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Tips for Staying Fit While Traveling


WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Whether you are hitting the beach or exploring a new city, don’t let travel send your workout routine on vacation.

The fitness experts at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex have a few tips on how you can stay active when you’re on the road.

Workouts for the Beach

Crashing waves, sand, and sun are a perfect recipe for relaxation. Take advantage of the free time, open space, and beautiful views, and get in a workout. Here are some of the top ways to break a sweat on your beach vacation.

Don't let travel stop your workout - learn different exercises you can do on the beach! Click To Tweet
  • Running barefoot on the beach

    This is one of the best exercises for the foot and ankle because it allows them to move. Running on the sand also leads to little impact on the knees and the consistent resistance of the sand can help burn more calories.

  • Swimming

    Swimming laps in the ocean or pool for an hour can burn up to 550 calories.

  • Surfing

    If surfing is an option, and you’re up for it, it can be a great workout. Surfing works your arms, legs, and core, and helps you practice balance.

  • Volleyball, flying disc, paddle ball, and building sandcastles

    These are great activities to get you moving with friends and family. You can even use buckets of sand like dumbbells. The weight of the buckets can be adjusted (water, wet sand, dry sand) for different workouts, making this a simple way to get in some strength training.

  • Shelling (or picking up seashells)

    Make it more challenging and do a squat or lunge every time you pick up a shell. You can even make it a competition with your family and friends.

Urban Workouts for City Vacations

Exploring a new city is a great way to spend your vacation and you can even squeeze a workout into your sightseeing.

  • Walk for transportation

  • The average length of a city block differs in each city, but walking to your destinations is a great way to learn more about your new surroundings and stay active.
  • Many cities also have a variety of walking tours that can keep you on your feet while learning.
  • Curious how far these walks take you? You can find an online conversion calculator to determine how many city blocks equal one mile, but here are a few popular cities:
    • Chicago: eight city blocks = one mile
    • Philadelphia: 13 city blocks = one mile
    • New York City: 20 city blocks = one mile (traveling North to South)
    • New York City: seven avenues = one mile
    • Denver: 16 city blocks  = one mile (traveling East to West)
    • Denver: eight city blocks = one mile (traveling North to South)
  • Rent bikes

    Many cities have designated bike paths or lanes to ensure safer travel by bike. You can rent bikes and spend the day pedaling around taking in the sights.

Vacation in the city? Rent bikes to see the sights and get some exercise in the process! Click To Tweet
  • “Hike” the landmarks

    Take advantage of the rich history many cities have to offer.  Try to find the city’s oldest buildings and snap a pic in front of them. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or Golden Gate Bridge. Run up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art like Rocky.

  • Get involved in the local cultural scene

    This can be especially great if you are visiting a city with a different cultural influence than your own. Look up some local dance clubs, find out where lessons are happening, and sign up. Learn how to dance the flamenco in Spain, do the jig in Dublin, or square dance down South.

Here are some other helpful tips for getting in a workout while traveling:

  • Do your homework — look into whether where you’re staying has a gym or fitness center, or where the closest jogging trail can be found.
  • Pack the right stuff — pack little things that can help make your workouts easier to do, like your yoga mat or a resistance band, and definitely workout clothes and proper shoes. Seeing these items in your suitcase may encourage you to be active.
  • Plan an active rest stop — if you are spending long hours in the car, plan to take one of your rest stops near a park or other scenic area. Then, you can get out, stretch your legs, and even take a quick walk or jog.

For more information about sports medicine and general fitness, please visit UPMC Sports Medicine. You can make an appointment with one of our sports medicine and performance experts at either of our world-class locations — the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex and the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, by calling 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced program dedicated to treating, training, and inspiring athletes at levels, in all sports. Our physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, sports nutrition, and sports performance experts are dedicated to helping athletes and active people recover from injuries, and even prevent them. Read More