Travel Sweat: Working Out On The Road

Updated: May 2, 2018

It doesn’t have to be fancy. And it’s definitely not impossible.

Traveling is a time to get away from it all. It’s a time to challenge what we consider normal and what we know about ourselves. It’s about people, food, late nights and early mornings. Underlying all this discovery and adventure are two common intentions: a desire to challenge one’s self and a desire to feel awesome.

Hmmmm… Challenge myself. Feel awesome. Sound familiar?

{NOTE: This article is PART I to my guest post on Tour Radar's Days to Come. For details on how to get your workout in once you've arrived at your destination, CHECK OUT PART I: Get Your Sweat On Anywhere}

If fitness, training, being active and/or living a movement-based lifestyle is important to you, you might be curious as to how that might fit into your holiday. Besides, you know that in addition to a strong cup of coffee and shared laughs with new friends, a quick workout and moving your body periodically throughout the day will be the most effective way to keep your energy up so you can get your discovery on.

This is what low-level travel energy looks like. It's not ... great.

A quick and purposeful sweat session will rev any engine. Even if that engine is suffering some lingering effects from late night shenanigans, too much delicious food or a demanding time change.

The sweat options are plentiful. Maybe you decide to take your training down a notch and focus on active recovery while travelling. Or maybe you choose to slip in powerful 20-minute workouts every morning to charge your day. Whatever your purpose, your workout doesn’t have to be complicated.

In fact, simple is almost always better.

Luckily, we need not max out our luggage allowance in workout gear to get a solid workout away from home.For the specifics, click below to get your FREE!!! Roadie Fitness Guide.

Before we even think about "getting in a workout" on vacation, let's discuss the 3 little things that sneak up and deplete our energy (and what we can do to prevent the depletion altogether).

1. Big transit days = SittingSittingEatingSitting.

After a long day in a bus, train, plane, or car, all I want to do is tuck-and-roll out of my seat once we reach our destination.

“I’m going to get out and stretch my legs” is a common, and valuable, roadtrip survival principle. To curb the effects of sitting all day, break up the sitting and perform opposing movements. In reality, stretching our legs usually means standing outside the vehicle and maybe a walk to the toilet. It's okay. But not exactly great. How can we up our game? Bring intention to your break. Break like you really mean it. It will require about the same amount of time with a fraction more energy but the dividends at the end of the day will help you launch (versus tuck-and-roll) upon arrival.


A. Set a time limit for each driving stint.

This does require that you to be in cahoots with the driver. (If you’re on a bus, train or plane, you might have less sway with the person in charge, so opt for walking the aisle.) Pulling over on the side of the road for 5 minutes every hour or two will keep your energy up and the tight hip flexors, sore back, tight chest and/or achy neck at bay.

B. Walk with purpose.

Once your body escapes the comforts of your seat, it might not be completely cued and prepped for proper movement. This means that you will need to draw a little extra focus to awaken the body.

Whether you’re touring to the toilet, doing laps of the parking lot or taking in a short, scenic hike, think about these three things to help maximize your efforts (with minimal effort).

​​3 Simple Walking WAKE-UP Tips

i. WALK TALL Imagine a string is attached to the top of your head and anchoring you to the clouds. ii. LIFT YOUR CHEST or RELAX YOUR SHOULDERS. iii. PUSH OFF YOUR BACK FOOT This will engage muscles through the back of your leg and open up those hip flexors that have been getting progressively tighter while we're chilling in our seats.

C. Perform a/an roadside/airport dynamic warm-up.

“What the heck is that?”

Dynamic Roadside Warm-Up AKA Undoing the Prolonged Sit

Synopsis video BELOW.

Details available in the FREE DOWNLOAD - Roadtrip Fitness Guide.

***Video - synopsis

D. Wear compression gear to help with circulation.

*If you do b and c AND d, people will assume you are an athlete, a health nut or a spandex-wearing roadside dancer. (Win, win and win.)

2. Get lost in the name of your health, curiosity and sense of adventure.

Just not too lost because your bus (or driver depending on the dynamic) will leave without you. ‘Dem the policies.

Use your new landing spot as your next movement adventure. When you arrive in a new area, grab a map (always take a map or at least your phone) and ask a local about a cool park, big hills, public stairs or a hidden cultural gem that will require some walking. It’s a great way to get a lay of the land and experience your new space. It's always one of the first and favourite things I do whenever I arrive somewhere new.

3. Avoid lugging the luggage.

Safety first, ya’ll, because suitcase injuries are a real buzz kill. Overhead compartments, stairs, unexpected cobblestone and a general tendency to get distracted by beauty are travel risks to your muscles and joints.

Be aware of your body position and posture while moving around. In particular, keep your torso aligned and lift your whole body.

4 Simple Lifting Tips:



BOTTOM LINE Do what you can. The intention of training while travelling is to have fun, get an energy-boost and support your current fitness level. However, if you need a break from structure or you feel stressed about getting your workout it, the best thing you can do for yourself is simply get out and move. Explore. Climb hills. Walk down curious roads. Movement is always queen.

WHAT TO LEARN MORE? Check out PART I - GUEST POST - Tour Radar's Days to Come: Get Your Sweat On Anywhere.

Are you curious about how to squat a suitcase, stay limber on the road or piece together a hotel room workout?

PERFECT. Here you go!

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14 little things that make a big difference.

Hi! I'm Jess - 

I am unbelievably impressed by the resilience and strength of the human body and spirit.

I coach people towards their deepest goals. 

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