We’ve all been there – on vacation for a while, eating all the delicious food on all the ‘must try’ lists in every city you visit, drinking nightly, and not necessarily keeping up with the gym schedule you had going before you left.
If your trip is only a week or two, it’s really not the end of the world – it’s nice to get a break and indulge without worrying about fitting a workout into your party/explore/eating schedule. But when your trip is measured in months instead of weeks, it will begin to catch up with you. No one wants to have to buy a new wardrobe halfway through a trip because your old clothes don’t fit – or have to stop three times to rest when running to catch a train to the next city because your cardio is so bad.
So here are some tips for staying fit while staying in hostels, without having to pay crazy money for monthly/weekly temporary gym passes:
If you’re traveling during spring/summer/ fall/winter (if you’re in Vancouver that is), and the weather is nice enough, using the outdoors as your playground/gym is the best way to explore the city, save money, and get exercise. Grab a buddy (ideally with a similar level of fitness as you), and explore everything the outdoors has to offer – go on local hikes, runs around parks, rent bikes and go for an adventure, do sets of stairs at local schools or community centers, rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards and explore the lakes/oceans in the area. Of course if you’re traveling in the winter months, the local ski hill is a great way to get fresh hour and amazing exercise – believe me, you’ll feel it for days.
Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always agree with us – especially when travelling for an extended period of time. Make sure you have backup indoor activities to tide you over until the weather improves enough to take it outside. Suggestions include:indoor climbing gyms, trampoline/gymnastic centers, and community center pools for laps and drop in weight rooms.
There are also lots of drop-in classes at local community centers that don’t require memberships, and opportunities like Class Pass, if you’re planning on staying in one place for a month or so. Also keep an eye on the local Groupon/social shopper type sites – lots will offer classes at extremely discounted prices that are perfect for travelers!
If you don’t have a lot of time before you head to the bar, but you notice your favourite shorts aren’t fitting quote like you used to – do a quick hostel room/common area/beach/park circuit. Either use your body weight (push-ups, lunges, pull-ups, squats, jumping jacks, etc.) and add sprint intervals in between, or use your backpack as an added weight for more of a challenge. And, try to take every opportunity in your day-to-day activities to stay active – take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of taking the bus or a cab, dance your heart out on the dance floor to sweat out the alcohol.
Do you have any tips for staying fit while on the go? Let us know in the comments, or on Facebook!