Establishing a fitness routine is an excellent way to stay on track and accomplish your goals. But what happens when you go travelling?
Your day-to-day plans may change, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in shape and make progress. This guide to incorporating fitness into your travel experience will help you make the most of both worlds.
One of the best things about travelling is discovering new places, so head out on foot and make walking part of your plans. Walking is easy, low-impact, and free, and if you’re already exploring and enjoying yourself then it won’t feel like exercise. That said, you can speed up the pace for more of a workout, or try climbing a hill to see the sights. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and pack plasters in case of blisters.
… Or Hop On a Bike
Be sure to take advantage if your destination has a bike system. Like walking, cycling has minimal impact on your joints, but don’t be fooled — riding a bike can be a serious workout. Your cardiovascular fitness will get a boost and the resistance element means you’ll also build muscle, particularly in your lower body. It’s a great way to keep your legs and glutes in shape, plus you’ll get to see the city like a local.
If you’ll be staying somewhere with a beach or a pool, take some time to swim. Not only will it help you cool down in sunnier climes, but the resistance of water can be 44 times greater than air, which means you’ll have to work harder to move through it. You’ll improve your strength, boost your flexibility, and emerge from the water feeling refreshed and ready for your next adventure.
We all know that uncomfortable feeling you get after a long journey. Your body is stiff, your mind is sluggish, and all you want to do is sleep. But resist the urge to crawl straight into bed. Stretching will help to realign your body and increase blood flow, including through your brain, which will work wonders to wake you up.
The ideal routine is one that stretches your entire body and can be done almost anywhere. Relax into each stretch, and never force yourself to go further than your body is able to — it might be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.
Plan Your Spare Time
Use any gaps in your travel plans to schedule time to exercise. You could work out in the morning before you set off, in the afternoon between excursions, or in the evening after you get back — the key is to pick a time that fits in with your day so that you stick to it.
If you’re staying in a hotel, ask about the gym facilities. Alternatively, you could pack lightweight exercise equipment (resistance bands are affordable and take up next to no room in your luggage) or find exercises that use your own bodyweight and can be done in your room.
Bring a bottle of water everywhere with you and sip from it regularly to stay hydrated. Not only will it make you feel more alert, it helps practically the entire body to keep running the way it’s supposed to. (The brain, for example, is 73% water.) Water will also replace any fluids lost during exercise.
Eat Fresh, Local Produce
Head to the nearest street food stalls or farmers market to enjoy the local cuisine (remember not to overeat!). Not only will you be able to try new food, but locally sourced dishes are fresher and therefore more densely packed with essential nutrients. Local food also has a shorter distance to travel before it’s bought and eaten, so you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, too. Why not buy some healthy snacks while you’re there and keep them with you for when hunger strikes?