How To Stay Healthy While Traveling…Without A Gym!

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Traveling is great but let’s be honest, it can lead you to drop your healthy habits like a hot potato. Through all of my travels I have developed some habits that help keep me on track so I can indulge without spiraling out of control.

But, here’s the thing – while I like staying healthy, I am not a gym rat.

I don’t want you to spend your vacation inside a gym either, so I am going to show you how to stay healthy while traveling without using your hotel gym.  These 7 tips are simple and can easily be incorporated into your next trip.

1. Plan Active Things To Do

Whether you are lounging at a beach resort or on a road trip, you can still work in some fun activities that get you up and moving.  Try looking for a fun hike, walking tour, bike ride, snorkeling or visit a zoo or amusement park.  The key is to find fun ways to explore that also keep you active.

How To Stay Healthy While Traveling | 7 Tips For Healthy Travel | How To Stay Healthy on Vacation | 6 Habits For a Healthy Vacation | Minneapolis Bike Tour
We enjoyed a fun afternoon taking a bike tour of Minneapolis.

2. Walk The Airports

I am totally obsessed with my Fitbit and keeping track of my steps. Walking is such a great activity to keep you active without really working out.  There is usually plenty of time to kill in airports when you are flying.

Whenever I am flying you can find me walking through the terminal to get some steps in before sitting on a plane for hours (I have been known to get 10,000 steps waiting for a flight.)  I always wear comfortable walking shoes while traveling for this reason. In addition to being a healthy habit, there is usually some great people watching too.

Pro Tip: Help keep the reefs healthy too! Many sunscreens are being banned now because of the harmful ingredients in them. Do your part and use a reef safe sunscreen. These sunscreens are healthier for you too.

3. Yoga

Yoga is such a great activity to keep you healthy, and it lends itself well to hotel rooms.  You can throw down a towel or get a foldable travel yoga mat to get some down dogs in while you are on the road.

If you want to go through a full practice you can find lots of online yoga classes, many of which are free.  Or, just do some simple stretching and breathing.

You can even find some airports with yoga rooms!

How To Stay Healthy While Traveling | 7 Tips For Healthy Travel | How To Stay Healthy on Vacation | Healthy Habits To Keep You Out of the Gym On Vacation | MandukaTravel Yoga Mat
It’s easy to do a few down dogs in your hotel room – use a travel yoga mat or a towel as a mat. Namaste.

4. Explore By Foot

I love cities that are walkable because in addition to saving money on transportation I know I will get tons of steps without even thinking about it.  In these cities, I make sure to choose a centrally located hotel that is within walking distance to lots of attractions and restaurants.

How To Stay Healthy While Traveling | 7 Tips For Healthy Travel | How To Stay Healthy on Vacation | Healthy Habits To Keep You Out of the Gym On Vacation | New Orleans
We stayed at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans which was within walking distance to many of the city’s iconic attractions.

5.  Stay Hydrated

It’s easy to not drink enough water while you are away from home.  That’s why I always travel with a lightweight stainless steel water bottle that I can refill.  Then I always have water with me without having to purchase expensive and non eco friendly plastic bottles.

You can even find great filtered water bottles that are helpful when your water source is less than ideal.

How To Stay Healthy While Traveling | 7 Tips For Healthy Travel | How To Stay Healthy on Vacation | Healthy Habits To Keep You Out of the Gym On Vacation | Airport Water Bottle Filling Station
Don’t forget to bring your own lightweight refillable water bottle – even airports have water bottle filling stations now.

6.  Bring Healthy Snacks

I always have some healthy snacks on hand so I’m not tempted to buy junk food at the airport or snacks from a convenience store.  I love bringing small packs of nuts, granola bars, fruit bars or almond butter.

7.  Don’t splurge on every meal

It’s easy to overdo it on vacation. Especially if you are on a cruise or at an all inclusive resort where food is included. I do my best to keep my splurges in control (and I still sometimes go off the deep end…I’m not perfect.) If you know you have a big dinner planned try to keep your other meals reasonable to balance it out.

How To Stay Healthy While Traveling | 7 Tips For Healthy Travel | How To Stay Healthy on Vacation | Healthy Habits To Keep You Out of the Gym On Vacation | Freedom of the Seas Food
It can be hard to eat in moderation on a cruise or at an all inclusive resort – when food is everywhere!

I feel better when I do my best to stay healthy while traveling.  However, if you truly just want to sit in a lounge chair with a pina colada in one hand and nachos in the other, by all means, go forth and indulge.

Enjoy the hell out of it but then get back to your normal routine as soon as you get home.  It’s great to splurge sometimes as long as it’s balanced out with healthy habits the majority of the time.

What are your favorite ways to stay healthy while traveling?

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Kanika Bakshi

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips. It’s very useful to people who love travelling as well as who are health conscious. Keep sharing.

  2. Sandy N Vyjay

    Ensuring that you stay healthy while travelling is very important. These are some really sensible tips for this. We generally ensure that we eat light while travelling and also are careful where we eat as this is important to ensure your health. We also put in a lot of walking while travelling.

  3. Angela @ Dang Travelers

    We SOOOO need to work all these tips in with our travel. Yoga is one I had not thought of. I had no idea some airports have yoga rooms! We are always active on trips but it’s hard for us to maintain the other aspects like healthy eating and actual exercise versus just walking. Thanks for all the great tips!

  4. Dany

    What an interesting read! We always hike a lot when we are on the road, and I’m also obsessed with my Fitbit (especially when I’m traveling!), but we never tried online yoga classes: sounds like lots of fun!

  5. Alice Ford

    Totally agree with all your tips, I think many of us leave our lifestyles at the door when we leave for vacation. Leaving us almost depressed with our physical state when we return. It’s good to keep up your normal regime even when on vacation.

  6. Castaway with Crystal

    I love yoga and another one of my favourites is the quick 12-minute routine that you can do at the beach or in your hotel room. Put a timer on for 1-minute intervals. Start with push-ups, then 1 min of sit ups then dips then squats and do rounds of those 3 times. Easy and strength building (you won’t believe how hard you just worked for only 12 minutes).

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      That’s a good one! I was just talking to someone tonight about a 12 minute workout routine.

  7. Russell's World

    Katie-I love all your ideas. I truly want to get more involved with yoga. Life on the road can be rough at times and I really think yoga can help with all the stresses of traveling. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Jennifer

    There are some great tips here. I always have a difficult time maintaining a healthy lifestyle when I travel. I do like to travel by foot as much as possible (though that might be because I don’t like figuring out transit in a new place:). Staying hydrated is so important.

  9. Lara Dunning

    All great tips! I love walking and hiking while traveling so that is an easy one for me to mark off. I usually start off my trip with good snacks, but by the end, I’m buying milk duds and Swedish fish. Not a good habit!

  10. Brittany

    Great tips! I’m obsessed with my fitbit steps too so I love seeing what my numbers look like after a day exploring a new city.

  11. Julien Mordret

    I also take every opportunity to walk, including at the airport (I also have an app on my phone counting my steps haha!), but it looks like I have the opposite problem: I walk SO much (30,000+ steps in a day are not uncommon when exploring a city), that if I don’t eat more than usual I lose too much weight (and I often do). After a long trip, when I come back, I am often kind of skinny!!

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      Lol sounds like a good problem to have!!

  12. Renata

    Well, there are things I do automatically right: I’m walking a lot – I’m exploring almost every destination walking or at least on a bicycle, so that’s checked. And I stay hydrated. But the other activities – I admire you: Although I love yoga and it does me really good, on a vacation I’m far too lazy – or busy with other things – to practice it. So my exercises are walking and swimming – and taking care of what I’m eating and where.

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      Sounds like you are doing great (even without yoga!)

  13. Jenn

    These are all super great ideas! It can be so hard to keep healthy on the road. I love walking around the airport

  14. Christina Lyon

    Such great advice! I really struggle with not splurging on every meal. That said, I always bring snacks with me so that helps. I need to up my yoga game though! Love this helpful guide to staying healthy while traveling!


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