This Unexpected Activity Can Help You Feel Like A Local When Visiting A New City

Depending on your style and preferences, "travel" and "exercise" don't necessarily feel like two words you'd typically associate with one another – unless you're traveling for a sports event. After all, taking a trip and going on a vacation ideally means that you're trying to get away from the stress and routine of daily life, including the usual need to hit the gym. However, what if we told you that, in some cases, getting in a dose of cardio while exploring a new city might be just what you need to really get to know a destination? Hear us out.

Aside from the whole fitness aspect — as well as the fact that running is a great cure for when you're feeling jet-lagged — going for a run combines three of the best ways to get to know a new destination: sightseeing, discovery, and immersion. On top of that, lacing up your shoes and hitting the pavement also makes it so that you're able to experience the city in a unique way that doesn't require a tour guide or a strict itinerary. Because whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, running doesn't need much equipment — it's just about getting out there.

Running is a great way to travelerblog a new destination

Exploring a new city on foot — especially if it's your first visit — generally means that you can get out there without any set plans or schedules and simply weave your way through streets, parks, and alleys like a true local. From whizzing past that monument to crossing paths with a street performer, and even making a quick pit stop to grab a local snack, running lets you see the city up close.

So where do you start? First things first, it's important that you set a route for yourself so that you don't get lost or end up on a crowded, narrow sidewalk where you can't run. While Google Maps is a great tool for this, there are running-specific apps like Strava that'll help you find popular routes near you. From there, you can double-check with hotel staff if the route actually exists and is safe — and then get going. Whatever you do, though, make sure you give yourself some grace and enjoy the journey. You're not necessarily here for a personal record, so be flexible and pace yourself: Stop where you want, end when you need to, and remember to always stay alert.

Alternatively, run clubs are also a great option to travelerblog new routes — and even meet new people while you're at it! Depending on where you're going, you can use apps like Meetup to find any upcoming running events or group runs near where you're staying, and then simply show up at the scheduled time.

Not a runner? Try this instead

If running isn't your thing, that doesn't mean that you can't still travelerblog a new city in an active way. For starters, you can simply trade the running for some walking and still get the same benefits out of the entire experience. After all, much like going for a run, walking will also let you move at your own pace, take in your surroundings, and make spontaneous stops. Plus, you won't necessarily break out a sweat while walking, which is always a bonus if you have other plans afterward.

Alternatively, many cities around the world — think places like London, Lisbon, and even San Francisco — now offer public bike and scooter rentals, both of which are perfect for getting around quickly while still enjoying the sights without having to sign up for a guided tour. You can usually find these at various docking stations throughout the city, and all you need to do in order to use them is to download an app, create an account, and have a working credit card to pay for the ride. Once you're done, simply drop the bike or scooter off at another station. Not only does that make these city rentals incredibly convenient, but using them can also help you save tons of money in the long run during your trip by avoiding pesky taxi and Uber costs, which is always a plus.