It can be hard to stay fit and heathy whilst you’re travelling as you have no routine, regular eating times or exercise and you can easily start to feel a little under the weather. If you’re anything like me, your body (and mind!) relies on a regular fitness regime to stay slim, fit and healthy so I wanted to share some of my travel fit tips.
Make time to exercise
I know it’s hard to plan when you’re on the road trying to live a free and easy life but both your mind and body will be grateful for a little boost of endorphins every now and again. Just putting aside one or two days in your week where you choose to undertake any form of exercise, for any given timeframe, at any point in the day will do you wonders.
I have recently finished travelling around Australia in my car which meant I was sitting for long periods and it took its toll on my body; especially my hips! I realised that I needed to loosen up and started to schedule three to four HIIT workouts per week that were a measly 28 mins each and my god did I notice the difference. I was literally rolling out my yoga mat at the side of the road in the outback doing squats, walking lunges, burpees etc. so there are no excuses!
Take a pair of trainers with you
Not only are trainers comfortable if you are out sightseeing for days on end, they are great for running, hiking and any other form of exercise you want to add into your daily travel life. I try to choose a lightweight pair that supports my feet and ankles for shorter distance running as I never manage a longer run than 10km usually! I am a stickler for a pair of Nike’s.
Carry some fit bands
I swear by these bands as they are cheap, lightweight and compact which makes for easy carrying in your backpack. I carried both a resistance band which I used for many forms of squatting and I used a pulley for shoulder, arm and leg exercises. You can find videos and exercise ideas online.
Choose healthy alternatives
Now this one may seem like an easy piece of advice but I know from experience that it’s all too easy to buy crisps, chocolate, fizzy drinks and ‘easy to eat on the go’ items when you’re on the road. Try swapping up the sweet treats for fruit such as grapes, mandarins or even mango and pineapple if you’re in an Asian country as there’s and abundance available. If you’re having cravings for crisps, choose to swap them up for crackers as they contain much less fat. Be mindful of your meal choices too as in most cases you will be eating out for all of your meals and it can be easy to pick glutenous options – a fry up is ok once in a while but not every day. Your only pair of jeans will thank me later!
Download a running app to your phone
I found that having an app to help me to pre-plan my route in unknown cities was a great way to motivate me. It will track your time, distance and route so you can try to beat it if your feeling competitive and brave enough to run the same route again. I use Map my Run but have also used Edmundo before too.
Carry a Yoga mat or large towel
If you have space or an easy way to tie a lightweight yoga mat to your backpack, I would suggest taking one with you. They are great to use to sleep on, sit on or to you to exercise. If a yoga mat is too large or heavy you can take a yoga mat towel which is lighter weight and grippy or you can just ensure that you have a large towel to use on the floor as an alternative.
Headphones are a must
Whilst on the road I can not be without my headphones. I use them for long bus journeys to listen to music or to watch Netflix and not disturb others. I also love to use them to sometimes hibernate away from hustle and bustle of busy cities! Choose a durable and noise cancelling pair that is great for exercising. I have a Bluetooth pair from Skullcandy that are great for running and lightweight so they’re very comfortable.
Invest in an phone armband
Phone armbands are lightweight and easy to travel with. Not only are they great for exercise but also good to carry your phone in rather than wearing a handbag! You can also find them to have extra slots for a key, bank card and money if needed.
Carry snacks in your bag
A random point to make but I have found when I reach that hangry point I will order anything (or everything!) from the menu of a nearby restaurant. If I have a snack in my backpack I would be less likely to overeat and also waste money ordering larger amounts of food in that spare of the moment. I usually carry cereal bars, apples, bananas, crackers or whatever easy to eat and carry foods that won’t tarnish being bashed against my water bottle.
Drinking fluids will not only keep you feeling refreshed but will also stop you from overeating. Always carry water on you when you are sightseeing and I like to set myself targets on how much I need to drink each day – a little lame I know but it keeps me topped up with H20. Try to reduce the use of plastic water bottles if you can and swap up for a BPA free reusable bottle like my Camelback which has a lifetime guarantee.
Be creative and resourceful
I’m always assessing what I can use in the absence of gym equipment. I’ve been known to roll out my towel and do a Kayla Itsines BBG workout in my teeny hostel room with the aircon on whilst Colin is still sound asleep!
During my road trip around Australia, I managed to use the car for leg raises, a storage box for tricep dips, benches for step-ups and many other resourceful swap ups. Here is some inspiration for home workouts using household items. Be creative, resourceful and most of all have fun!