but there are certainly others. What are your favorite ways to stay active on the road?