Traveling, whether for work or for fun, can make it challenging to maintain your workout routine. While you might not be able to do the exact exercises you do at home, you can still break a sweat while on the road.

If you’re staying at a hotel, the hotel gym is a great place to get your heart rate up. Most hotel gyms will have weights and a treadmill or elliptical machine, but it’s also fun to mix it up while traveling. Here are a few ideas for working out while on vacation.

1) Hiking: Whether with your family, your spouse, or by yourself, taking a hike or a walk while you’re on vacation is not only great exercise, it’s a perfect way to sightsee. Walking and hiking can offer many benefits. One study suggests regular hikes can reduce cardiovascular (and other) health risks as much as running. Incorporating hills and inclines can give your heart rate and lungs an extra boost and improve your muscles and stability. Be sure to start slowly, carry plenty of water, and wear proper footwear when hiking through nature.

2) Swimming: Considered by some to be the best total-body exercise in the world, laps in a pool (indoor or outdoor), lake, or even in the ocean can do wonders for your heart and muscles. Swimming can help adults who suffer from arthritis, since the muscles and bones are navigating through water, instead of fighting gravity. You could burn an estimated 600 calories per hour with proper form and technique, but start slowly and gradually if you have not previously swum.

3) Biking: Another low-impact aerobic exercise, biking during your getaway can provide similar health benefits to hiking or running, especially on hills or uneven terrain It’s also a great workout for your leg muscles, without overworking your joints.

4) The beach: If you are vacationing near a beach, try walking or jogging on the sand. One study suggests walking on soft sand expends more than twice as much energy than walking the same speed on a solid surface. Like swimming, the extra energy required by your muscles, heart, and lungs to propel you forward is offset by preserving wear and tear on your bones and joints.

5) Golf: Vacationing near a golf course? Try a round of golf! One study found that golfers who walked nine holes while carrying their own clubs burned 1,000 calories, compared to walking but not carrying clubs (750 calories) or riding in a cart (600 calories). Golf is an excellent supplement to regular exercise, stimulates the brain, and may even help increase life expectancy. Yes, all those bad shots and missed putts are frustrating, but no matter what your scorecard says, your health could be your round’s ace in the hole.

If you don’t have time to get out of your hotel to bike, hit the beach, or swim, take 30 minutes or less and try out this hotel room workout:

Hotel Room Workout*
No Space? No Problem!
AMRAP 7 Minutes

Perform each seven-minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) three times.

*Please consult with your physician prior to beginning or modifying any exercise or weight management plan.

  1. Once you have completed the first seven-minute AMRAP, rest for one minute
  2. Begin each AMRAP from the initial exercise.

During this workout, you will conduct 21 minutes of exercise and a total of three minutes of rest.                                                              

So, the next time you are on vacation but you don’t want to miss a workout, try one of these. And make sure to share in the comments section how you work out while traveling!