Being the lucky little wanderer I am, last year I found myself on no less than 15 getaways, for both work and pleasure. From the tropics of Bali, to the gritty streets of Shenzhen, the artsy cafes of Hanoi to the summery (yes, actually) London town – it was a jam-packed year of packing, travelling and exploring. As a fitness fanatic, many ask if such constant travel reeks havoc on my fitness routine, but as those who really know me – nothing gets in the way of me and my squats, and I’m always finding ways of keeping fit when travelling.
Having tried out lots of different ways to make sure my training doesn’t slip, here are three handy tips I have accumulated to help stay on track with a jet-set lifestyle.
Make your gym kit your travel get-up
There are three reasons why wearing your gym kit is the way forward when embarking on a journey:
- Trainers take up space. By wearing them, you save room in your luggagefor an extra couple of pairs of sandals or killer heels, or the blow up dolphin you like to ride around on in the pool.
- Gym gear is comfy. So it’s perfect for travelling in. Aim for leggings, trainers, gym top and sports bra and a workout jumper if you are going somewhere cold and will be training outdoors. Otherwise finish your outfit off with a normal jumper that you’re already taking.
- Arrive with a completely fresh wardrobe. That’s right, every single outfit you have packed is fresh for your trip, you haven’t wasted good clothes in flight, and the one’s you’re wearing don’t need to be super clean when you next wear them.
It sounds easy… but there is a knack to wearing your gym outfit. And that is, don’t look like a chav (if you’re not British you might need to Google this!). You won’t be getting upgraded to business in Adidas trackies and a hoody and people may move their kids away from you (although, come to think of it, that might not be so bad…).
The key? Black on black on black.
These days I have got my travel/gym outfit down to a T; black yoga pants, black trainers, black gym top and a casual long sleeved black jumper. Not only is black oh-so-chic, it’s also not immediately obviously gym clothing.
In fact, it’s so unassuming that you can dress it up with a hat, jewellery and some cute ankle boots (black of course) when you touchdown at the airport and be ready for dinner in no time.
Soak up the fit-culture
I’ve got news for you: Fitness isn’t just a hobby, chore or thing people do to balance out the biscuits, margaritas and ice cream. The way a city or country keeps fit is as much a part of the lifestyle and culture as the food they eat or the music they listen to.
Agree with yourself that you will aim to do one cultural fitness related activity on each trip. For example in South America, see if there’s a Capoeira class you can join. In Bali, get a surf lesson – girls should check out the awesome Salti Hearts in Canggu, and if you mention my name when booking you’ll get an extra gift in your goody bag and a free spa session. If there’s nothing immediately that springs to mind, then have a browse of the city’s online lifestyle websites. There’s bound to be a new faddy yoga, pilates or dance class that has just been reviewed.
You might be able to attend these sessions free of charge too, as lots of classes and companies will give the first session gratis (don’t tell them you’re a tourist, obviously) and if you travel in the same region a lot, there are new companies and Apps at can let you dip into local classes.
In Asia for example, signing up to something like GuavaPass will let you access many quality exercise classes around the region.
Failing that, try and find a gym with a view and join the #gymporn revolution.
Pick one sightseeing destination and run there
The best way to see a city is on foot. Urban-running is far more thrilling than running in a park – tree, bench, tree, grass, zzzzz.
So pick one landmark, restaurant, gallery or tourist hotspot that you want to see, and run there. It will likely take you the same amount of time as getting there by public transport, and once you’ve done one run, it’s easier to do another.
Even if you just do the one though, that’s one more than none. And even if it’s the worst run you’ve ever completed, a bad run is better than no run at all… always.
The best thing about it is you’ll get a real sense of the city, see locals going about their day-to-day lives and learn your way around like a pro.
Just don’t forget to take some local cash so you can hitch a taxi/tram/camel back afterwards. You definitely don’t have to run the whole way back. You’re not Paula Radcliffe.