Unpredictable schedules. Hotels. Airplanes. Cars. Events. Family to visit.

From Thanksgiving to New Years theres a lot more life to do! It may feel impossible to fit in fitness when traveling for the holidays. But believe it or not you can find time to exercise during the “most wonderful time of the year” — it just takes a little planning and the desire to be successful.

Staying active is key for me when traveling so I don’t arrive home feeling like a total hot mess. I need fitness to help me overcome jet lag, boost my energy, recharge, and to be fully present for my life. Its one thing I pack with me for every trip no matter what! Here are my suggestions for enjoying your holiday travels without letting fitness fall by the wayside.

How to Stay Active When Traveling Over the Holidays

Try active sightseeing and fitness-related excursions.

Rent a bike to explore a new city, go snowshoeing or skiing, or simply walk! I love exploring new cities by foot. You get to see things you would never experience in a car. Walking is my preferred mode of exploration and I enjoy discovering a city’s streets while getting in some steps.

Try out a new-to-you fitness studio.

I love using travel as an excuse to try out fun new-to-me workouts, studios, or gyms. It’s a great way to mix it up from your normal workout routine and give your body a different challenge. Most often studios will offer “first class free” drop ins or 3 day/one week trial passes. Day passes are another option and typically affordable (and worth it for the exercise experience). To find a class near you, use GoRecess.com or yelp.com to check out reviews and get insider tips before you check out a workout.

Use small windows of time for Massage, Mobilization, and Maintenance

There are lots of opportunities to fit movement, self massage, or self care in when you are traveling. I carry my Original Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls By Jill Miller with me in the car, airplane, and hotel so that I can have them handy to help me feel better in my body. I also typically fly/drive in running shoes and comfortable clothes to make movement more accessible. Delayed in the airport? Perfect time to stretch your legs and walk around the terminal. Sitting in the airplane? Break out the yoga tune up balls and give your lower back some self massage. Waiting for a taxi cab? Stretch your hip flexors. Opportunities to move exist everywhere you just have to look for them. Make it easy to succeed by having tools and clothes that help you feel good ready to travel with you. Here are a few stretch/massage ideas for driving and flying that will help you feel instantly better no matter where you are:

Best In Airport Exercises

Airport Stretching Routine

Self Massage While Driving/Flying Routine

Road Trip Stretch Routine

Sign up for a holiday race or walk!

Turkey Trots and Jingle Runs can make visiting a new town for a holiday more fun. Holiday races are a great way to stay active and motivated to train during the busy season. Most cities and towns have gotten on board the holiday race bandwagon; Active.com and RunningInTheUSA.com are good resources for finding races near you. Not finding any that work? Host your own “race” with your family! Bonus: you’ll work up an appetite for those holiday meals and bond over something active.

Pack For Success.

Do a bit of research before you leave on the exercise options available at your destination and what you’ll need to pack to enjoy them. Is it hot, cold, wet, etc? Bring layers and always always always an extra couple pairs of socks. That way you be prepared to take advantage of exercise opportunities that arise excuse free!

If studios aren’t an option, design your own workout!

Bring resistance bands, a jump rope, a travel yoga mat, a TRX, or utilize whatever other equipment you have on hand. You might have a hotel or home gym full of weights and balls, but if not, get creative — use chairs for step ups and dips, turn soup cans into light weights, etc. If you need some inspiration, pack your favorite workout DVDs or try a fitness app. I LOVE to have a video to motivate me when Im working out alone. I use yogaglo.com for high quality yoga classes on the go and subscribe to several great youtube channels.

Here are some other free fitness apps I love to use when traveling:

  • Nike Training Club — a huge variety of workouts — you can select intensity and time, and there are workouts available that don’t require any equipment, too.
  • The Scientific 7 Minute Workout — this is the online version but there’s also an app that will guide you through it — just search for it by name! I usually do it a few times in a row — it doesn’t require anything but a chair.
  • Sworkit — a big variety of workouts, including strength training, stretching, cardio, pilates and yoga — and no equipment is required. I also love their tagline: “Get to Swork!”

Pinterest is also a great resource for at-home (or hotel room) workout routines.

Incorporate fitness into your family time.

I love taking family walks and hikes during the holidays. Remember that fitness doesn’t just mean organized activity — embrace your inner kid and build a snowman, go sledding or ice skating, or play tag.

Healthy holiday traveling is just all about planning. Think ahead, envision where, how, and when you can exercise before you go, and pack accordingly. Plan for success and it will be easier for you to stay on track and maintain your health. Stay committed to taking care of yourself, flexible with your schedule, and open to all that is possible — these healthy habits will help you be an unstoppable travel pro! All of this said, maintain realistic expectations. You won’t be able to always stick to your normal workout routine during the holidays and that’s okay. Be kind to yourself. Stay active in ways that are fun for you, incorporate built in fitness into your day to day activities, and don’t stress yourself out if there are days when a workout simply doesn’t happen. Just keep moving and you’ll find you feel good no matter where life takes you.

How do you stay active while traveling during the holidays? Leave your top tip as comment below, Id love to hear from you! For more, check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and start feeling your best inside and out.

Wishing you safe, healthy, and happy holiday travels,


Originally published at www.carolinejordanfitness.com on December 7, 2014.

Originally published at medium.com