Travel: It’s good for the soul but not always for the waistline. If you’re travelling medium to long term, you need to figure out realistic ways of staying fit on the road. Here are my top tips!
#1 Let it go (just a little)
First things first: don’t stress about it too much. If you’re on an amazing travel adventure, that should be your primary focus! Travel is unpredictable and you need to accept this means you may not be at your absolute fittest. But the amazing experiences you’ll have along the way should more than compensate!
You’re out of your normal routine, moving around constantly and you don’t always know where you’ll be so there’s no way you can plan to fit in five full workout sessions a week. You’re going to have to adjust and fit them in when you can, if you can.Try to relax about it and be content with keeping a base level of fitness, even if it’s not your personal best!
#2 Location, Location, Location
I found that when travelling, being by the beach made it easier to keep fit. I could go for runs in the morning and do some yoga in the evenings.
Being in the city can be more difficult. If you’re travelling long term, chances are you’re on a budget and not staying in hotels with gyms. Street running can be difficult in many cities in Asia, South America and Africa for a variety of safety reasons- no pavements, no street lighting, too many people on the street or in some places, it may be dangerous for you to be out on your own.
When you’re somewhere you can keep fit, do as much as you can. Try and schedule your travel so for every few days spent in a city, you follow it with a few days by the beach or in the country to keep it balanced!
#3 Adjust your training style
My own fitness routine mostly consists of at home HIIT training – I follow the BBG programme by Kayla Itsines. It’s a quick and effective way of exercising that’s easy to fit around your own routine.
But not when you’re staying in hostels unfortunately! So I upped my running and yoga and contented myself with doing a few squats or lunges while I brushed my teeth every evening. This change in style meant I did gain a few inches but I kept a basic level of fitness and didn’t lose too much definition. In fact, my thighs shrank noticeably since I wasn’t training so hard!
#4 Go sightseeing!
Clambering ancient ruins, pounding the pavements of a new city, strolling through museums, walking on beaches, hiking in paddy fields- your everyday holiday activities can be a great source of exercise! If you’re sightseeing in a city, strolling around is a great way of exploring and also keeps you moving! Try and do some hiking or trekking anywhere you can too!
#5 Watch what you eat and drink
For me, food is a huge part of travelling. I love trying new cuisines and generally just pigging out! Don’t deprieve yourself of trying new and exciting things but the fact is, if you’re travelling for months at a time, holiday eating rules don’t apply!
It can be difficult when travelling to eat right but do your best. This is easier in some places than others so do your best to keep your schedule- and eating habits- balanced. If you’ve been somewhere remote, eating carb-heavy, sauce-laden foods for a few days, balance it out when you get back to a big city where food options are more varied or the beach, where they tend to be lighter and healthier.
Beware in SouthEast Asia as all those seemingly healthy stirfry dishes are made with sauces LOADED with sugar! And the alcohol: yes, it’s super cheap and when a can of beer is only 50c I know, it’s practically obscene not to drink it! But beware, three months of straight boozing will most definitely impact your fitness. Enjoy yourself as much as you want but try to avoid drinking every day- no matter how cheap it is.