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!
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.
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.
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!
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?