When you travel, continuing your regular health and fitness routine is important, although you may need to make adjustments. Running is a great way to stay active and fit, no matter where you are in the world because it requires no equipment.
Even if you aren’t always an avid runner when you aren’t traveling, it may be a habit worth picking up when you’re in a new place.
There are some considerations to keep in mind, however. For example, if you’re running in an unfamiliar place and especially a big city, you need to be safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports in the U.S. alone, pedestrian accidents lead to around 6,000 deaths a year.
The following is a guide to running when you travel, whether you’re traveling for work or leisure, including key safety tips.
Why Should You Run When You Travel?
Running while you travel can allow you to explore your destination and connect with it in ways you might not otherwise. For example, if you’re in a city like Paris, you can get up early and explore before the city itself wakes up.
It allows you to soak in the history and beauty of your destination while also getting an endorphin boost.
Plus, if you run each morning, you might see places you’d like to go back later in the day and explore more.
Traveling, as amazing as it is, can also be stressful on your mind and body. Running can free up your mind and help you relax, putting you in a better mindset to enjoy everything around you.
Many of us overindulge when we’re on vacation, whether it’s one food, wine, or something else. Running can help provide your body with a bit of a reset so you don’t feel that sluggishness that can come with overindulging.
When you’re traveling and running, you need to be safe, particularly if you’re heading out alone.
The following are running safety tips, especially if you are in an unfamiliar place.
- Map out your route ahead of time. This is important from a safety perspective. Also, you don’t want to go so far that you can’t make your way back or that you get too tired.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Run against traffic as you would when running at home so cars can see you. Try to run near bushes or down alleyways.
- Be confident when you run, particularly in a foreign country. Keep your eyes up and straight ahead, and your shoulders back.
- Do some research on the neighborhoods or areas where you’ll be running. Researching your running route will help you have the context to know what you’re looking at, but it will also help you stay safer.
- If you’re running in the early morning or evening always use reflective gear or safety lights.
- If you’re a frequent outdoor runner, it may be worth your time to take a self-defense class.
- Let someone know that you’re going running, what your route will be, and when you expect to return.
- Always take your cell phone with you.
- If you’re nervous or unsure about running by yourself when you’re traveling, you can contact a local running group or get in touch with a representative from a running community.
If you have a hard time motivating yourself to run and stay on your fitness routine while you’re traveling, consider the following:
- Try to either run early or late. These are the best times to clear your head and explore the city or country you’re in, without such big crowds. For some people, doing a run early in the morning sets a positive tone for the rest of their day.
- If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself, use an errand as an excuse to run. For example, maybe you head out for a quick run to grab a morning coffee.
- Just plan to run one way and then maybe you meet up with your travel companions for breakfast at a café.
- Try to set a goal to run for just 15 minutes. If you can accomplish that, you’ll likely feel like running even more. Plus, even if you just do the 15 minutes it’ll give you an endorphin boost.
Pack Your Running Gear
You should check in on the typical weather in your travel destination to make sure you have the appropriate running gear. If you forget something, it might be a lot tougher to get yourself moving.
Along with running clothes and shoes, think about bringing a money belt so you can tuck all of your items in it.
Other Tips for Running While You Travel
Along with the above, keep the following tips in mind if you want to run while you’re traveling.
- If you aren’t sure of the best route to take, ask your hotel concierge or your Airbnb host. They’ll be able to give you good ideas that are also safe places to run.
- Make sure you warm up before you run, particularly if you’re fresh off the plane, and you’ve been sitting for a long time. You need to warm up your muscles and especially your glutes and hips.
- Always stay hydrated, and in particular if you’re running in a climate that’s much hotter than what you’re used to at home.
- If things don’t go as you plan, don’t stress yourself out. As good as it can be to squeeze in a run on vacation or get into a fitness routine while you travel, ultimately you are there to relax. If you miss a day or don’t feel up to it, it’s okay.
Whether you’re a regular runner when you’re at home, or you want to combat some of the bad habits you might take on while on vacation, running is a good option. Be safe, and be ready to explore your destination on foot and set the tone for healthier, happier travel experiences.