6 Ways To Hack Your Workout On The Road

There was a period of time that, if you'd told me I'd have forgone my gym membership for more than 10 months, I'd have called you a dumb liar.

It's not that I'm a gym rat (I'm quite the opposite--is there such a thing as gym cat?), but I have relied on the stability and consistency of gyms for, oh...ever. I like options. Some days I don't want to run. I just want to watch Lemonade on the Stair Master. I like having a plethora of options every day, and if I fancy a yoga or spin class, I can do that as well.

When we went on tour, I had to give that up. We were about to start hopping from city to city, week to week. I didn't know anything about the neighborhoods I was staying in or how to get around them. Sometimes there was access to transportation or an outdoor trail and sometimes we were in a Courtyard Marriott off the highway--hardly appealing for an outdoor run.

Transitioning from a fully equipped gym to hotel-room yoga was not easy, but it's not impossible. Next time you hit the road, remember these tips to ensure your workout will never be lost.

girl biking the golden gate bridge

1. DO Try Local
Many local gyms, as well as yoga, pilates, and bootcamp studios offer affordable 1-week memberships. When I go home to Mississippi, I pay $45 for the week to work out at one of the nicest local gyms. In Seattle, I got a $30 weeklong pass at SweatBox, where I did hot yoga every day. I did this in St. Paul, MN, and Birmingham, AL, too. Paying up front for an indefinite amount of time is a great way to stay motivated (and get your money's worth)!

Going local is also a wonderful way of getting to know the flavor of a city. Often times, the people attending these classes are friendly regulars who are happy to answer questions about things to do and places to go in their city.

2. DON'T Dismiss Apps or Digital Programs
There are a multitude of apps for nearly every kind of workout. Asana Rebel is a yoga-inspired fitness app that you can do anywhere. Track your activity and log your meals with Map My Run, an app featuring more than 70 million routes to guide you on an outdoor run. This is especially handy when you are clueless about your surroundings. Apptiv gives you access to real trainers and a variety of workouts, intensities, and lengths with select audio workouts. It even includes music! This is barely scratching the surface, and the internet is full of workouts that are perfect for you.

Most recently, I succumbed to all those Facebook ads and am trying a 7-day trial of Body Boss. Which leads to my next point...

3. DO Take Advantage of The Trial Week
While this isn't always a long-term solution, most fitness facilities these days offer a free trial week or trial class before sign-up. It's a great way to break up your routine and introduce you to new methods. (And it will save you a couple of bucks whether you decide to buy a membership or not.) The yoga-fitness chain Core Power Yoga does this. I took my first class in Chicago, where I was stationed for 2 weeks. I loved it so much, I had no qualms about paying for a 5-class pass, especially because their classes are transferable from city to city. At FlyWheel, they offer guest passes to their members (if you can hop on that ride) and oftentimes, studios like this will give first-timers a discounted intro class.

4. DO Find A Park Or College Campus
Naturally weather is a factor here, but if you live in a climate that lends itself to outdoor activity, almost every major city has a park or a campus. Hate to run? Walk or Wog there (that's walk-jog). Take advantage of the many steps, benches, and grassy expanses to do tricep dips, step-ups, jump squats, mountain climbers, burpees, and jumping jacks. Plus, you'll get a dose of Vitamin D while you're at it.

reflection of girl at spa in robe

5. DO Use The Amenities
Maybe your spa appointment isn't where you planned to squeeze in an additional workout, but the spas in most luxury hotels are often connected to the fitness facility. If you are not a guest, and you know that your appointment will give you access to a gym, go in early and get your work out on! 

Also, many luxury hotels today offer fitness channels on-demand in your hotel room or in their fitness facility. It's not as exciting as a SoulCycle class, but it will get the job done in a pinch.

Hiking Great Falls Park in Northern Virginia

Hiking Great Falls Park in Northern Virginia

6. DO Be An Active Tourist
It won't pack the same punch as a HIIT class, but finding active ways to explore a town is easy. In almost every metropolitan city in America you'll find some form of walking or biking tour, kayaking adventure, or set of local trails for hiking. In San Francisco, I biked the Golden Gate Bridge. In Virginia, I hiked at Great Falls Park.

If you're not much of a nature person, or if you're jetting off to an urban jungle, then put on your sneakers and hit the town. In New York City, its easy to walk for miles just getting around, plus a walk over the Williamsburg, Manhattan, or Brooklyn Bridges can be both scenic and heart pumping--all the more rewarding once you find yourself at a local pizza joint.