Failproof Fitness Hacks in Foreign Countries

Hello friends, today I'm going to be talking about how I stay active in while travelling! Over the past three years, I've done my fair share of workouts in strange places and spaces. From between the beds in a hotel room to hotel gyms to free trials at gyms, it's not always the most glamorous setup, but if there's a will, there's a way. No matter where you are in the world, you can totally make it work.

Below, I share my best tips and tricks for staying active while on the move.

1) Walk/Jog/Run

This is possible the most foolproof tip of all. All you need is a pair of running shoes, weather-appropriate attire (which I assume you brought with you), and a positive attitude. Running is actually one of my favourite ways to stay active while travelling because I think it kills two birds with one stone. Not only is it a great workout every time, but it also helps you explore a new city first hand.

Running in Lisbon, Portugal (Aug 2018)

If you're running in an unfamiliar area, I highly recommend you do this with the assistance of Google Maps. I repeat, no cellular connection + no idea where you are = recipe for disaster.

Also, tips for running in a hot climate:

If you're lucky enough to find yourself somewhere hot, whether a dry heat (like Madrid) or a humid one (like Singapore), understand that running at the hottest part of the day is a dumb idea. While I am all for getting it done however you can, do your best to plan around the heat. This means:

a) Staying very well hydrated before/after and

b) Running before the heat builds up (i.e. after sunrise/early morning) or around sunset. I personally recommend early morning runs because not only does it mean you get your workout done before the temptations/excuses of travelling (helloooo ice cream and long dinners with friends/family) have the chance to derail your best intentions, but I also think it's a bit safer than running post-dusk.

Running by the canals in Amsterdam (Feb 2019)

1.5) Get Outside

If you want to kick it up a notch, get outside and do an activity! Maybe that's sports with a friend, swimming, hiking, or my recent favourite, a surfing lesson! Take advantage of the new place that you're in and enjoy all that is has to offer! It doesn't have to be the most intense workout to count!

Surfing in Bali, Indonesia (Jan 2020)

2) Bodyweight Workouts

You need a space the size of ~ 1 yoga mat for this. Yes, this could be between the beds in a hotel room or dorm room, and yes I have done both of those before.

I personally love timed circuits because you get all the benefits of a HIIT workout with no equipment. When picking a circuit, make sure all of the exercises are compound exercises, meaning that it works multiple major muscle groups at the same time (think: burpees). This ensures you will actually get your heart rate up & be sweating. Sweating = good.

If you need some workouts, check out my free 21-Day plan. You need no equipment, and all of these workouts are tried & tested by yours truly :)

3) Online Workouts

If you have a gym in your hotel/place of residence, take advantage of the extra space! Go watch a YouTube video or find a workout on Instagram to try. There are TONS of free workouts online.This is similar to bodyweight workouts, except many online workouts require simple equipment OR more space.

Niagara Falls (June 2018)

PRO TIP: Save them to your phone/Insta/YouTube before you go on your trip so when you actually go to workout, you don't waste a ton of time trying to find one!

NYC (Nov 2019)

4) Local Gyms

Different parts of the world have different standards when it comes to gyms and fitness. Spoiler Alert: I think North America has it best! However, almost anywhere you go, you should be able to find a gym.

Many gyms offer 1 week trials or a free "first workout" pass. Call in advance or check online to see if you can find any "starter deals". You will often have to give your name/email, but you can always unsubscribe from emails later. If you won't be in the country for more than a week anyways, this is a perfect way to check out a new facility!

One of my favourite examples of this was trying out a gym in Estonia. I think I paid 2 Euro to try a beautiful gym with a spa, pool, turf zone, studio, and every type of machine imaginable because it was my first time trying that gym brand.

Tallinn, Estonia (Feb 2019)

5) Group Classes

Building on local gyms, boutique fitness is currently all the rage, and consequently there are studios everywhere! Many studios offer promos for first-time participants, and a quick Google before-hand will help you figure it out.

As an instructor, I love trying new formats and other people's classes. I think it helps me become a better instructor, and it's cool to see how different classes are taught in different parts of the world.

If you follow me on Insta, you know that one thing I've taken advantage of recently is ClassPass. It's an app that let's you try various group classes for heavily discounted rates (based on a credit-redemption system), where you purchase a set amount of "points" to spend on classes.

You book in advance through the app, and can try classes all across the city. I suspect this only works in major cities, and I have yet to try the app in another country, but so far I really love it. I started a 30-Day Free trial, and I am thinking of continuing my subscription on exchange since there are no group classes at my school gym.

If you're interested in giving it a try, you can save $55 with my referral link.

First Barre class in Singapore (Jan 2020)

I hope you see that staying active while travelling is completely do-able, and can actually be fun! Challenge yourself to exercise every day or every other day! It is a mental break, time for YOU, makes you feel productive, and really helps offset jet lag, treats, and stresses of travelling!

It's not always easy, but it's ALWAYS worth it. You got this!



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©2019, Jessica Takimoto