You’ve just booked your next trip to a bucket-list destination – Paris, Iceland, Rome, South America…and are putting together your itinerary for all the things you want to do, see, and experience while you’re there. Probably not at the top of the list? Going to the gym.
Traveling can be both a blessing and a curse for fitness lovers. Everybody loves going to new places, having those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you can only get when you step outside of your comfort zone and expand your horizons.
But then there’s the downside – the dreaded loss of your hard-earned #gains.
You can promise yourself all you want that you’ll definitely eat healthy on your trip…but come on, nobody ever went to Rome and just ate salads the whole time, right?
And let’s be real, you’re also never going to go the gym as much as you think you will.
Maybe you booked your hotel especially because it promised a large, fully-equipped gym (maybe even a swimming pool too!) – but how many times have you read that description, only to check in and find that that amazing high-tech gym you were promised is really just a converted hotel room with a treadmill and a pile of free weights stacked in the corner. Not the most inspiring.
Or maybe you have the best intentions of hitting the gym every day during your trip (okay, maybe every other day) (okay, maybe at least once), but you can’t find any gyms near your hotel or Airbnb…or the ones that you can find don’t sell day passes…or the receptionists don’t speak English…or they don’t have the equipment you need…or you have to bring your own padlock, and who has time for THAT during a vacation?
Good intentions don’t equal good results. If you can’t get yourself into a gym during your trip, it’s virtually guaranteed that your fitness level will have taken a hit by the time you get back home and you’ll be starting all over from square one.
For some #MondayMotivation, here are 4 reasons why it’s so important to stay active when you travel. Then, keep reading for an easy way to get into the gym no matter where you are.
It’ll make your trip better, not worse
Science has told us again and again, and chances are you know it as well from your own personal experience – exercise makes you happy. (Cue Elle Woods: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”) Just 30 minutes on the elliptical or a couple bench press reps and you’ll be invigorated, energized, and ready to tackle the many things on your sightseeing to-do list with a new spring in your step. Exercise has even been shown to help your body re-synchronize to different time zones and to combat jet lag.
Live like the locals do
The fantasy-like aspect of traveling is great – the amazing restaurants, vistas, architecture, everything you experience when traveling can truly make you feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world that couldn’t be more different from your daily routine back home. But there’s also something to be said for experiencing a place the way the locals do. You get a real feeling for a city in a way that you don’t when all you see are the glitzy tourist attractions or Michelin-starred restaurants. One way to live like a local? Hit the gym! You’ll see different parts of a city and see the way the locals live, dress, and work out, and start to feel a little bit more at home.
Learn something new
One of the best things about traveling is the opportunity to meet and connect with new people from all walks of life who you wouldn’t otherwise meet in your day-to-day life. It might never have occurred to you to seek out those connections in the gym – but you should! Do people in St. Petersburg work out differently than they do in your gym at home? Probably! So why not learn a thing or two? Strike up a conversation while waiting for the squat rack to free up (because some things really are universal) and you might just get great new workout tips and tricks that you’re excited to incorporate into your regular workout routine.
No more taking two steps forward and one step back
There’s nothing worse than when you come back home from a trip and realize just how much progress you lost. Maybe the needle on the scale is higher than you’d like it to be; or your old PR is just a distant light on the horizon; or you find yourself getting winded after a few minutes on the elliptical. Those setbacks represent progress lost that has to be regained, and a whole lot of time spent working your way back to your old level when you could be reaching new heights. If you stay active during your trip you’ll come home just as fit as when you left, if not more so! And you’ll be able to get right back in the saddle, picking up where you left off. You’ll make those fitness dreams come true in no time.
So now that you’re (hopefully) convinced of the necessity of finding a gym on your next trip - what’s a fitness fanatic to do? Even if you believe wholeheartedly that you should and will find a gym during your next trip, the many obstacles to fitness that travelers face are still there.
Try TrainAway during your next trip to ensure that you not only find a gym but actually work out on it! TrainAway lets you search for and find all the gyms in your immediate area, giving you the option to filter by equipment and facility available (so if you just have to have a sauna, they’ve got you covered). You can view photos, read reviews, check the opening hours, and find out in advance if you need to bring your own towel, padlock, etc.
You can also buy day passes directly through the TrainAway app to partner gyms around the world. That means no more dealing with receptionists, payment issues, or never-ending registration for a single workout. Just purchase a pass on your phone, show it at the entrance when you arrive, and get straight into your workout.