The Secrets to Staying Fit While Traveling, According to Philly Fitness Pros

Headed out of town for Thanksgiving? Take these tips with you.

It’s no secret: The holiday season is full of land mines just waiting to blow up your fitness plans. See: holiday parties that end with you belting out Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” at 4 a.m. and the brutal holiday-party hangovers that follow. Then there’s all the traveling the holiday season brings, which can totally screw with even the most dedicated person’s workout schedule.

We’ve already given you a cheat sheet for staying fit during holiday-party season, so let’s move on to the second speed bump: We asked some of our favorite Philly fitness trainers to share their top tips for staying on top of your workout game while traveling. See what they had to say (and then copy ‘em) below.

1. Do your homework.
“Before you go, research the local gyms and boutique fitness studios and find out what equipment they have. If they’ve got what you need, ask them what their drop-in fee is, or if they have a week-long pass,” Katie Gould, the trainer behind Bok’s KG Strong gym, says. “Once you’ve landed on a gym, decide which days you’re going to work out and for how long.”

2. Pack accordingly.
Take note: Resistance bands are your BFFs when it comes to working out while traveling. As trainer Fabiana Ferrarini says, “I love resistance bands — I always load a few in my luggage. They are small and take very little space. I sometimes tuck them inside my extra pair of shoes. I can work out outside with them or indoors and can totally do a full-body workout if need to.” (Need band guidance? We’ve got plenty of exercises to try with resistance bands here.) If you’re driving to your destination, Gould is a fan of throwing a kettlebell in your car. As she says, “It may be heavy, but it’s a relatively small, functional piece of equipment you can do so much with. In 20 minutes, you can get your strength, mobility and cardio with one simple tool.”

3. Take advantage of first-class-free deals.
As Jayel Lewis of JL Fitness says, “A lot of studios offer their first class for free. Give a quick Google search to wherever it is that you’re traveling to and try something new and FUN!” Gould is also a fan of trying new studios when she’s in new places, saying, “When I go to visit friends, I love trying out their yoga studios, dance classes, CrossFit gyms, etc. It’s actually really fun to be the new kid in class. You get adjusted in new ways, teachers offer unique and helpful tips, and you could meet some really cool people.”

4. Rethink your idea of what counts as a workout.
If your family is anything like mine, your vacation itineraries leave little room for extracurricular activities (see: hitting the gym). But depending on what you’re doing, some of the activities you’re filling your days with might count toward your fitness goals. As Lewis points out, “Sometimes we get so caught up in our usual fitness routine that we forget to think outside of the box. It’s a great time of the year to go hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snow tubing.” Same goes for spending some time in the hotel pool. Even just going for a lengthy sightseeing walk around a new city can double as your workout, if you’re keeping an open mind.

5. Remember: You can always bounce back to the basics.
As Rachel Rubin of Fitness with Rachel says, “An easy way of working out the body and getting it into motion is simply circling out each part. Start with your ankles, move to your hips, shoulders, neck. Make your way from your feet to your head, giving each part attention. These simple circles help to increase mobility, are super functional, and awaken your energy within.” Gould follows up with five basic exercises you can do just about anywhere: plank shoulder taps, prisoner squats, single-leg deadlifts, push-ups and supermans. “For a more aerobic workout,” she says, “perform these exercises in a circuit for three to five sets of 10 to 15 reps.” Poof: There go all your excuses for falling off the fitness wagon.

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