7 Simple Ways To Maintain Your Health And Fitness While Traveling
Looking to maintain your health and fitness while traveling? Here's how to make it happen while still having time to enjoy your trip
If you’re planning a traveling trip for the first time, you might not have considered the impact that exploring the world will have on your health and fitness. It’s something you only really think about when you come back from traveling, feeling bloated from all of the beers you’ve been drinking and guilty from all the trashy food you’ve been eating. Traveling can throw off any fitness regime and healthy eating that you’ve been following quicker than you can say “churros.” Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to stay fit and healthy while still enjoying your travels. Read our post below for seven simple ways to maintain your health and fitness while you’re traveling.
It can be all too easy to not drink enough water when you’re running around looking at ancient temples, spotting wildlife in the savannah, or touring busy city streets. However, drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy on your travels. Your body needs water to function. Without it, you can end up with headaches, low energy levels, a bad mood and an inability to concentrate or remember things. Basically, none of these things are ideal when you’re traveling! Make life easier and your body healthier by topping up with fluids regularly; bottled water is always cheap to buy, and you can always go eco-friendly and bring along a water purifier.
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine
If you’re traveling around, it can be difficult to establish any kind of routine. However, there are some quick exercises that you can slot into your day without too much disruption. For example, you can start each day with a 15-minute session of yoga or pilates. You can do this outside, in the courtyard of your hostel, on the beach — or in a private bedroom if you feel self-conscious. Morning stretching is fun, loosens your muscles and gets you fresh for the day ahead. Plus you don’t need to bring any equipment! If you want to incorporate some cardiovascular exercise into your travel lifestyle, you can don a pair of running shoes and head out for a morning jog. This also gives you the chance to get to know your new neighborhood or surrounding countryside.
Get enough sleep & rest
It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re traveling. Sleep is super important: the right amount improves brain function, increases our performance during the day and is important for our emotional wellbeing and physical health. Don’t deprive your body of this necessity — get at least seven or eight hours of sleep a night. Remember to pace yourself too — you don’t have to explore a whole city in one single day! Spread your plans out and take your time instead. A slower pace will mean you enjoy your visit more, and also allows you to get to know your destination better, rather than just ticking it off a list. Traveling is a marathon, not a sprint, so take your time and enjoy the sights. Don’t forget to stop off for plenty of breaks to stay hydrated and unwind.
Don’t skip breakfast. Your mom is right; it’s the most important meal of the day, and what you eat will gear you up for a day of adventuring. Skipping meals doesn’t work for weight loss (ever heard of starvation mode?) and you’ll only end up feeling tired and hungry late (and possibly bingeing on greasy snacks). Make the most of the exotic fruit and vegetables at local food markets. Depending on where you are, there will be loads of new, exciting produce for you to try; make healthy eating an adventure too! You can also pack your own healthy snacks for travels day too. Food in airports and bus stations is normally expensive and extremely unhealthy (as are airplane meals) because they’re so full of sugar, salt and fat. Unfortunately, this also makes such snacks addictive and instantly gratifying, so your body will crave them when you see them. Preparing in advance will help you avoid picking up foods packed with high fats and bad carbs while out on your travels. Instead, bring along some low-sugar, low-salt snacks like mixed nuts to fill you up instead. Mixed nuts have loads of health benefits and they’re super convenient for taking on long journeys.
This is one of the easiest changes you can make to your lifestyle while traveling: walk everywhere. Doing a decent amount of walking every day will help you to stay fit, tone your body and burn those calories. Plus, it also gives you the chance to explore your chosen destination. You’ll get to know far more about a new city or town by wandering through its cobbled streets rather than racing past on a bus — or worse, an underground metro where you can’t see anything. Walking is a simple way to maintain your health and fitness while having a great time on your travels. And it’s not like you have to factor in time to walk like a workout session — walking is just a natural part of exploring, which is why it’s so easy to do. So whether you’re in a city, in the mountains or jungle, get those steps in and get exploring!
Cut down on the beach beers
This may not be a piece of advice you want to hear, but cutting down on the beers is a surefire way to stay fit and healthy while traveling. Liquid calories are the worst — there’s a surprising amount of calories in beer (not to mention sugary cocktails — a piña colada contains 650!), which makes you bloat and gain weight. Not to mention alcohol causes dehydration and prompts you to make terrible decisions like binge-eat kebabs at 2 o’clock in the morning. Instead of sipping on beers all the time, why not swap your alcoholic beverage out for an alcoholic-free one? There’s nothing quite like slurping from a fresh coconut on a tropical beach, so go for one of those instead and give your liver a break!
Treat yourself in moderation
At the end of the day, it’s all about balance. It’s totally fine to treat yourself to an indulgent meal in a restaurant, and it’s also totally fine to save some money and watch what you eat by cooking in the hostel kitchen. The point is, you need to strike a balance between the two. If you eat out every day and night, you’re soon going to eat into your travel budget (pun intended), as well as put on weight and undo any healthiness you had before you left. Similarly, denying yourself the fun of eating out with new friends and trying exciting new foods isn’t the idea. This is a huge part of traveling — you don’t want to spend every evening sitting on your bunk bed alone eating plain pasta. You’ll just end up feeling left out and resentful, even if you do keep your health and fitness levels in tact. Go out there and enjoy yourself — have a few beers, make some friends and eat some tacos. The key is not to go overboard.
Staying fit and healthy while enjoying your travels doesn’t have to be difficult or detract from the overall experience. You don’t have to cut out all of the fun things that you love about traveling — just make some adjustments to your routines and be sure to treat your body with respect!