Move On The Move


Just because you are travelling doesn’t mean you have to put fitness on the back burner. You can still stay fit when you travel

Travel workout, who needs it? All you want to do is sleep off the jet lag, and if you’re travelling for business, for example, think of how you’re going to close that deal. Jane Kariuki, a businesswoman in Nairobi, tells me, three years ago she added weight – from 60kgs to 85kgs – because she travelled a lot on work and didn’t think of working out. “It was a struggle scheduling in fitness when I was at home, and when I travel, I didn’t even think of exercise at all. I would go to meetings, eat hotel food, sleep, repeat, for about two years. There was little exploration of the places where my hotels were situated. Usually, my schedule was booked with little room for anything else save for meetings. One day, I looked in the mirror and almost didn’t recognize the woman staring back at me.”

This is a struggle Rebecca Johnson, Bill Tulin and William C. Tulin, the authors of Travel Fitness: Feel Better, Perform Better on the Road, know too well. They write, “Travel has a way of foiling the best fitness intentions. Tight scheduling, unfamiliar surroundings, and the fatigue from jet lag make it easy to lose our fitness regimes…you may be wondering, do I really need to worry about my fitness while travelling? Our answer: a resounding yes.”

Working out when travelling is a challenge—but not one that calls for a miracle. You don’t need to pack fitness equipment or make drastic changes to your plans, whether it is a vacation or business travel.

Here are a few tips.


Planning will help you know about the possible barriers and how to tackle them. It also means packing your fitness clothes whether it is a swimsuit or running shoes. If you have a say in which hotel you’re going to stay in, pick one that has a gym or one that is near a gym.

Explore your surroundings

In Travel Healthy: A Road Warrior’s Guide to Eating Healthy, Natasha Leger writes that the body “wants to be in a constant state of motion. Always try to optimize your movement. For example, walk the length of the airport terminal, train, bus, or ferry station; explore on foot the neighborhood in which your hotel is located… To the extent you have control over where you stay, you should opt for places you can explore on foot.”

Do it early

If the obstacle to working out when you travel is lack of time, do it first thing in the morning. “Wake up earlier than your coworkers or travel companions so you can sweat before the day gets away from you,” says Suzanne Schlosberg, author of Fitness for Travelers: The Ultimate Workout Guide for the Road.

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