Digital Nomads Share How They Keep Fit on the Go

Have you ever dreamed about biting the bullet and becoming a digital nomad, someone who works while on the go? Most of us have in one way or another, and now’s your chance. Thanks to an increase in flexible career options and freelance gigs, there are people working and thriving while traveling the world.

Because fitness and health are top of mind at ClassPass, one of our biggest concerns about this up-in-the-air (pun intended) lifestyle is maintaining a fitness regime. We’ve all experienced the inevitable fitness setback while traveling on vacation, so how is it possible to avoid it when your life is constantly in flux?

We talked to digital nomads about how they stay fit on the go. Spoiler alert: it’s not as hard as it sounds.

Map it out—and stick to it

Exercise can exist anywhere, no matter how rural the location. That means that there are no excuses when it comes to hunting down a local gym or fitness studio. Zoe Weiner, a freelance writer and blogger participating in Remote Year, says finding the local exercise scene should be one of your top priorities when you first get to a city. You might even find a workout that adds to your cultural experience. “I started playing tennis at the Novak Djokavich School of Tennis in Serbia, just because I thought it was a really cool way to get to know some locals,” she says. Instead of cornering herself off in her hotel room, Weiner took advantage of the local area while getting her blood pumping.

Remember, as a digital nomad, you’re not on vacation—although that may be hard to accept when you’re taking in gorgeous views of the Pacific and downing your second margarita of the day. To normalize your crazy and ever-changing life, establish routine with daily workouts and weekly grocery store runs. The first few days in a new city should be dedicated to scouting out the best gyms, convenience stores and markets.

Have equipment at the ready

Most digital nomads did not start their careers galavanting across the world. Instead, many had established careers, home bases and structure. If you’re concerned that a certain city will not have adequate fitness facilities, then always keep your own equipment at the ready. If you’re in a remote area with limited facilities (or you’re simply too comfortable in your hotel room), then use your own equipment. Kara Landau, New York City-based dietitian and founder of Traveling Dietitian, packs resistance bands, small hand weights and a barre ball in her suitcase. That way, there are no excuses as to why she can’t get moving.

Technology is your lifeline (shocker)

Workout classes can happen at any hour, in any location. Thanks to apps (like ClassPass!), social media and video sharing sites, there are thousands—if not, millions—of videos at your disposal. Weiner found that fitness apps like SWEAT! With Kayla Itsines and Sworkit were her go-to workout methods no matter her location. For most of these workouts, you don’t even need any equipment, so you can work out in your room, on the beach or at a local park.

Landau, on the other hand, is a tried-and-true ClassPass user. Because she has mainly traveled stateside, ClassPass allows Landau to find classes in most major cities. But if she’s lacking the motivation to get to class, she can follow a video from the ClassPass video library. The best part? “Watching videos makes me feel a little at home when I recognize either the instructor, studio or style of training,” she says.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Always remember the magnitude of what you’re doing. There are so many people in the world who will never experience an adventure quite like yours, so soak it all up. If that means you’d rather visit the Taj Mahal than do yoga in your apartment, then so be it. There’s always another day, but there’s only one Taj Mahal. Weiner has learned this from experience. “There is lot to see and experience as a digital nomad, and sometimes that doesn’t necessarily mean behaving as the poster child for perfect health. If you have to skip a workout to have a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience, it’s OK. If you are dying to try a particular dish—I mean, you simply can’t miss out on pasta in Italy or pad Thai in Thailand—go ahead and order it,” says Weiner.

Amanda Garrity is an editorial intern at ClassPass. She finds every excuse to go on an adventure, whether it's in her own backyard or across the country. She enjoys hiking, pretending she's a prima ballerina and drinking an abundant amount of coffee. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.