Heidi McDiarmid

Picture this! I check into my hotel, race up to my room, don my gym kit and head directly to the gym for a pre adventure sweat fest. Opening the door I am confronted by a decrepit treadmill and a sad malfunctioning weights contraption in what can best be described as a dungeon. Welcome to the ‘mini gym’ the sign says. I die…I legit die! Fear not fellow travellers, this is a debacle I face often and I have some tips for keeping workouts on track and preventing a fitness centre meltdown.

  1. Plan hotels in advance. I try to choose a hotel close to a good local gym or failing that, one with a decent in house gym.
  2. I plan ahead my week of workouts for the given destinations, expected facilities and both energy and time I expect to have available.
  3. My favourite way to workout when I travel is to find a local gym and crush my workout. I research before I arrive or ask the hotel staff. First thing in the morning I get in a solid session setting myself up for an awesome day. This was a little daunting at first as my language skills are average AF and in different gyms the equipment may not be what I’m used to. However, in my experience people are more than happy to help and like to meet foreigners especially if they can have a laugh at my pre school level communication skills.
  4. If the hotel has a basic gym, I’m time poor or thats all that is available. I plan a day of cardio. Either some hiit sprints on the treadmill/bike/cross trainer, an AMRAP or a hiit circuit using free weights or body weight and bands if the gym is truely dire. If I’m at complete battle stations and I still want to do something I download or youtube yoga or a mat pilates lesson. No matter how horrific the gym there is always something to do.
  5. I love to try a local class. Whether it be Muay Thai in phuket, Viking yoga in Copenhagen, a salsa lesson in Cuba, a Les Mills class, crossfit or a spin class. Its a great way to meet locals and step outside of my comfort zone. Do I occasionally feel like a chump because I’m English only and have zero clue what they’re saying? Firm yes! But, I just loiter at the back and copy. Fake it till you make it.
  6. No gym-no worries. I take my workout outside to a local park for a body weight or band tabata. Depending on the destination I also love a sunrise jog, swim or paddle, it makes me feel energised and connected to where I am. Failing all these things, I just get my kicks on and either get walking or rent a bike and pedal my way around town. They are great ways to see the city and either get some LISS done or increase my NEAT.