What Travel Taught Me About Workouts

Posted On Oct 27, 2014 By Jennifer Galardi

How Travel Can Become a Workout Itself

Over the past few months, I've been feeling disconnected from my dearest friends. I've felt lonely and often longed for long conversations and laughter with those who know me best. Since none of them currently live down the street, or within a 20-mile radius for that matter, I decided to hop on a plane for Labor Day weekend and head to San Francisco. I gave myself permission to release any agenda and really focus on being present with those I miss so dearly without the worry of practicing or getting in any crazy workouts. If that happened, great. But I really left the itinerary up to my friends and whatever fate would have.

While I normally love to be active on my trips, especially when Mother Nature provides an abundantly beautiful playground such as that to be found in the Bay Area, I didn't end up on any hikes or bike rides through the majestic mountains and breathtaking outer regions of the city. But that's not to say I didn't get my exercise in.

The weekend ended up being a real-life boot camp session. I was reminded of why I work out. If you need someone to argue for functional fitness, consider this an open-and-shut case. I present my argument:

Case #1 – San Francisco Hills. Enjoy the view.

Case #2 – Shopping the Embarcadero. Hey, those bags get heavy when you are walking around all day!

Case #3 – Lugging multiple pieces of (heavy) carry-on luggage to and through various modes of public transportation to get to SFO. And of course, the carry-on was heavier when I left than when I arrived.

Case #4 – Rushing to ensure I made the CalTrain stop in time … with that same heavy luggage in tow.

Case #5 – Heaving that piece of carry-on luggage into the overhead bin. Core bracing anyone?

Case #6 – Climbing through my friend's window because I locked myself out of her apartment. This included — but was not limited to — ripping open the screen window, climbing branches, bracing my core, pushing myself up to be level with the window, opening and sliding myself, plank position, to nose dive and face plant on the bed.

For me, some of the reasons above are the major healthy benefits of living in a city. Day-to-day life becomes your activity. Walking, catching the train, carrying bags, trekking hills, and possibly busting into homes (if you're into that kind of thing), all require some degree of strength and fitness capability. While these are things I definitely miss about the city, what I miss most are the people who live there.