10 Reasons Why Travelers Should Run


Whether you are an avid runner or have never run a day in your life, running can be a major game changer while traveling. I use the term “run” lightly here. I’m not talking a sprint. If a brisk walk is more your pace, consider that your “run.” What it really comes down to is maintaining any kind of physical activity while traveling, and you may be able to avoid a whole slew of negative travel side affects. Need more convincing? Here are 10 reasons why it’s important to incorporate running into your traveling routine.

Race Cheetahs in the Wilderness

You know, if you ever end up out in the bush and a cheetah comes after you? Start training now and before long you’ll be running with the cheetahs!

Run with the Cheetahs | Little Things Travel Blog

Minimal Equipment Required

In fact, all you really need is a pair of gym shoes! And comfortable running clothes, of course. I would suggest a pair of Brooks to do the trick (I’m a bit obsessed with mine), but whichever is most comfortable for you is the way to go. Consult with your local running store to find the best fit for you.

Be sure to research your destination. Hot pink running shoes are likely not the best idea for most places.

Be sure to research your destination. Hot pink running shoes are likely not the best idea for most places.

Quick Way to Get in a Workout

Traveling typically involves a very busy schedule, whether it is for business or pleasure. While it may seem like you “don’t have time” for such things like running, it may be easier than you think! Rather than spending an extra 10 minutes sleeping in, you can easily use that 10 minutes for a quick morning run to jumpstart your day.

Cheaper Than Renting a Car

Why rent a car when you can run everywhere? Okay, maybe this is a little exaggerated… but next time you’re thinking about a bus tour opt for a run instead! It’s a great way to explore a new place, and it’s okay to get a little lost, just make sure you’re with a buddy! If running is not your thing, walks are great too. Make sure to look into walking tours in the area for a more active alternative to that bus tour.

Counter the Effects of Food and Drink Splurges

One of the best parts of traveling? The food, of course! I love exploring all the food options when I visit a new place. Sometimes, there are even entire festivals dedicated to eating or drinking, like the Boulder Craft Beer Festival. Indulging in great food and drink is great! But the side effects will impact your health sooner or later. My strategy? Balance out the indulgences with a light jog or regular strolls through the park.

Can't hide my excitement over craft beer and free food!

Can’t hide my excitement over craft beer and free food!

Re-Energize Yourself

Travel can certainly be draining, especially when you are traveling for a longer amount of time or are constantly on-the-go. Use running as a pick me up to boost your energy! Some of you are probably thinking I’m crazy right now, and that you will be exhausted after running. Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting running a marathon. Take it at your own pace! If you can only run for a few minutes, then run for a few minutes. Maybe you feel best when alternating between walking and running. If power walking is more your style, then go for it! The point is, getting in some physical activity while breathing fresh air is a great way to release stress and clear your mind.

Enjoy the Scenery

Whether you are in a new or familiar place, running is a great way to explore and enjoy the view around you. Just the other day I ran along the Bouder Creek Path and got to take in the amazing scenery around me. It sure helps take your mind off of the fact that you are running! An inexpensive piece of equipment that is great to have in this case is an armband for your phone. I personally have the Griffin Trainer Armband, and it is one of my favorites (lasting me over a year now). Avoid all armbands with velcro as it tends to wear out much quicker. Keeping your phone with you is good for a safety precaution, but it also allows you to stop and take pictures along the way!

Boulder Creek Path

Boulder Creek Path

Outrun a Crazy Mob

It’s always good to be prepared, right? Lace those shoes up and get running because you’ll never know when you need to outrun a wild mob!

Stay in Shape

Did you know that running reduces risk of death by 29% and cardiovascular disease by 50%, regardless of the length of time or speed? (USA Today) It also has many other benefits such as improving happiness and reducing stress and depression. Especially when that travel stress kicks in, why not get in a bit of running from time to time? After all, more healthy years means more time to travel!

Run For Those Who Can’t

Not everyone has the luxury of heading out for a jog around town whenever they would like. There are some areas where it simply is not safe to run outside, whether you are alone or with a friend. Others may be held back by physical disabilities. Remember this both at home and while traveling in an area where there are safe outdoor options for running, and take full advantage of the opportunity!

What are your travel workout tips? How do you stay fit while traveling? 

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10 Reasons Why Travelers Should Run


  1. This is almost a guilt-trip post for me! 😛 I’ve got a desk job and as such, my physical activity is very much limited during the work day. I’ve found that since going from retail to office, my stamina has plummeted and walking around sightseeing all day on trips is exhausting! I’ve had that nagging voice inside my head for a while that maybe I ought to just start running…. this post may be the thing to finally push me to it.

    • My new desk job has certainly taken a toll on me as well. I’ve been pushing myself to continue running in the mornings, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Always makes me feel much better about my day! Happy running!

  2. I’m a huge walker, especially when I travel. To me its the best way to see the city, strolling the streets and getting lost only to find something spectacular. While I’m definitely NOT a runner, I much rather explore a city on foot than by car/bus or the like. Great piece!

  3. Ah, Marissa, I think I should hire you as my motivator because I should “run” every single day in order to stay in shape. I entirely agree with you, if you are not in a good shape you can’t enjoy anything while traveling: you’ll be constantly tired.

    • Haha it all comes down to making it a habit! Now that I’ve been on a regular running schedule, it makes it a more natural part of my day and something that I even crave! This certainly helps a ton to keep up energy while traveling. Thanks for reading Anda!

  4. All my friends are avid runners who run marathons most weekends. Living in South Florida, I can’t get motivated to run in 80-90 degree weather. I know it’s a great way to lose weight and stay in shape. That’s great that you go running during your travels and keep up with it.

    • The heat can certainly be a killer! I try to get my runs in earlier in the morning when the temperatures are hot and humid. Can’t say that I am a marathon runner, but even shorter distances have their benefits! Thanks for reading Carmen!

  5. I’ve never been a runner but I love walking, it is the best way for me to discover a new place. I agree with the reasons you mention, great post

  6. I am thinking about picking up running again (I did triatlons as a teen) and I guess the food splurge is a good reason to start… I always splurge on food when I am traveling 🙂

  7. I agree 100%! I love running, walking and hiking everywhere when I travel because it’s the best way to keep fit, explore new places and when you’re running, walking or hiking you’ll often get to see an interesting place that you would have missed had you taken the bus or a taxi.
    Plus there’s no guilt about stopping at every other street stall for a snack when you’ve been out all day getting a good cardio workout 😛

    • Being active is certainly a great reason to stop for delicious snacks! It’s amazing all the hidden places you may never have seen if you weren’t on foot. Thanks for stopping by Natasha!

  8. I do enjoy the occasional run, but not all the time. I had hoped to go for a run today, but time got away from me!

    • There’s always tomorrow! Occasional is always better than never 🙂 My runs tend to get much more occasional particularly when the weather gets cold. Thanks for stopping by Sammi!

  9. As someone who travels often, and eats WAY TOO MUCH when I do, I really should take your advice.

  10. I wish I loved running but am definitely a walker. I can jog here and there but I can walk for 6-7 hours straight, Running is great but getting somewhere instead of taxi-ing might not always be possible or you end up looking messy 🙂

  11. I’m a huge fan of this idea. I walk or run everywhere I can. It’s great for you physically, mentally and for your travels. It’s the best way to explore a place and learn about the people and culture. You don’t get in it enough on a bus or talking a cab from place to place. I’m a real foodie (occasional alcoholic beverage too) so it helps keep me healthy.
    I ran my first half marathon this year but had only jogged before. I really believe it can be for anyone 🙂 great post and very good reasons. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Kate, and congrats on running your first half! There are so many benefits to running and pace really doesn’t make a difference, it just matters that you continue to get out there and do your best. It sure is a great way to balance out the tempting food and drink options when traveling!

  12. I enjoy running, and definitely, its one of the easiest ways to stay fit while traveling.

  13. I’ve been travelling in South America since May and really missed running! It’s certainly not impossible, but the sight of a blonde gringo in shorts running through town seems to attract quite a lot of attention… In other places, like you say, it’s a great way to keep active. Really interesting and inspiring article thank-you. I like your sense of humour too. 🙂

  14. I love getting up in the morning and going for a run or walk when traveling. It’s not always easy, as I don’t travel alone and want to stay on schedule with everyone else I’m with, but it’s the best way to see some of the back streets of where you’re visiting. And you’re right, with just a quick ten or twenty min jog you feel re-energized and ready for your day.

    • It certainly is not easy! But I know I always feel very refreshed after a jog, even if it’s quick, so that helps give me the push I need to get out there 🙂 Thanks for reading Daidri!

  15. It’s been a very strange transition for me this year – I was addicted to running last two years, built up to my first 5k 10k half marathon and just ran first full marathon in Edinburgh earlier this year 🙂 but since then, started blogging and my running has gone downhill 🙁 thanks for posting this! Going to use it to inspire me to run again!

    • Wow congrats! Blogging does take it’s toll, that’s part of the reason I like to run first thing in the morning. I know once I start blogging I get carried away and then the run is much less likely to happen! Good luck getting back into it! 🙂

  16. avid runner here(7 miles a day, 6 days a week) — I always get in runs while on vacation albeit on a hotel treadmill. Unfortunately this means getting up extra early to get the workout in, but that’s ok–it keeps me in shape and lessens the guilt of eating junk food while traveling!

  17. How about run so you can survive running with the bulls! 🙂

  18. So necessary and beneficial, but hard to stay disciplined! I definitely think it’s a great early morning strategy to learn more about the area you’re traveling in! Awesome post Marissa.

    • Thanks David! Staying disciplined is the hardest part, especially when traveling. That’s why I typically try to make it out in the morning so I can make some sort of routine out of it. Either way, doing something is always better than nothing! 🙂

  19. There’s nothing like getting outside to explore and a run, or brisk walk for me, is the best. It’s also solitary time to think and open up your senses. I find it hard to work out in a gym at all regularly so a walk/run works, opens up the lungs and makes you feel alive. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • There really are so many benefits! I haven’t had a gym membership since I moved to Colorado and I love it. It can be tough getting myself outside when it’s cold, but the fresh air is always a great refresher! Thanks for reading Elaine!

  20. Great advice! I think a lot of people still have the misconception that runs need to be long to be effective, which is absolutely not true! Or they don’t know that walking can be an ultra-effective fat-burning activity too! I’m trying hard to stay active during my travels these days 🙂

    • Thanks Leah! Every little bit counts, 2 hour workouts are certainly not a necessity! It’s extra challenging while traveling, but I always try to be creative to make it happen!

  21. I wish I liked running! My kids would be right there running with you. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration and tips.

  22. Couldn’t agree more! And it’s a great way to see a new place more than anything.

  23. Hey funny post! Love it! Running should be implimented into our travel schedule! You’re right it only takes 10 min

  24. Totally agree! I started a couple of years ago. I used to take the cab or train when we travel now its walking. I’ve also gotten into the habit of bringing a pair of sneakers and getting a good run in during the mornings.

  25. […] me want to work out as much as this one did, and it’s always important for me to find ways to stay active while traveling. Most of the hotel fitness rooms I’ve been in are dingy, dimly lit, and so tiny that I feel […]

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