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Ultimate Guide to Staying Fit & Healthy While Traveling

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Ultimate Guide to Staying Fit & Healthy While Traveling

Harlan VaughnUltimate Guide to Staying Fit & Healthy While TravelingMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Staying fit and healthy while traveling is important for folks who don’t want to fall behind on their progress.  A packed schedule during vacation might make you less interested in exercise – especially with delicious meals and relaxation calling your name!

There are easy ways to keep up with your routine, like staying at health-forward hotels, choosing better snacks on the go, and…working out in the airport?  You bet!

Of course, being active might be the whole point of your trip, like kayaking, hiking, or swimming each day you’re away.

Remember, you can use points earned from best hotel credit cards to cover the entire cost of your stay.  Staying fit doesn’t have to cost anything extra! 💪

Hiking Several Miles Each Day in National Parks Is Fantastic Cardiovascular Exercise. And the Views Aren’t Bad, Either!

I’ll share tips for staying active while traveling!

Health & Exercise Tips While Traveling

Depending on your destination, you might not have access to the same fitness facilities and equipment you have at home.  But planning ahead and adapting to your vacation environment can help you stay on a workout plan.

Here are easy ways to stay fit when you take a trip.

1.   Stay at Fitness-Friendly Hotel Brands

Many major hotel chains have fitness centers on premises.  But the quality and type of equipment can vary a lot.  Here are hotel brands or specially-designed hotel fitness programs ideal for folks who like to workout.

EVEN Hotels

There are currently 11 EVEN Hotels, which are part of IHG.  Each hotel has athletic studios, group classes, and in-room exercise zones.  Plus, you can ask for specialty equipment like Pilates mats, yoga balls, or resistance bands.

EVEN Hotels Are Designed With Fitness in Mind, From Food Options in the Cafes to Fruit-Flavored Water to Comfy Beds

Though there aren’t many locations, you can use IHG points to stay free when your travel plans allow.  For example, I found a room at EVEN Miami Airport for 35,000 IHG points per night.

You can use points earned from the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, or the annual free night certificate that comes with the card (good for a stay up to 40,000 points) to stay for free.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

If you like Marriott hotels, consider Fairfield Inn & Suites, which has ~950 locations around the world.

Each hotel has:

  • 24/7 fitness center on site
  • Ergonomic desk and chairs
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free hot breakfast each morning

Many Marriott hotels have fitness centers, but these are better stocked with more specialty equipment.  Plus, there are many locations.

You can get an award stay with the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, which comes with a free award night (up to 35,000 Marriott points) after every cardmember anniversary.  It’s also an easy way to earn extra Marriott points.

Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness Program

I like Hilton hotels.  And 13 Hilton locations have the Five Feet to Fitness program that provides in-room workout equipment, an exercise bike, and a monitor with hundreds of custom-designed classes and routines.

Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness Rooms Have Tons of Workout Options Built In

You have to specifically request a room with these amenities.  If you’re passing through a city where this program is available, give it a try!  You won’t have to leave your room to stay on top of your workouts.

If you like Hilton hotels, paying with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card will help your Hilton points balance grow so you can stay for free.  And you’ll get Gold elite status, which comes with free breakfast at nearly every Hilton hotel.

StayFit@Hyatt

Hyatt hotels throughout North America and the Caribbean have the StayFit@Hyatt program that offers guests yoga mats, fitness apparel on demand, and Life Fitness workout machines.

To find a participating hotel, check the list of hotel amenities.  You can see which hotels have a fitness center, and each individual hotel will note if they have StayFit service available.

You can reserve free rooms at these hotels with points earned from The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, which also comes with a free night certificate each card anniversary, valid at a Hyatt Category 1 through 4 hotel.

TRYP by Wyndham

At each of the 16 TRYP by Wyndham hotels, you can specifically request a Fitness Room, which comes with an elliptical, bike, or treadmill, and an exercise mat.

Wyndham Has In-Room Amenities to Help You Keep up With Your Fitness Routine

Westin

At Westin brand hotels, which are part of Marriott, you can pay $5 to rent New Balance running shoes and clothing to work out.  This means you can pack lighter if you plan to exercise.

And their fitness studios feature 24/7 access and TRX training equipment.

There are 280+ locations, with nearly 140 in North America.  So they’re fairly easy to find, especially if you plan to travel domestically.

Get Free Stays With Hotel Credit Cards

Stay for free!  Consider earning points for free award stays with the best hotel credit cards, which include:

And if there’s a hotel chain you like, you can do well getting the credit card that earns their points directly.

2.   Check the Hotel Calendar for Fitness Schedules

Many resort-style hotels offer group fitness activities, which are included in the price of your stay.

For example, I checked the schedule at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa.  And there are daily classes for yoga, water aerobics, and group training.

Check Your Hotel’s Calendar to See If and When They Offer Free Fitness Classes

And you might have to pay extra, but check if your hotel has sports equipment for rent, like kayaks or stand-up paddle boards.  These activities can be a fun way to get in a workout.

Team Member Keith and His Wife Got a Great Workout Renting Stand-Up Paddle Boards at The St. Regis Bali

3.   Attend Classes at Boutique Fitness Studios

If you like group fitness classes, like cycling or Pilates, you might sign-up for a program like ClassPass.  With a membership, you can attend workout classes at studios in 80+ cities around the world, including many popular travel destinations.

Team member Keith’s wife used her ClassPass membership to attend classes in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Seattle, and other cities!  She likes how easy it is to register for a class through the mobile app.  And she prefers the team environment of a group class over working out in a hotel gym.

Consider ClassPass If the List of 80+ Cities Are in Your Travel Plans

There are other popular fitness studios with memberships you can use at multiple locations throughout the US, including Barry’s Bootcamp, PureBarre, and SoulCycle.

4.   Use Fitness Apps for Workout Routine Inspiration

With a smartphone, you can download a fitness app for workout ideas while traveling.  It’s like having a personal trainer in your pocket.

And you can choose an app that fits your situation best.  For example, you might have access to a hotel fitness center with dumbbells and cardio equipment.  So an app could show you a customized workout with the equipment available to you.

Apps Like 7 Minute Workout Can Turn Any Room Into a Place to Exercise

Or you can find an app that guides you through a yoga session without leaving your room.  And you can always get your heart rate up in your hotel room by doing classic exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups.

Our favorite fitness apps include:

  • 7 Minute Workout
  • MapMyRun
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Nike Training Club
  • Yoga Studio

5.   Plan Active Travel Excursions

Instead of booking a bus tour to explore a new city, you might select an active option.  For example, team member Scott loved free walking historical tours in Budapest and Warsaw.

Even if you’re not on a tour, you could walk instead of using rideshare services or public transportation.  Team member Keith remembers his smartphone showing he took 25,000+ steps on his first visit to San Francisco, including lots of uphill climbs!

I Loved Hiking and Climbing Mountains in Glacier National Park

Depending on your travel destination, you can also take advantage of local culture to try something new and healthy.  While in Finland, team member Scott learned of the health benefits of spending time in a sauna.  So he embraced this integral part of their culture during his visit!

6.   Eat Healthy on the Go

When traveling, folks tend to eat whatever’s convenient.  Often, that means packaged foods, airport restaurants, or grab-and-go items.

The best way to eat in new environments is to replenish your body’s vitamins by eating lots of fruits and veggies.  Packing an apple or banana, or putting sliced fruit in a small container, makes it easy to pass on the pastries and cookies and give yourself a healthy energy boost.

Lots of Airports Let You Refill Your Water Bottles for Free! And Focusing on Fruits and Vegetables Is an Easy Way to Keep Yourself Healthy Everywhere You Go

Plus, if you can pack a refillable water bottle (I love the Hydro Flask brand), you’ll keep yourself hydrated all day.  Not drinking enough water is the easiest way to fatigue, and of course dehydration.  Airplane cabins are less humid than the Sahara Desert (seriously)!

And while you’re adding extra nutrients to your diet, give yourself food for thought by meditating or reading during your journey.  It’s an easy and free way to clear your mind.  Many airlines have free in-flight entertainment.  Next time you flip through the channels, see if you can find a guided meditation.

7.   Work out in Airport Gyms & Lounges

You can even work out AT the airport.  This might not be for everyone, as it takes planning to arrive earlier – especially if the facility is in another terminal.  But if you have a long layover, or your local airport has fitness options, why not?

For example, there’s a full-service gym at Baltimore airport.  And many hotels attached to airport terminals have fitness centers that offer day passes, like in Chicago and Detroit.

Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco’s airports even have free yoga lounges that are open all day every day, and supply mats you can use.

Workout Culture Has Even Spread to Airports – Take Advantage of a Long Connection!

And at the airport serving Minneapolis-St. Paul, you’ll find the concourse walkways are marked every 0.1 miles, so you can get in a long-distance walk and satisfy your step requirement for the day.

See if your airport has anything fitness related, like a gym, spa, yoga lounge, or a hotel in the terminal offering access to their weights and machines.  It beats sitting at the gate when you can get your workout done along the way!

Bottom Line

Your fitness routine doesn’t have to take a vacation when you travel.  There are many ways to stay physically active and healthy when you’re away from home.

Here’s how to exercise while traveling:

  • Stay at fitness-friendly hotel brands
  • Check your hotel’s calendar for fitness activities and classes
  • Attend classes at boutique fitness studios with a ClassPass membership
  • Download a fitness app for workout inspiration
  • Plan active travel excursions, like hiking, cycling, or kayaking
  • Fuel your body with fresh foods and plenty of water
  • Check if the airport has a fitness facility

How do you keep up your workout routine during vacations?  We’d love to hear your tips!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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