tracking exercise while on vacation

text by Tyler Phillips

A vacation allows us to unwind. Being removed from the stresses of your regular routine can also be an opportunity to stay fit. Think long walks exploring New York City, swimming in the crystal blue waters off the Greek Isles or hiking up a winding path to take in a spectacular view of the Santa Barbara coastline. While traveling, you might even be burning calories without realizing it. Lugging heavy bags through the airport, dashing to catch your connection and sightseeing for hours on end can be more of a workout than you realize. We live in the age of modern technology, so excuses, be gone! Here are five free apps that make keeping track of exercise while globetrotting a snap.

The Nike Training Club app gives you video tutorials for a huge array of workouts for every fitness level. Most routines are just 30-45 minutes (short is good, especially while on the move) and many feature no equipment (perfect for the on-the-go traveler). After all, a treadmill doesn’t exactly fit in your carry-on. There are rewards for logged fitness minutes and you can set reminders for yourself by syncing up with your calendar. As an added bonus, Nike Performance Council offers tips on training, nutrition, mindset, recovery and sleep. 

Hydration is key for not only maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but also for having a healthy and happy vacation. It’s very easy to get dehydrated on a plane, or while wandering through a city for hours at a time. The Waterlogged app is the perfect reminder to hydrate between photo ops, and you can even customize your experience by indicating the size and type of water bottle or that you drink from—just take a photo and select which bottle you’re using that day.

Track calories, breakdown ingredients and log activities with My Fitness Pal appSimply create a profile (height, age, weight, gender), and then set weight loss and exercise goals. As you go through the day, enter what you eat and drink using the extensive database and this app will calculate how many calories you have consumed: and how many you need to burn to meet your weight loss goals. It also simulates various nutrition charts so that you can track your progress. If you want to document your exercise, there’s an entire database for that, too. The app also balances calorie intake against exercise, making it the ultimate on-the-go fitness tracker.

The Spring app is the first of its kind: a music app specific to exercise, created by a group of DJs, runners, product designers and engineers from Stockholm and New York City who collaborated to create a massive fitness music archive. By harnessing the power of a good beat, the team hoped to make fitness more accessible and appealing to the masses. Depending on where you are, you can sift through the Spring music collection and find a rhythm that matches your own. As quoted in the Los Angeles Times, “Spring helps you find your perfect beat and keeps delivering music that will keep you in the groove.”

It’s easy to go for a run when traveling. As long as you’ve packed your sneakers and workout clothes, you can jog anywhere. But knowing where to go and how to get back to your hotel can be tricky. Enter our hero, Map My Run. This app allows you to track your mileage and also check out local tourist attractions. Sightsee and burn calories at the same time? For sure, sign me up.