Benefits of Traveling: Physical Fitness

I don’t know about you, but I hate working out. On more than one occasion I’ve decided that I was going to get in shape, but it never lasted long. For whatever reason, I don’t get that “satisfied” or “fulfilled” feeling that a lot of people seem to get when they finish at the gym. I just walk away feeling exhausted and question why I went to the gym in the first place. Thankfully, you don’t need to go to the gym to get physically fit. You just have to start traveling!

Benefits of Travel: Physical Fitness | Footsteps of a Dreamer

As I’m sure you can guess by now, I’m no fitness enthusiast. If you gave me the choice between going on a ten mile hike and sitting on the couch watching tv, you can bet which one I’d choose. Yet, I did hike ten miles (and maybe even a little more than that) when I went to Hawaii because I was so darn determined the see surface lava.

Kilauea Volcano Surface Lava

Who Needs A Gym?

My suggestion for getting physically fit? Get inspired! Find a place that you can’t get to by car. When I lived in Tokyo as an exchange student, I walked EVERYWHERE. Of course, I didn’t have a license to drive, but even if I had, I wouldn’t have been crazy enough to try and drive through Tokyo. Even in New York, I walked everywhere, if only because I got really lost when trying to use the subway.

My suggestion for getting physically fit? Get inspired!

My personal inspiration is photos from other travelers. Before going somewhere, I research the best photography locations in the area. Then I chase them, not to take the same photos as everybody else, but to see the awe inspiring places other people have been to. Sometimes that requires quite a bit of physical activity. The climb to the top of Diamond Head was a steep one, and quite the workout, but totally worth the view of Honolulu and the ocean from the top.

Diamond Head Waikiki Beach

At the end of the day, a ten mile hike will always be a ten mile hike, but it seems much less daunting when you know a great prize is waiting for you at the end. Not surprisingly, the most breathtaking views are almost never easy to get to, but don’t let that stop you. A little workout never killed anybody and will make you better for it. Get inspired and go!

Not convinced? See if these pictures spark some inspiration! You’ll break a sweat getting there, but it’s oh so worth the view.

Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory
View From Yamadera
View From Yamadera

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Benefits of Travel Physical Fitness | Footsteps of a Dreamer

21 thoughts on “Benefits of Traveling: Physical Fitness”

  1. It’s funny. I always lose weight and feel great when I go on holiday. I think it is because I am so happy, that I eat much less and we are always out walking. Great photos to inspire a destination and a good hike works too!

    1. I definitely find that I eat a lot less when I travel. I’m so busy out chasing cool adventures and have a bad habit of not planning time for meals.

  2. I always find when I go traveling I end up losing weight even after all that eating because I walk everywhere and some of the best things to see are in nature which means long hikes! I definitely be up for seeing surface lava no matter how long the hike took me!

    1. I can definitely relate! I’m from a small rural town, and there weren’t any mountains or great hikes to go on, so it always excites me when I get to do active things I can’t do at home!

  3. I’m so with you…the gym stinks! Now, I do force myself to work out at home in my living room (usually in the pre-dawn hours before I even realize what I’ve done) but I much rather go on a hike or explore NYC by foot to get active. For me, there’s so much more enjoyment when physical activities are blended as part of something I’m excited about doing.

    1. Definitely agree! Not sure I have the enough self-motivation to get myself up in the morning just to work out, but I don’t need self-motivation to go hike a mountain if it means I’ll get a fantastic view from the top!

  4. I’m so jealous that I didn’t get to see lava flow when I was in Hawaii. We were there a month before the lava flow was accessible by foot without having to hike 20+ miles :/ but I’m always down for a 10 mile hike – it’s my favorite form of exercise.

    1. I really didn’t get to “see” it either. I was hoping to be able to get super close to it, but found that I had been super unprepared for the hike. Thankfully though, the lava glows really bright in the dark so even thought I was still a couple miles away, I could get a decent picture of it. Even so, getting to that point was quite the workout!

  5. I have a rule that goes back to the beginning of my traveling “career” – walk everywhere. Can’t walk – get on a bicycle. I crisscrossed New York on foot too. Funny, but the reason I did so was also related to the subway. It was too crowded. Thank you for amazing inspirational photos. Cheers!

    1. I can definitely understand that! Honestly, I didn’t ride the subway in New York just because I couldn’t figure it out and just kept getting lost, haha. Still, it was a great excuse to get some exercise! Even if it meant having to walk in the cold (since I was there during winter).

    1. I can definitely feel that! I find those street food vendors incredibly hard to resist sometimes! Still, I think you get the “feel” of a city so much more by taking some time to just walk around it.

  6. As already mentioned, the best way to explore a place is on foot. Walk everywhere and you won’t have time to gain those pounds. Besides, who wants to sit in their hotel room at a foreign place? (Okay, sometimes you want to do that, but take the stairs.)

    1. I feel like when it comes to exercise, walking is so underrated. Sure it may not be entirely enough to stave off those extra pounds, but it still helps quite a bit. And you’re right, there’s no better way to experience a place like walking through it!

  7. Yeah, that’s definitely one of the many benefits of traveling. If I were home, I would just probably sit and watch TV, but when I’m traveling I can walk the whole day, especially if it’s a wine tour. There are cities that are very conducive to walking, like as you said, New York. I would totally walk for hours to see the lava in Hawaii too! What a great experience!

    1. I wish more places were conductive to walking! Honestly, walking from my house to the nearby grocery market isn’t that far, but because its a rural town, it’s just easier to drive to the market. Yet, if I was in a bigger city, I would probably find myself walking there and not even think twice about the distance!

  8. Completely agree, one of the side benefits of traveling is walking and exploring…and the food is the reward. What amazing views of the lava. How incredible. Was it hot? Fitness and travel go hand in hand and make for losing weight without even trying 🙂

    1. I couldn’t tell you! Unfortunately I didn’t prepare well enough for the hike to see the surface lava, so I had to head back before I could get real close. That picture was actually taken from my zoom lens, several miles from where the surface lava actually was. It was totally worth the several mile hike though! Hopefully next time I’ll be able to get much closer!

  9. Travelling definitely keeps you fit! Val and I used to always try to find time for runs or to go to the gym when we were living in Portland, but when we’re on the road we seems to walk 8-10 miles ever day just wandering around our current location!

    I am loving your shots of Hawaii! We lived on Oahu for a while – right there at the base of Diamond Head next to Kapiolani park so we have done that hike up many times. I think you can almost see our apartment down in the lower right hand corner of of your photo. And hiking out to the lava flows on the Big Island is such a unique experience!

    Hope you keep on being inspired and keep on hiking to those incredible views!

    1. I walk SO MUCH when I’m traveling. It always makes me giggle a little when I’m researching hotels and they advertise a fitness facility. It’s probably very useful for many people, but for me I probably get more of a workout doing just my normal sightseeing/adventuring activities that I would ever get from a half hour – hour gym work out!

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