I love travel. You all know that. But what you may not know is that I am also very into fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. As someone who travels so much, I admit it can be hard to stick to your normal fitness routine while you’re on the road. I have taken lots of short trips and am also a big fan of slow, long-term travel. The latter especially can make it hard to stick to your routine. On the one hand, you want to stay fit, but you also want to take full advantage of the places you’re visiting (and the local foods you come across). I know your pain!
But during my time travelling, I have come up with some tips on how you can stay fit while also indulging in everything the local culture has to offer while you travel. Keep on reading to see how!
This first tip may seem a bit obvious, but I had to include it. By far the best way to see a city is on foot, and walking miles and miles throughout the day is a great way to burn calories without even realizing it. While at home, I’m lucky if I hit 10,000 steps a day. But while travelling, I can hit 25,000-30,000 easy! Especially if you are visiting a hilly city like San Francisco or Sydney, you’d be surprised how toned just walking will keep your legs! A great way to track your walking is to wear a Fitbit. I recommend the Fitbit Flex 2. It’s small and discreet and a very small investment.
Incorporate Physical Activity into your Plans
Wherever you are travelling, there are great ways to incorporate fitness into the plans you already have. And they may help give you an even better insight into the local culture! Visiting somewhere warm and beachy? Go kayaking, snorkel, or take a surfing lesson. Heading to the mountains? Go for a long hike or go skiing. Going to a big city? Climb some tall monuments. (The Eiffel Tower is my favourite to climb!) Visiting a Latin American country? Try out some salsa dancing at a local club. No matter where you are going, there are fun ways to incorporate exercise into your plans.
Look Into Exercise Classes in the City You’re Visiting
Even if you aren’t a member of a gym, there are lots of free workout classes you can join in the cities you visit! Free classes often take place in a park and can include everything from kickboxing to cardio to yoga. Many cities also have running clubs you can join for a run around the city. These free classes are also a great way to meet locals! For some inspiration, here are some free exercise classes in London, New York, San Francisco, and Sydney to get you started. But if you don’t mind paying for an exercise class, your options are endless at local gyms!
Work Out in your Hotel Room
If you’re someone who needs to get a proper workout in (one where you sweat and can feel your muscles burning), there are plenty of workouts you can do right in your hotel room! I don’t belong to a gym, and I don’t take workout classes. Instead, I have a playlist of YouTube videos that I workout to for free. I have a variety of workouts saved, ranging from intense cardio and HIIT workouts to core strengthening pilates workouts. They can all be done with minimal or no equipment and can be done right in your room. HIIT workouts are especially effective and keep your metabolism up for the rest of the day. They are quick but intense and a great way to spend 15 or 20 minutes before you get ready for the day. Being nice and quick will also keep your workout from interfering with your plans to explore!
The YouTube channels I most enjoy for fitness content are Popsugar Fitness, Cosmo Body, and Sarah’s Day. You can check out my playlist of exercise videos here.
Indulge, But With Plenty of Nutrients
Ok, now let’s talk a bit about food. While I’m at home, I like to eat super healthy. Acai bowls for breakfast, salads for lunch, fruit with peanut butter for a snack, and lean meat and vegetables for dinner. But when I’m travelling, you better believe I’ll be eating all the local foods and desserts I can find! I’m not going to tell you to diet while you travel, because one of the best ways to experience a new place is through their food. So allow yourself to indulge, but also make sure you’re not depriving your body of nutrients it needs. If you want to eat pasta and ice cream all day long, you go for it! Just make sure to have some healthy snacks in between, like a piece of fruit from a local market or vegetables with your meals.
Balance Your Meals
While you should totally indulge while you travel, an easy way to not go too overboard on the calories is to balance your meals. If you have a huge, high calorie lunch, maybe have something light for dinner like sushi or a local soup. If you have a massive piece of cake and milkshake as your mid-afternoon snack, maybe have a light dessert later like some fruit or sorbet. Health and fitness, much like everything in life, is all about the balance!
Drink Lots and Lots of Water
Another obvious one here, but there are lots of people who still aren’t drinking enough water. While travelling and walking more than usual, your water intake should increase by quite a lot. A lot of times, when you feel hungry, it’s actually just your body telling you it needs water. Drinking tons of water can help you stay fit and slim, because when you aren’t drinking enough, your body retains the water you drink, which can make you feel bloated. And trust me, there’s nothing worse than feeling sick at the end of the day from being dehydrated! Drinking plenty of water can also help your skin look better as well. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go, and refill it every chance you get at a water fountain or drink machine. Challenge yourself to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, but up that to 3 or 4 on days you do lots of walking.
Go on a Post-Holiday Detox
So you’re at the end of your trip and looking back. Turns out you didn’t eat as well as you thought you would. No use stressing about it now! Once you get back home, go on a little post-holiday detox for a week or two to get your body back into its healthy routine. Get back to working out several times a week, and eat meals that are heavy on fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. While detoxing, try to limit your sugar and carbs. When being really healthy, I’ll limit myself to one sugary snack a day and cut down on bread, pasta, and rice almost completely. Of course everyone’s body is different, so do what feels best for you while trying to get yourself back on track after a trip.
With a bit of practice and dedication, it’s easy to stay fit while travelling! Being healthy and active is a lifestyle and something you can incorporate into every day no matter where you are in the world. Utilise some of these tips and you’ll easily stay fit while travelling the globe!
What are your favourite ways to incorporate exercise and health into your travels? Share your tips and tricks in a comment!
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Hi I’m Christie, a 28-year-old girl originally from Boston who has spent time living in New York City, North Carolina, France, Australia, New Zealand, and London. I love moving to new places and exploring them as a local, and I can’t see my nomadic expat life stopping any time soon! I have no greater passion than travel, and when I’m not exploring I spend my free time reminiscing on past trips and daydreaming about future travel.
Staying fit while traveling is a very important thing and that’s why I love adventure travel, Christie! Your tips are very useful and incorporating physical activity into travel plans is an awesome tip!
I love adventure travel as well, and I want to try more of it over the next few years! What are your favourite adventure destinations you’d recommend?
I always forget to drink water. Doesn’t matter if I’m indoor or outdoor. Dehydration also adds to my overeating and constant hunger.
I normally use body weight exercises if there is no easy access to a gym. Push ups, squats, and rows are my go-to sets. Body weight vest is a plus if I can get my hands on one during travels.
Can’t say no to stretches either! Lots of yoga routines on Youtube to follow.
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Beautiful place and pics. Your tips for staying fit over the holidays is very practical and easy to implement. Thanks for sharing!
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