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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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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 lunges (25 each leg)
1 minute plank
How do you stay fit and healthy on the road? Share your ideas and suggestions with our readers below.