5 Tips to Staying in Shape While Traveling

Does staying healthy, strong, and fit while also having amazing adventures (or taking a stressful work trip) sound impossible? Well, it’s not.

Everyone wants to enjoy local food, go to parties, and live in the moment while travelling. At the same time, you don’t want to lose the fitness progress you’ve made over the last few months at BootCampSF. It took a lot of hard work and commitment to get you here!

So here are a few tips for taking care of yourself and being healthy while still having a great time on your trip. Or even better — coming home feeling fit as ever and revitalized.

Find a Local Gym
The chances are high there will be a local gym wherever you’re traveling in the world. So you should consider trying out some fun exercise classes to keep you moving. Before your trip, scope out the area around your hotel to see if there are any fitness classes nearby. You’ll find that a lot of gyms and studios even offer discounts or a free trial if it’s your first time. You should also check to see if your hotel offers a gym. Yes, traveling can be stressful, but trying new ways to workout should be fun.

2. Workout In Your Hotel Room
Travel schedules can be hectic, but even 20 minutes of activity will help make sure you’re still feeling in top-shape when you return home. So consider working out in the comfort of your own room. There are plenty of workout streaming services you can turn to for inspiration. Also, there are plenty of body weight workouts (like we do in class) that you can do. Pack resistance bands to incorporate some strength workouts, or even consider a jump rope, or light yoga mat. And don’t forget to pack those tennis shoes!

3. Use a Fitness Tracker
The benefits of a fitness tracker can follow you anywhere. Personal fitness trackers eliminate the guesswork out of your workouts. Fitness trackers can keep you motivated by tracking the steps you take, calories burned and your heart rate. Wearing a fitness tracker on your trip will remind you to get moving if you’ve been too sedentary. Fitness trackers are also a great way to see how many steps you’ve taken when exploring a new city.

4. The 2 Day Rule
An idea to incorporate wherever you may be in this world is the 2 Day Rule. The 2 Day rule is trying to never miss working out more than two days in a row. This rule can keep fitness as a priority, and best of all, you won’t find it so difficult to get back into the swing of things after you return home. (And of course there are always exceptions to this rule!)

5. Eat Quality Foods
This isn’t a workout tip per se, but it is vital to keeping your body in shape and feeling its best while away. Build your diet around quality food from natural sources (this can often be easier in foreign countries than it is in the United States). Every meal should have a protein source and at least one vegetable; add some fruits and nuts. Avoid dairy and grains, or only eat them in minimal quantities.

In Conclusion
Making working out a priority while traveling is essential. You should decide when you will work out before you leave by taking an assessment of your daily schedule. If you’re taking a business trip, glance at your itinerary and determine when you’ll be able to fit in your workouts ahead of time. If it’s a trip for fun, tell your friends or family that you plan on getting in a few workouts during your stay. It will let them know your plans and help keep you accountable.

Tips on how to get workouts in while on vacation or traveling.

Time to get up for a workout.
Working out while on the road is challenging, just ask your consultant friend that travels for work more days than not. The toughest part for most of us is finding the motivation to get started. There are plenty of road blocks from wrangling kids, a new environment, lack of equipment. If you don’t find yourself jumping out of bed for a 7am run, here are some things that might get your engine revving:

1. Maintenance. You don’t need to break any records when you’re on the road, just remind yourself that you’re just working to maintain your fitness level. Keep in mind the length of your trip, too: a two-day break isn’t likely to set you back, but taking a whole week off isn’t going to help you meet your goals any faster.

2. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t have the time or space for a perfect workout? Don’t have any equipment? That, my friend, is not a good enough excuse to skip it all together. There is usually a work-around to be found. Some sort of movement is better than none at all. 20 push-ups is better than none.

3. Calorie Insurance. We’re all about keeping a healthy balance in mind; i.e., not beating yourself up over your food choices on a holiday is not what we recommend. But giving yourself a little cushion calorie-wise is a way to help allay some of the big meal guilt.

4. TELL SOMEONE. Yes, tell someone that you are going to work out. Tell your Facebook friend, yes, you can be that person. it’s okay. Tell your BCSF trainer. Email our general inbox (info@bootcampsf.com). Make a date with a long-lost friend. The likelihood that you’ll do a workout that you have already talked about, bragged about, or announced is way more likely to happen. You can find a little time to squeeze in a workout.


Now, if you have the motivation, but you have a few road blocks:

1. Enlist. If you’re a social butterfly (and you probably are if you like BCSF) and are bummed that you don’t have anyone to workout with, find a cousin or sibling that will go with you. This might be an opportunity to teach them what you know about fitness if they are less experienced than you, or if they are more experience take the opportunity to learn from them, or simply be inspired and get a little push from them.

If you don’t have anyone in your family ready to go and are visiting an area where you have a network, put a call out on social media for a workout buddy for the weekend. You just might find that your junior high BFF is now a running junkie/gym rat/yogi master. Re-connecting over fitness? Now that’s something we can get behind!

2. Equipment-less. Most of you have probably been in a BCSF class where minimal equipment was used. Harness that idea and know that it’s okay to use bodyweight for a workout. It’ll work just fine, trust us.

3. Ideas! Not sure what to do? No problem! Here’s some workouts we designed just for you. Give ’em a whirl. Tell us what you think!

High Altitude Running: Thanksgiving Weekend

Workouts while traveling are notoriously challenging. If you travel for work, you’re busy with deadlines and possibly jet lagged. If you’re traveling for leisure or simply to spend time with family, you are limited with time:  you did just travel however far/long to spend time with them right? But the bottom line for any type of travel is the same:  you are without your typical workout resources (e.g. if you’re a cyclist what do you do without your bike?).

This Thanksgiving weekend I experienced some of these obstacles myself while in Taos, New Mexico. Besides the lovely company I was keeping, Taos is beautiful, serene and clocks in around the 7,000 elevation foot mark. It’s most definitely high desert. Our house is significantly far from the city center and rests somewhere around the 7500-foot elevation mark. It’s high. For reference, it’s higher than many of the main destinations of Lake Tahoe.

Being far outside the main part of town and needing to share a car with the family, of course if I wanted to workout, I need to take my workout outside on my own terms. Given my background, it’s generally not something I view as a workout deal-breaker.

My first morning here, I mapped out an “easy” 3.5 mile route.

That road doesn’t look like much of a hill, but I can assure you when you’re at 7500 feet, a slight incline feels slightly Mt. Everest-ish. Basically, for all of the run, it sort of felt like someone was standing on my chest. While running. My lungs felt h-e-a-v-y and my breathe was quicker than usual. Very early on in the run I decided that it was not as easy of a run as I’d thought it would be. See above:  “easy 3.5 mile run”.

It was the hardest run I’d done in months.

I completed this run 3 times while in Taos and it didn’t feel all that much easier each time I went out (and on the 2nd run, the windchill temperature was hovering around 16 degrees!). I watched my pace, though not as religiously as I might at home, and it wasn’t as slow as I felt. But it didn’t really matter:  it just felt harder.

And it was humbling.

It reminded me of how it feels when something that feels “easy” to you much of the time, feels hard again. It was a good reminder for many things:  to not skip my own workouts even when it feels “hard” and to never forget how hard exercise can feel. And how it has felt for myself in the past. It’s a good feeling to have.

I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving workouts!

See you outside,

Catherine Wohlwend, General Manager @ BootCampSF


If you want to read a little bit more about why running at elevation is “hard”, here are a few resources:

Running Times / Trail Running Article

Wikipedia/ “Altitude Training”