Travel Tips

5 Steps to Staying Fit and Healthy on the Road

February 3, 2018
Your 5 Step Guide to Keeping Fit and Healthy on the Road

Whether you’re travelling for one week or one year, staying fit and healthy when abroad can be a huge struggle. It’s easy to fall into the ‘holiday’ mentality – “yes” to another drink and “no” to a workout. However, I’m one of those people who craves physical activity; my body loves to move! A week of sitting still and I can really notice a difference in my strength, physical appearance and mental state (I’m sure you can all relate). I hope this guide will inspire you to keep moving whilst you’re away from home…

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Your 5 Step Guide to Keeping Fit and Healthy on the Road

Travel Interesting is all about keeping you fit and healthy on the road

 

1. Make the most of your surroundings

Walking, kayaking, biking, climbing, abseiling etc. are all fabulous ways of exploring your surroundings when abroad, whilst keeping you fit and healthy. Try and intermix relaxation with more active escapes e.g. a week on the beach followed by a few days hiking in hill country. Bonus is these are all eco-friendly activities so you won’t be leaving much of a carbon footprint – hooray!

The Tongariro Crossing in NZ, nothing like a good hike to get your legs moving

The Tongariro Crossing in NZ, nothing like a good hike to get your legs moving

2. Pack essential workout gear

Squeeze some lightweight fitness equipment into your bag. Here’s my go-to gear list:

Resistance band. Great for all round resistance workouts including arm and leg exercises. The band can also be used to stretch tight muscles. Bonus!

Resistance bands are great workout tools for the road

Resistance bands offer a great workout on the road (photo credit: Physicalcompany.co.uk)

Skipping rope. Great for keeping your cardio up whilst away. An exercise that can easily be completed on the beach or in your hotel room. Challenge yourself to a set amount of reps/time each day, and remember to keep increasing.

Skipping ropes offer an amazing cardio workout (photo credit: roguefitness.com)

Skipping ropes offer an amazing cardio workout (photo credit: Roguefitness.com)

You can usually pick up a cheap yoga mat on the road. Great for keeping your flexibility up. If you need a touch of motivation then search for a yoga workout online, such as this one from Greatist.com. Bonus – the yoga mat can double as a sturdy sleeping mat for questionable hostel beds!

Check out these awesome travel yoga mats from Yoga Design Lab (photo credit: yogamatters.com)

Check out these awesome travel yoga mats from Yoga Design Lab (photo credit: yogamatters.com)

3. Diet is key to staying healthy

Have you ever heard the saying that ‘abs are made in the kitchen?’ I’m a big foodie and love immersing myself in local cuisines when away. My biggest challenge recently was in Northern India; rich, calorific curries and mountains of mouth-watering naan bread were too much to resist. The key is to try a little of everything, but in moderation. Try to limit heavy carbs such as bread and pasta, stick to real honest food straight from the earth that offers plenty of vitamins and minerals. In place of salad (which can be contaminated and cause upset stomachs), try boiled or stir fried veg with little or no oil.

A street vendor in Vietnam - healthy eating is half the battle when there's so much temptation around

A street vendor in Vietnam – healthy eating is half the battle when there’s so much temptation around

4. Set a daily keep fit challenge

Each day challenge yourself to a new fitness orientated goal. If you have access to a swimming pool (lucky you!) then try to complete 30 lengths with minimal stops. If you’re staying in a high rise hotel, opt for the stairs as opposed to the lift. Choose to walk home instead of catching a tuktuk. You get the idea. Every little bit counts, just keep moving!

Challenge yourself each day

Challenge yourself each day

5. Do a mini workout

Lastly, why not challenge yourself to a daily keep fit workout, be it on the beach or in your hotel room. I’ve included a simple bodyweight routine below, feel free to adjust depending on your ability. To ensure your body is constantly challenged, increase the reps each week. It doesn’t matter how many breaks you take, but try to limit the time to 2 or 3 seconds and get back to it. Your body will love you for it!

If you like a challenge then check out my review of Unit 27 in Thailand.

Try this daily  bodyweight workout
50 squats
50 lunges (25 each leg)
30 push-ups
50 crunches
1 minute plank

Challenge yourself to a daily bodyweight workout

Challenge yourself to a daily bodyweight workout

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How do you stay fit and healthy on the road? Share your ideas and suggestions with our readers below.

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17 Comments

  • Reply Katherine February 21, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Love this! I usually make a point of walking most places when I’m sight seeing so that I get a lot of exercise during the day. While I will try to make healthier choices, I’m a sucker for falling into the “but I’m on holidays!” mentality of eating whatever I want.

    • Reply nickyherbert February 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Katherine, thats great you love walking. Keep at it! Have you ever seen Levison Wood? The explorer who just walks from country to country. It’s totally awesome – check it out 🙂

  • Reply Maggie February 21, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    These are great tips! I always forget to bring a yoga mat so I just end up using the carpet. Food is my big downfall, but I find exercising outdoors also helps me beat jet lag.

    • Reply nickyherbert February 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I like to lay a towel or something if using the carpet for exercise – who knows when it was last cleaned! haha

  • Reply Ashley February 21, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    I needed to read this! We’re always semi active on our vacays – going for walks, hikes, swimming…but I never seem to get workouts in. I’m not sure I can skip the amazing foods – but I could definitely wake a little earlier to get in a workout to negate a few of those bread and dessert calories!

    • Reply nickyherbert February 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks Ashley. Totally agree it takes dedication to stick to a plan when you’re out of your normal routine. Trying sharing the calorific foods with your travel buddy, that way it’s only half the calories!

  • Reply NieNie February 22, 2018 at 4:36 am

    I love hiking while traveling!! Also, those yoga mats are super cute, I totally want one. I love the idea of doing mini workouts, this is perfect for when you are super jet lagged and need help falling asleep as well!

    • Reply nickyherbert February 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks NieNie, yes complete a mini workout each morning before breakfast and you’ll soon notice the difference! Just 15 mins out of your day – thats nothing!

  • Reply Rebecca Rayner February 22, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Thank you for your post. I really need to use this when I travel. I have the tendency to let my health slip and just eat my way through whatever country I’m in haha.

    • Reply nickyherbert February 22, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks Rebecca. Yes it’s super important to keep up your routine especially when travelling for long periods. Keep it up!

  • Reply Sarah February 22, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Super tips! Although if I were in India I would eat all the naan all the time. When I travel I love walking to sightsee and find that my activity level is already at a higher baseline than when I’m at home. But it’s also important to do more strenuous exercise. It’s great traveling with a partner who has the same goals and priorities and so you can keep each other motivated.

    • Reply nickyherbert February 22, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      Haha yes it was was tempting to eat all the nann and dahl i could find!

  • Reply Amanda Blizzard February 22, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Great tips!! I need to start using some of them haha. But it so hard not eat all the tacos!! On the plus side, I do walk a ton…

  • Reply Ridima February 22, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I am sure your diet constraint in India is indeed a challenge. i mean who can resist those naans and curries..!! But you are right…we shouldn’t take vacations as an excuse to ignore our healthy habits. Great article.

  • Reply Alexis Rae February 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I. Needed. This. Post. I struggle with it all the time. Ive got a jump rope, bands and a good set of sneakers, but finding the motivation can be hard. Mini workouts are definitely helpful.
    Ps – love the Tongariro pic 🙂

    • Reply nickyherbert February 22, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Great to hear Alexis! Sounds like you’ve got good intentions and all the gear…that’s the first step – good luck!

  • Reply Experts Reveal the Secret to Staying Healthy on Holiday - Travel Interesting May 11, 2018 at 4:47 am

    […] for more inspiration? Read my personal tips for Staying Healthy on the Road, including a super quick bodyweight workout to get your heart […]

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