Keeping fit and healthy while on the road can be challenging. Changing destinations every few weeks/days, travelling overland/taking numerous flights, and getting your bearings in a new destination can mean that maintaining your health and fitness takes a back seat.
However, when travelling you are constantly being exposed to new environments and exerting yourself sometimes on a daily basis, which means it is super important to maintain your health and fitness to avoid getting sick while you are way.
That is why we have brought together a few of our top tips to keeping fit and healthy while on the road that we have been using over the years. If you have any tips to share, drop a comment below!
1. Make your own lunch/dinner when possible
Making your own meals can not only save you a fortune, but it can ensure you control the way your food is cooked and therefore its nutritional value. When eating out, you can never be too sure on the ingredients that are put into your dish or the way that it is cooked (e.g. deep fried, sautéed, oven baked etc.). This could easily make what seems like a 500kcal meal into a 1500kcal meal, when it really doesn’t have to be.
Taking a packed lunch and snacks on your days out and cooking wholesome dinners where possible can really help you maintain a balanced and healthy diet while you are away. It can be fun too because you can experiment with local ingredients and flavours and perhaps host a dinner party with your new found friends.
2. Seek out healthy eateries before you arrive
When you are travelling to a new destination, do some research before you arrive into the best healthy cafés, restaurants, and supermarkets in the local area. This will save you time when you get there and will allow you to be healthy straight from the get go.
You will know just where to find the local farmers market and which cafés/restaurants serve the leanest and most ethically produced dishes. Buying local produce and dining at local eateries will also benefit the local community.
3. Don’t feel pressured to be drinking every night
Just because you are travelling does not mean you have to be drinking and partying every night. If that is your thing, that’s ok. But it is also ok to take a different approach to travelling, such as a health and wellness/feel good approach.
If you are drinking every night, you probably won’t want to rise early and get your workout in or head up that mountain for sunrise. You will likely spend your days hiding in the shade, feeling grim and overloading on carbs and sugar.
If that’s what you travel for, great. But if it’s not, it’s time to re-evaluate and stop giving into peer pressure feeling like you should be drinking and partying every night until the sun comes up. Learn how to socialise and call it a night early enough for you to get the things done that you travelled all that way for.
4. Keep active
Get outside, climb a mountain, swim in the ocean, commit to swimming so many lengths in the pool before you head out for the day, walk, walk, walk until you cannot walk any more (or at least until you’ve reached your daily step count). There are an abundance of opportunities to keep active when travelling and it’s up to you to take advantage of them.
The best thing is, the majority of the activities are in the great outdoors. Combine being in nature with working up a sweat and your mental state will skyrocket from the endorphin overload.
5. Seek out gyms before you arrive
Often places you travel to will be a city or coastal town that is also home to a community. Therefore, you will likely find many of the facilities you have back home, including a gym. However, they might be difficult to find depending on where you travel to and importantly, they might not offer day/week/month passes. Therefore, it really is best to do your research before you head out. Send a few emails to the local gyms to see if you can get a short term pass and check with hotels to see what the day rate of using their facilities is or whether they have any offers on.
Gyms are great for those tropical storms and rainy days. The hotel you are staying at might even have a gym or you might decide to pay a bit more for a hotel with a gym. Drawing on experience though, many hotel gyms are not always good and sometimes over sold. Often the images make the facilities look great and when you arrive it is just a treadmill and some free weights in a stuffy room with no windows. Not very motivating to workout, huh?
6. Do HIIT workouts in your hotel
If you struggle to find a gym or you are trying to keep costs down while travelling, simply do a workout in your hotel room on a rainy day or on the beach/in the park when the weathers nice. Play some music and load a YouTube video for motivation. Our favourite YouTube channel for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts is Fitness Blender. They have plenty of 20-60 minute videos for any level of fitness and are really varied so you won’t have to do the same workout everyday.
7. Take a workout kit and make the most of everything around you
You could even travel with some simple equipment. For example, we always take a skipping rope for cardio and a resistance band for body weight exercises. If you want to do weighted body weight exercises, load up your backpack and use that in place of a barbell. Robe belts are great for stretching afterwards.
8. Drink plenty of water
This ones kind of a given but worth mentioning as it’s one of the most important points to remember. It’s so easy to go about your day and forget to drink plenty of water. If you are being super active or travelling in a hot country, you need to stay hydrated to avoid becoming sick and exhausted. You will be sweating more which means you need to replace the water your body is losing.
As you can see, there are many ways to keep fit and healthy while on the road, the key is to plan ahead and prepare for each step of your journey.