No routine or structure to our days. More booze, more food and way more hangovers. So how do we stay fit whilst travelling? Especially if we’re travelling for an extensive period or time with friends that think a Bloody Mary for breakfast constitutes a balanced meal?
Here are my top 5 tips on how to stay fit whilst travelling;
1. Run Places
Running is a fantastic way to not only get a great conditioning workout in, but also to see the local sights. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to run in each continent of the earth (except for Antarctica…not THAT crazy guys!) and in doing so, experienced and encountered situations, people and communities I might not have otherwise.
Some of my most memorable moments were whilst running, as this modality of movement enhances our interactions and how we experience our surroundings; in the spectrum of colours, sights and types of smells we encounter as much more vivid. One particular run I recall was in Zanzibar before summiting Mt Kilimanjaro. I embarked on a run through tiny villages, across unkept fields where the local school children were playing an intense game of football, whilst cows grazed and horses milling around, continuing on through rolling hills and finishing at the coast line where I jumped into the ocean as a sweet reward. Had I not run, I would have had a limited view of my surroundings, especially when staying in an area for a limited time.
Running can take many forms. It can be from one spot to another, or involve short bursts of intensity for 15-20 seconds at a time. If you’re looking at balancing out an indulgent night, the latter is a great way to burn body fat in a short amount of time. Walking is also a great way to get around, and get a true feel for the community you’re exploring. If you’re travelling for work, perhaps a walking meeting rather than sitting in a conference room could be an option, or running errands on foot.
2. Bust a move at a Community Gym
Before I do any extensive travel, I look up where the locals train. Yep, I can hear you roll your eyes but hear me out….when I’m on holidays, and usually travelling solo, I like to assimilate into my surrounding and experience as close to an authentic experience of a place as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean a conventional gym and can involve riding bikes, horses, playing a game of basketball, doing a barre class, swimming or a rock climbing session. In commiting to this practice, I also get access to making friends with the kinds of people with similar interests I would back home. If you’re travelling for work, this is a go-to, especially if you’ve been sitting in an office all day. You’ll be surprised how good you feel afterwards and your body will thank you for it.
3. Eat fresh, Eat like a Local
Every time I travel, I make it a part of my mission to eat what locals would eat. I love the idea of immersing myself in a culture, and that extends to the flavour of the region. Most of the time, this means asking around what a speciality of that particular area may be, or seeking recommendations of ‘street food’ or great eateries that locals swear by. This will often mean you’ll get the freshest access to cultural dishes; fish, meats or legumes and seasonal vegetables prepared in a style that accentuates their flavours. Eating fresh reduces the liklihood of any preservatives, flavours or fillers in the food and increases the various nutrients it contains. You might even fall in love with a particular dish and be inspired to re-create it when you get back home!
4. Hike or Dance
Hiking is a great functional cardiovascular workout that not only gets you to see places from a completely different vantage point, but from a different perspective. It allows you the time, the visual stimulation and the time to ourselves, away from the modern stresses of society to really switch off and get lost in our own thoughts and subconsciously kneed out any issues, underlying questions and thoughts we may have, that our constantly connected culture rarely allows us to do.
If you can’t hike, then dance. I know personally when doing either of these, it really clarifies my thoughts and allows me to re-connect with myself. Whilst hiking, the sounds, smells and stimulation I experience can only be gathered from spending time in nature. Ditto for dancing, depending on where you decide to bust a move!
5. Mobilise ‘Dem Legs
Visiting a myriad of sights on foot during the day tightens hamstrings, hips and calves, especially if we’re travelling for an extended period of time. Having a few props such as mobility balls, “spikes” balls or “tune up” myofascial balls are an easy, portable way to release tight muscles without forking out for a pricey massage, that you can perform from the comfort of your room. You can work these into tight hips, lower back, achilles, ankles and shins and get some sweet release in minutes. A yoga practice is also a great alternative to mobilise, as it not only gives us an outlet to re-calibrate the body, but gives us clarify for the mind after a long day.
Loved my Top 5 Tips Whilst Travelling? Why not get a carefully curated weekly dose of the latest in fitness, wellness and health delivered straight to your inbox?