Let’s face it, one of the best parts of visiting a new place is sampling the cuisine. Whether it’s a butter croissant at a cafe in Paris or a deep dish pizza in Chicago, food is a big part of travel. But how do you experience all of the culinary wonders of a destination without returning home a size larger? Below are some tips for staying in shape while away.
- Don’t be afraid to get a little bit lost. That is, lace up those walking shoes navigate the area on foot. It’s easy, you’ve been doing it almost your entire life and it’s a great way to burn calories! Walking isn’t only a fantastic workout, but it’s a fabulous way to explore a new place. You will find little holes in the wall you would have missed from the windows of a bus or taxi, and meet new friends when you stop to ask for directions. Be sure to pack a comfy and supportive pair of shoes to avoid sore feet from your foot tour.
Chose your hotel wisely. If you prefer to sweat it out in a gym, then search for a hotel (or brand) offering a gym that suits your needs. Check the property’s website or call ahead to see what the gym offers as well as the number of cardio machines available to guests. The Westin Hotel and New Balance have even partnered to create a fitness gear lending program. For about $5 per day guests may rent shoes and athletic clothing – don’t worry, they disinfect between guests and even include complimentary socks with all rentals. The Fairmont has a similar program and partnership with Reebok, for members of their President’s Club.
All you need is WiFi. No access to a hotel gym? No problem! All you need is a WiFi connection to get your workout in. Search for a fitness YouTube channel that offers full body workouts without gear. My favorite is PopSugar Fitness – they have several easy to follow instructional videos, some led by celebrity trainers. My favorite no-equipment videos are the Victoria’s Secret 10 Minute Fat Blast, the 10 Minute Anywhere Workout and The Skinny Jeans Workout. Do all three to raise your heart rate burn calories and tone all from the comfort of your hotel room.
Take a bike tour. Bike tours are popping up all over the place, so why not strap on that helmet and take part!? There are lots of types of bike tours, ranging from all day countryside pedals to easy rides of a couple hours. I recently went on a bike tour of the Toronto Islands with Toronto Bicycle Tours and had a fantastic time! Like walking, biking is a great way to see a new place and get a decent workout in! Just make sure you either go with a guide or have a firm understanding of bike laws and traffic patterns before you head out.
- There’s an app for that. So, so many apps for that! It may take a little bit of research, trial and error to find what works for and motivates you. I really like the Nike Training Club (free,) Pocket Yoga ($2.99-$9.99) and Fitness Buddy ($1.99.) Most of these require some equipment so you may have to do them in your hotel gym but it’s easy and quick to find stellar workouts that target specific areas. Also, they offer ways to log your workouts, calculate the number of calories you burned and favorite or star ones that you especially enjoyed.
Go local. Like yoga? Do a little research to find a local studio and stop by for a class – some studios even offer discounted or free classes to first time visitors! Prefer to run outdoors? Ask someone at your hotel, your waiter at dinner or the woman who works at the museum about the best place to go for a run. Rather hit the trail? Research a good place nearby to go for a hike. Be sure to take a photo of the trail map with your Smartphone before heading out – just incase you lose service while on the trail.