Friday Fitness tip on the fly - the bike is your friend

When you're traveling, you might not have access to a gym despite your best efforts in searching for a lodging with a suitable fitness center or that is close to a gym.  So even if you've got the spare time for a workout, you could be low on options.  Meet your new best friend: the bicycle.  Biking is arguably one of the safest cardio workouts for your joints as it utilizes your biggest muscle group with a very functional movement.  It also burns a good amount of calories (~50 calories per mile depending on your weight) and can even build muscle when you go high gear uphill.

But perhaps what I like most about the bike is that it's an excellent tool for actually going somewhere.  If your hotel is a few miles away from the supermarket, restaurant, or your duty station, you can bike there and essentially kill two birds with one stone.  There's also less of a concern for traffic and parking, which can be horrendous in downtown metropolitan areas.

London's bikeshare program has docking stations left and right throughout the city

Many hotels now offer free loaner bikes to their guests, which is a great opportunity to get a workout in while going to where you need to be.  Also, cheap bikeshare programs now abound in most major cities across the country.  Most of these programs charge a flat rate per day (approx. $8-$10 depending on the city), which includes unlimited use in 30-minute increments.  So you just need to return your rented bike to another docking station within 30 minutes, rinse, and repeat.  In D.C., London, Paris, and Taipei, I didn't even bother with the subway systems since the bikeshare program was significantly cheaper and could get me across the city just as quickly (Taipei charges 33 cents per use!).  In fact, Uber and Lyft now have their own dockless bikesharing programs, so you don't need to worry about finding a docking station at your origin and destination.  There's also the added benefit of using your existing Uber and Lyft accounts and apps, negating the hassle of creating new accounts.  Major credit card companies like Chase and Citi actually code bikeshare payments as travel, so you could get 3x points for paying for bikeshare if you have the Chase Reserve or the Citi Premier.

Taipei's "Ubike", one of the cheapest and best bikeshare programs on the planet

Bottom line

Biking is a simple and easy way of not only getting around, but also getting in a workout while also reducing your carbon footprint.  And with bikeshare programs and free hotel bike rentals, obtaining a bike is no problem in most metropolitan areas.  Just remember to helmet up since we all know how crazy drivers are in downtown districts.


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