A Cheat’s Guide to Working Out While You Travel (Without Even Noticing)

Exercise isn’t generally at the top of your list when you’re on holiday. In fact, it’s probably somewhere towards the end, in between ‘pay bills’ and ‘do life admin’. But, if you’ve ever been on a lengthy holiday that featured big nap-inducing meals and not much movement, you’ll know the sinking sensation that sets in when you get home. You’ve had an amazing time, but you’ve eaten a few too many burgers. You feel sluggish, and the post-holiday depression is setting in.

So, how can you make sure you keep active while on vacation without ruining your relaxation time? And, can you trick yourself into exercising without dragging yourself away from the fun stuff? Here’s our cheat sheet on how to do exactly that: work out while you travel, without even noticing.

Ditch the taxis

Figuring out how to get around a new city can be a little daunting; the streets are new, you might be a bit jetlagged, and you may not even know the language. Many travellers opt to take taxis when they first get to a new location to ensure they know exactly where they’re heading. But, why not throw out the rulebook and ditch the taxis if you can? Put your comfiest sneakers on and take to the streets. Do your research and try to get around using a combination of public transport and walking; it’ll keep you active and you’ll get to see things you might never have experienced from the inside of a car.

Take advantage of airport time

Long trips (and even short trips) can involve a fair amount of airport time. You have to find your check-in counter, go through customs, security checks, and find your gate. But often, you’ll still have a big chunk of time to wait out before you actually board your flight for the next city.

A large number of airports provide gym and yoga facilities. Photo: Frankfurt Airport Group

So, why not take advantage of that time rather than trying to nap on the uncomfortable seats or setting up camp at the bar? Take a walk around the terminal or airport: browse the shops, do a few laps, do some people-watching. Find a quiet space and have a stretch, particularly if you’re destined for a long-haul flight.

Embrace your surroundings

Even if you’re on a relaxing holiday, sunning it up at a beachside resort or driving through a wine region or two, there are still ways to work out that won’t ruin your zen. On days where you don’t have much planned, head out for a walk along the beach. Get up early to check out the sunrise and do some yoga, or do a few laps in the pool instead of just working on your tan. Check out local tourist attractions; walk around temples, or spend a few hours in an art museum, do a hike, investigate an old castle. Every little bit counts, and you might be surprised how much exercise you’re actually doing (when it seems like you aren’t doing much at all).

Check out local classes and activities

No matter where you are in the world, there are probably some awesome activities happening nearby. We don’t mean hardcore personal training sessions, or even hitting up a gym nearby (unless that’s your thing), but rather, embracing whatever the city or town you’re in has to offer. Hanging out in Ubud? Check out a local yoga studio overlooking the mountains. Lounging by the beach somewhere in Southeast Asia or Europe? Hire a canoe or a jet ski, and get on out there. Checking out Buenos Aires or Cuba? Try a tango or salsa class. Holidaying somewhere a little colder? Strap the skis on and work on those quads.

Shop, dance, love

Okay, so maybe you’re not into yoga and the holiday you’re heading on is a little more cosmopolitan than beachside resort. If you’re really resisting any kind of exercise, why not just head to the shops?

Walk through a 10-floor shopping centre in Singapore, or shop designer on 5th Ave in New York, carrying those heavy bags full of bargains – you’re exercising! Travelling with a partner? It’s a great excuse to take a romantic walk on the beach, or through the city. Wanting a holiday that takes you to the d-floor? Find a local club and dance your heart out.

Get app happy

Make sure you equip yourself with apps before you go or while you’re taking advantage of your hotel’s Wi-Fi. Load your city on Google Maps before you leave Wi-Fi so you can use it offline, look up nearby tourist attractions and search for activities that you can take advantage of. And of course, make sure you set up your Qantas Wellbeing App – as long as your phone is in your pocket or bag while you’re travelling, you’ll be rewarded for the steps you take. So, you can capitalise on your healthy travel habits.

The Qantas Wellbeing App makes for a pretty sweet travel buddy. Want to learn more about the Qantas Wellbeing App, Qantas Health Insurance or Qantas Travel Insurance? Find everything you need here. Ready to download the app? Head here for iOS, and here for Android.

Chloe Papas is a journalist and writer based in Victoria. You can find her on Twitter @chloepapas