When traveling, it is easy to fall out of a regular exercise routine. Time changes disrupt sleeping and eating schedules. Your typical diet may falter when you can’t resist sampling the native cuisine. Exercising is simply pushed out of mind as new sceneries and cultures take over. This doesn’t have to occur though. While you may not be able to exercise as often as you normally would at home, working out a few times during your trip will maintain your fitness and enhance your trip’s experience.
I’m a runner. It’s a lifestyle of mine that I have embraced and taken everywhere with me. Hotels or hostels may not have a gym but as long as you have sneakers, a t-shirt and shorts, exercise is possible. One of my favorite sections of Runner’s World magazine is called “Rave Run.” Each month, a different scenic running destination from across the globe is featured as a two page spread in the magazine. Past locations have included Momi, Fiji, Middlebury, Vermont and Positano, Italy. Blurbs describe the running experience, fast facts such as what to wear or historical information and suggestions as to what to do in the area besides the run. For me, it is the beautiful color picture that accompanies the writing which entices me to explore the world on foot.
At home, it can become monotonous running in the same area over and over again. You don’t even notice your surroundings anymore because they are the same every time. This is why running while traveling makes for the perfect workout. I have found that a new location captures my attention, allowing me to feel more energized and motivated to keep running. I find myself thinking, “I’ll turn around at the next street,” only to continue because I can’t help but be curious as to what is ahead.
A word of caution: if you are not good with directions or you become too distracted by your surroundings to notice the route you are taking, you may get lost. This can either be exhilarating or terrifying. A solution to this problem is to join a running tour, an activity that has become popular all over the world. Typically offered in major cities, these tours are a fusion of running and sightseeing. A resident of the city guides runners, imparting information about the passing sights. Essentially, it is a walking tour but at a faster pace and farther distance. The mileage varies, so you can choose what is comfortable for you, anywhere from running a guided 5k to a marathon. This is a great way to experience a new place from the running route of a native citizen, while simultaneously learning about a new culture and staying in shape. Two companies, City Running Tours and Go! Running Tours offer a variety of options to fit any runner’s needs.
Centering your traveling specifically on a race is also an option to encourage running. Countless races are held in every state and country. All it takes is a google search in your ideal destination to find one. Some popular vacation spots host races to attract more tourists, such as the Run Disney race series. I would love to participate in a Disney race. The half marathon themes are so creative, from the Avengers Super Hero Half Marathon to the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. You are able to run while the park is closed and receive an amazing medal at the end. The experience is so unique that it would be worth the plane ticket and hotel room.
Running is one of my favorite pastimes. From running in Kensington Gardens in London, the sandy beaches of Florida and the hills of Ithaca, New York, I always feel rejuvenated afterwards. You’ll probably be doing lots of walking to explore your destination but there is something special about exploring while on a run. Try it on your next vacation. Who knows what you will see?