We spend hours, days, weeks, and even months well before our exotic trips working out, knowing that some sort of clothing will probably come off by the pool, beach, or elsewhere (…ahem).
But let’s be real, keeping this level of motivation while traveling is a challenge.
I don’t know about you, but the last place I want to spend my time while traveling is being inside a gym that undoubtedly looks like any other gym in the world (except if you are in Siargao, where the gym is in a hut!)
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives out there that we can do to keep calories in the DL without needing a gym. These exercises are simple, but has given me results since I started traveling full-time traveling 6 months ago.
1) Jump rope
Some of you guys already know how much I advocate the benefits of jumping rope, so there should be no surprise this is on top of the list.
It’s one of the most inexpensive and portable fitness equipment that burn some major calories.
I pack two ropes when I travel: a weighted rope for some resistance and a speed rope for some extra – you guessed it – speed ! If you are looking to improve your double-unders, the speed rope will help you master it!
WEIGHTED JUMP ROPE
Sounds the most obvious. But what a great way to discover a city while burning calories at the same time.
According to LiveStrong, walking strenuously for 30 minutes can burn up to 120 calories per half-hour. Next time you are in a metropolitan city like Hong Kong, Paris, or New York, consider ditching the subway and walk instead!
Luckily, there are more and more world-class cities that are adapting their infrastructure to become a bike-friendly town. Plenty of these cities have their own bike-sharing program, making it even easier to rent a bike on the spot.
My favorite trail that I’ve seen so far on my travels is in my hometown in Chicago. There’s a bike trail that stretches for days along the lake.
Talk about sightseeing while burning calories!
I’m often excited when my next destination has a popular hiking trail. This usually means the grueling hike will be rewarded with scenic views.
1) Lying hip raises
A yoga mat would work best with this exercise, but if you don’t have one laying around, who care!
One of my favorite exercises simply because I immediately feel the burn after the first minute or so. This is a great exercise that targets the hip flexors, glutes, and abs!
Take it to the next level and do single-leg hip raise and feel the extra burn!
Repetition: Hold it for as long as you can for 2-3 reps.
2) Opposite Arm/Leg Balance
A great workout that targets your shoulders and abs along with your lower body. This my favorite workout to target those buns!
1) Push ups
If you’ve never incorporated a push-up exercise in your workout routine back at your home gym, it’s certainly the time to try it while traveling.
There’s a common misconception that push-ups only work your chest and triceps. However, push-ups are actually a compound exercise that also engages your arms, shoulders, back, abs, and even your legs.
2) Pull ups
Ok, so this one you will need to find a bar or something that you can pull your weight up. Just go find a park or a playground where you are traveling and get to work!
Just like pushups, pullups are a compound exercise that target multiple muscle groups. It’s a great workout that specifically targets your back and biceps. Without a doubt a must-do exercise if you want that ‘swole’, V-tapered, upper body physique!
Use a workout glove to get that extra grip!
Another compound exercise that engages primarily the triceps, but also target other muscle groups such as forearms, shoulders, chest, and lower back.
All you need is a bench or a chair – and if not, the ground!
Probably the most options for an ab workout that requires no equipment whatsoever.
There are plenty of ab workouts you can do without being in a gym such as planks, bicycles, sit ups, superman, etc. – the list goes on.
But in my travels, I rely heavily on my jump rope to workout my abs. Here are a couple of jump rope exercises I do for an ab workout:
1) High Knee Jump Rope
This is an intense workout where I do regular skipping but raising my knees as high as I can with every jump. Keeping a straight posture is critical for targeting the lower abs!
2) Side (oblique) twist Jump Rope
A jump rope workout that targets, you guessed, obliques! Do this for a minute straight, three reps, with 15 seconds rest in between!
Buzzfeed has a great article with a list of total body workouts that do not require any equipment.
My personal favorite, however, is the burpee. This full-body workout is a major calorie burner by working the main muscle groups: chest, arms, backs, core, legs, and glutes. I normally feel my heart jumping out of my chest after every rep!
I also want to share some of the snacks I bring along with me while traveling. More of than not, I want to try every street food my eyes lay on when I’m traveling.
To keep my eyes feasting under control, I bring these handy supplements and snacks along while traveling:
1) Travel protein shakes sachets
I was so glad I found these – this basically means not having to worry about carrying a tub of protein shake wherever I travel!
2) Protein bars
I usually buy a box or two, depending on how long I’ll be traveling for. Great way to add protein to your day and also control your hunger to avoid over eating!
Snacking on almonds reduces hunger and promotes weight loss. It is also packed with healthy fats, fiber, magnesium, protein, and vitamin E.
Banana is my go-to fruit snack. It’s highly nutritious and packed with fiber! Best part is you can find them anywhere in your travels!
HOW ABOUT YOU?!
Questions or any other suggestions? I would love to know what workouts/routines/and diet you guys do when you are out traveling! Let me know below!
Hello fellow trotters! My name is Mick Salas, Filipino-American travel blogger based in Chicago. I was born in the Philippines, grew up in Chicago, studied in San Diego, and worked for a French organization for six years. And now I’m traveling full-time!
Read more about my my most memorable travel experiences, favorite destinations, and other fun travel facts here!