We all know how it goes. You are travelling around enjoying the beauty of different countries. A new city every week means new nightlife every week, and new food to taste and enjoy!
Maybe you’ve had one too many Changs in Thailand? Or maybe that Australian ice cream is just too refreshing in the heat to say no? Or maybe even the temptation to have a takeaway every night for dinner is too high as it’s just so much easier than cooking? Right? I get it. We all get it! And that’s fine! For a while. But after a while that beer belly starts to show, acne appears from eating so much junk food, but it’s fine as that brilliant tan you’ve got hides it all right? Wrong.
I’m here to help!
Not only is all that junk food bad for your skin and waistline, it’s also bad for your health. When you are spending a lot of energy on treks, partying or even lugging your backpack to the next bus your body needs real food to fuel and replenish. There are plenty of ways to enjoy all these things and remain fit and healthy at the same time.
So here are my top 10 tips to ensure your health is top priority whilst travelling:
1• Resistance bands – The easiest and cheapest way to commit to working out whilst travelling is to purchase some resistance bands. I purchased mine from myprotein and they cost as little as £10.99 for 2 bands. Just make sure you test them out to see if the resistance is ok for you before you leave! These make leaving the weights behind slightly more bearable. Just wrap the band around anything that is fixed to the ground and the world of exercises is your oyster. Heres some examples of ‘my top 10 exercises you can do using a resistance band’.
2• Gym day pass – if leaving the weights behind just isn’t good enough for you, it is so easy to get a day / week / months day pass at any local gyms! Just give them a call, tell them you are in the area and see what they can do. Hint: if you tell them you are looking to join you will be more likely to get a free trial. Cheeky but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Another hint: most gym chains have more expensive memberships and admin fees. We got a weeks membership at a sole gym in Adelaide and it cost us $25 no joining fees. Whereas at a chain, we were quoted $100 for a months membership, with a joining fee of $70. Do your research and the bargains can be found!
3• Exercise classes – depending on where you are travelling to, most cities have some sort of variety of exercise classes available. Especially in Australia. Australia is huuuge in the fitness industry at the moment, which means you can’t walk half a mile without some form of outdoor class going on, yoga, running club, pilates, circuit training, boxing.. you name it, they’ve got it. Most classes are reasonably cheap to join, and if worst comes to worst there’s nothing stopping you from doing this all yourself. Grab a yoga mat, pick a spot in the sun and stretch those muscles! Perfect for your body and your tan!
4• Eat healthy – I cannot stress this one enough. So many travellers live on pizza, ready meals, takeaways and so on and so on. Simply because it’s the easy option. You’re tired after a long day? You want to spend more time on getting ready to hit the town? You simply just can’t be bothered. Cooking is so easy, and with the right recipes it can take a measly 15/20 minutes to whip up a meal full of protein, fats and carbs. All combined give you the energy you need to refuel and nourish your body. Not only that, but you will save a fortune on buying fresh food in a supermarket, grab a cooler bag and store it all in there. Here are ‘5 quick and easy recipes’.
5• Drink plenty of water – This one goes without saying, surely? Water is one of the main factors your body needs to survive. It is the best thing for energy, recovery and concentration, let alone amazing for your skin, headaches, weight loss and numerous other health benefits. Whilst on that trek you just completed, or during that all night party you danced the night away at your body has sweat out a huge deal of water. This means you will be dehydrated, more likely to crave junk food and your energy levels will be at an all time low. I know it can be hard to drink alot, but the more your drink, the more natually your body will crave it. Some tips for drinking more would be: • the good marker trick, just grab a bottle, and with a market pen, draw a line for every 200ml and put the hour next to it. So 9am,10am,11am and so on. Every hour make sure that you have drunk said amount of water. That means in 15 hours of the day you would have consumed 3 litres. Easy! • Set an alarm on your phone or watch for every hour, the same concept as the marker trick, every time your alarm rings, drink a pint. • Buy some sugar free squash if you don’t like the taste. Certain countries have chemically tasting water which can make it hard to enjoy. If this is the case, buy some sugar free squash and drink away! • Buying a cool bag not only keeps your food cool but also your water. So when you are on the move you can enjoy a nice freshing cold drink. You can buy cooler bottle holders too!
6• Control the alcohol – This ones a huge issue for most travellers. How better to meet other travellers than to sit down with a beer? Or join in a drinking game before hitting the clubs? Alcohol is great for a fun night out but not so great for your body. It will leave you feeling dehydrated and at an all time energy low, making you crave junk food and sugary drinks. Limiting your alcohol intake to once a week, or when the big social events are happening will make a huge impact on your energy levels. If you can’t limit it, then choose wisely, there are alcoholic drinks you can have that aren’t packed full of sugar, drinking vodka with a diet mixer for instance, or in Australia they do these great sugar free Vodka Cruisers. Which personally I think taste amazing! Just ensure you drink plenty of water before you go to bed to rehydrate your body.
7• Get a good nights sleep – a good nights sleep is a huge factor to giving your body the rest and recovery it needs. Make sure you are getting the recommended 8 hours as often as possible. Not only will you feel refreshed when you wake up, you also benefit from an increase in concentration and productivity and you’ll be less likely to snack!
8• Prepare – sometimes you’ll find yourself out on the road with no shops around apart from those evergrowing fast food chains, Maccy Ds (mcdonalds), kfc, hungry jacks, burger king.. etc etc. Or you might check into a new hostel and find that there’s no kitchen facilities available. The key is to plan and prepare, check ahead as to what facilities are available in the hostel, on hostelworld reviews most people will mention the state of the kitchen. If you are going on a day trip take a packed lunch with you, and easy foods to snack on such as nuts, apples, carrot sticks etc. These will curb your cravings as well as giving you an energy boost.
9. Find a friend – Working out alone can be hard if you lack in motivation. If you are travelling with a companion, agree to make a pact to exercise at least 3 times a week. Take it in turns to cook a healthy dinner each night. A little healthy competition didn’t hurt anybody, and pushing eachother to get that extra rep, or run that extra 100 metres goes a long way. If you are travelling alone then mingle with your new friends and find out who’s also looking to get fit, or go to that exercise class you’ve seen advertised on the notice board, chances are you’ll meet some new friends while you’re there!
10. Enjoy it – What’s the point of joining a running club if you hate running? Or joining a spin class if you hate spin? I know I do! You’ll go to a couple of classes, constantly be thinking ‘how long left?!’ And then drop out, back to square one. If you don’t know what you enjoy, test out a few different classes or weight routines to see what’s enjoyable to you. Because chances are, you’ll fall in love with something and look forward to going! (And I don’t mean the instructor!)
So that’s my 10 top tips to keeping fit whilst travelling, or just keeping fit in general! Hopefully you would have learnt something new from this which you can implement it into your routine. Just remember, a baby doesn’t get up and start running in a day. Start slow and make changes that you know you can stick to. As you increase one aspect of your health the others will come naturally.