“Ugh I’m so unfit since we’ve been travelling.”
– said every other holidaymaker
There are no excuses not to keep a base level of fitness up on the road.
If you’re super fit in your day to day life, you probably won’t maintain your high standards. For the average Joe, I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be able to keep up with what your minimal effort is anyway..
In places like the south of New Zealand you want a base level of fitness. That way you tackle the beautiful nature walks, kayak across the Milford Sound, and ski the slopes.
The following are the five easiest ways to maintain your fitness on the road.
I despise taxis. Walking is 10x better in nearly all situations.
Let me rant about my one taxi experience for the year:
I had 15 hours in Kuwait between flights from Turkey to India. The perfect amount to explore the city. I spent 7.25 KWD (24 USD) all day for my visa, public bus to and from the airport and food. Then when I got to the airport, I was at the wrong terminal.
It was a 15km ride away, and that had a fixed price of 7 KWD! I spent the same amount of money for a whole day as I did for a quick cab ride. I was in the taxi for 13 minutes! Rar. /rant.
Anyway, you guys, walk! If you find yourself needing to take a taxi all the time, you’ve planned to many activities stressing you out. Or you haven’t planned things and you are visiting every corner of a destination.
One of the reasons people dislike places like Bangkok is because it takes ages to get from A to B. People get stressed and irritated, taking away from the beauty they’re seeing.
10,000 steps a day when travelling shouldn’t even be a goal. You should walk that without thinking.
When you explore a new place by foot you get to experience so much more than being stuck inside a taxi, bus, limousine, or your room. You get to:
- see funny signs
- quirks in the way things are done
- find fun cafes
- chat too locals more
- there’s no time
- it’s tricky to know where to run
- it’s been a long day.
, while exploring at your own pace.
Walking about without a plan may feel like a waste of time, but with the right attitude, it definitely isn’t. It’s the best!
I agree, running isn’t easy when you travel. If you’re at a hotel with a gym that’s different (should it be though?).
Otherwise I know all the excuses:
Don’t worry, I’ve used them all.
The key is to make running a priority. I commit to a time to run each day and don’t think about it anymore run until it’s time to get the gear ready and go. Then when I get back, jump straight into the shower rather than muck around. If I don’t, I’ve lost another hour waiting to ‘cool’ down.
You probably should go first thing in the morning. Plenty of gurus say exercising is the best way to start the day. Wake up 30 minutes before your friends and family, get your run done and be ready to start the day on the right not (and they’re in a groggy state).
Don’t forget your activity trackers so you can maximize your run; check out these list of fitness trackers for people with small wrists for some great recommendations.
Work out what suits you and go do it! I don’t like running at night time in a place I don’t know, but that may work for you. And you don’t have to run every day. Aim for 3-4 times a week when you travel and you’ll be better than 95% out there.
RELATED POST: THE ONE HACK YOU NEED FOR YOUR RUNNING MOTIVATION ABROAD
This is one of my favourite ways to keep fit overseas. Ultimate frisbee is such a low friction activity to take with you everywhere. A frisbee can be packed into the luggage, even for the most minimalist of travellers.
I’ve played frisbee in Latvia, Barcelona, Goa, Kapas Island and Chiang Mai that I can think of. Throwing a frisbee around for an hour won’t feel like exercise, but if you haven’t played for a while you’ll notice the workout the next day.
I have friends, like Claudia, who make an effort to swim everyday when abroad.
Swimming isn’t 100% for me, but lots of people claim to love swimming, yet never actually swim.
As I write this, I’m at the most popular beach holiday destination in India, Goa. At Pelolem Beach, there are hundreds of people on the beach all day. How many in the water? Never more than 20.
Why these people go to the beach yet never enter the water bamboozles me! If you find yourself near beaches with warm water, go swim. You’ll love it. And while you’re in the water, make a conscious effort to put in 10 minutes of swimming. Swimming is a great full body workout.
Having learned to swim last year, I’m glad to get to the warm waters of Goa after the unexpectedly cold waters of Turkey.
RELATED POST: THE BOOK THAT TAUGHT ME TO SWIM
Portable Training Stuff For In Your Pack
I travelled with a skipping rope in my backpack for a few years. I used it once a month on average. Not enough but (yes I have an excuse) it was there ‘just in case‘ rather than a commitment to skipping consistently. I do like skipping though.
Beyond skipping ropes, there are lots of items you can store in your backpack to get a quick workout in. A few are: yoga mats, pull up bars, portable kettlebell, hula hoop, and a speed ladder.
Consider popping these into your bag and using them in and around your accommodation. If you decide to carry something you may as well use it, right?
Packing your bag for travel is an art, not a science. The more you practice, the better you get. You coan pack at least one of these in your bag.
RELATED POST: PORTABLE EXERCISE EQUIPMENT FOR TRAVELLING
Activities You Can Find In Cities Around The World
These four activities are found in dozens of cities around the world. You won’t find them easily in every city, but if you can make one a habit, be sure to look them up before you arrive somewhere new.
Bicycle Tours: They are usually a half or full day tour and take you to places further afield than you can get to by foot. Distances vary but when you break up the rides with activities it doesn’t feel like a workout so much.
Walking Tours: Most large cities in Europe have walking tours. They’ll get you well on your way to the 10,000 steps.
Running Tours: I have yet to do a running tour, but they are a fun way to explore a new city. Trip report to come.
Drop In Yoga Classes: If you’re a yoga fanatic, you have so many options for yoga wherever you are in the world. Ask at your accommodation where you can do a yoga class and they’ll point you in the right direction.
When you’re travelling, the easy option is to stop with your entire fitness routine you do back home. But there’s a reason you do this routine right? It probably leads to feeling happier day in day out. So why on earth would you stop doing that when you travel? Maintaining your fitness to a basic level isn’t really that hard. Then when you get to those activities like kayaking in New Zealand you don’t have to be embarrassed about saying no because of your fitness.
How do you stay fit when you travel?