Day 1: Drop-in from 12 Days of Travel: The Best Ways to Stay Active While Traveling
12 Days of Travel: The Best Ways to Stay Active While Traveling
Day 1: Drop-in
There’s no better time to take advantage of drop-in classes than when you’re traveling. Lucky for us, websites like MizzFit.com and Fitmapped.com will do the research for you, allowing you to search for quality classes by location. This way, the only legwork you have to do is the actual class itself. The best thing about drop-in classes? In many cases, the first class is free!
Day 2: Day-Of Race Registration
Much like drop-in classes, day-of race registrations are perfect for travelers. With the exception of marathons and half marathons, most races let you register the day of the race. So next time you arrive at your destination and discover that the annual "Jingle Bell Jog" is going down the next day, register day-of and meet the local running community. Some of my favorite souvenirs are race t-shirts, and with websites like RunningInTheUSA.com it’s easy to find races taking place all over the country.
Day 3: Market Walking
Take a cue from America’s unofficial national sport of mall walking and try market walking next time you travel. As the central market in a foreign city is usually a top tourist destination, you’ll probably have plans to visit it anyway. All it takes to be a market walker (and get results without running into anyone) is to show up an hour before the market officially opens which gives you plenty of time to log a mile or two. After a few laps you’ll be chummy with the vendors and know exactly what you’ll want to pick up for your picnic lunch.
Day 4: Virtual Yoga
The familiar voice of Jessica Bellofatto kept me continuing with my practice while I was traveling in Central America. I don’t care to pack DVDs, but I always have my laptop, so I take part in Jessica’s classes by subscribing to YogaVibes—a website that offers hundreds of different yoga classes taught by the top yoga teachers in the country. All you need is an Internet connection and a credit card. Sign up for the free 15-day trial, or subscribe for $20 per month or $200 per year and you should be able to find shavasana even when your favorite yoga teacher is time zones away.
Day 5: Height-see
When I was living in Paris, my favorite spot to see “The City of Light” was from Montmartre. The highest point in the city, Montmartre is a hill in the 18th arrondissement, and while the hike up to the Sacred Heart Basilica at the top is challenging, the pay-off is a panoramic view of Paris. The same thing can be said of Park Güell in Barcelona where the steep stairs may be intimidating, but once you know the vantage point waiting for you at the top includes breathtaking (even though you may already be out of breath) views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean, you’ll be glad you made the trek.
Day 6: Lounge and Lunge at the Beach
Fitness retreats are all the rage these days and are perfect for those of us who need an escape but don’t have the time or resources to create the itinerary. Since these retreats can be pricey, it’s best to go with operators that partner up like Paddle Diva and Kama Deva Yoga. Paddle Diva and Kama Deva offer more bang for your buck with their popular Yoga, Surf, and SUP retreats where you have access to all three activities (plus a little TRX in some cases) for a great price.
Day 7: Make Your Layover a “Play-over”
Disclaimer: this only applies to Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee, but it’s still an awesome idea. On your next layover at MKE, check out their ping-pong table near the entrance to Concourse C and play some table tennis while waiting for your flight. It’s a lot more fun than sitting at the gate or fighting the temptation of the food court.
Day 8: Check In, Then Check It out
After a long day of traveling, most of us like to check-in and immediately hit the sack. Instead, take five minutes to check out the hotel’s amenities. Even if you don’t plan on working out, at least scope out your options because more often than not seeing other guests swimming laps or lifting weights will inspire you to do the same.
Day 9: Hoof It
One of the most popular activities at tourist destinations can be the classic carriage ride. While I have nothing against a good Cinderella story, I know it behooves me to hoof it and walk instead. Not only does it save money, but it also means less time spent sitting, which we do plenty of in traveling to our destinations.
Day 10: Playgrounds for Grown-Ups
The best example of an outdoor playground for grown-ups is at Venice Beach, CA, which is famous for its body builder clientele. However, plenty of public parks both in the U.S. and abroad now have exercise equipment geared towards the average exerciser. Throughout my travels I’ve seen outdoor ellipticals, stationary bikes, and weight lifting stations. Most are free and conveniently located next to the seesaws and swing sets so you can watch junior pump his legs while you pump some iron. Ask at your concierge or do a quick Google search to find out if your destination offers a playground for adults.
Day 11: Hop-On, Hop-Off
With a growing presence in major cities, Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours can be a traveler’s best bet for covering a lot of ground and getting from point A to point B without having to take unfamiliar public transportation or expensive cab rides. As long as you spend plenty of time walking around between hopping off and hopping back on, you can burn plenty of calories and still see as much as possible.
Day 12: Stop, Drop, and Chill
Silence your inner drill sergeant that always wants to keep you moving. Even professional athletes have days off so next time you’re traveling, try to remember that it’s not how much you see, but it’s how you see that matters. If you’re trying to see and do too much, you’re just going to stress yourself out and return home needing more time than usual to recover from your trip. Take at least 10% of your itinerary and set it aside as time to stop, drop, and chill.