Sometimes, I struggle to stay fit while travelling. In fact, I struggle to find time to stay fit even when I’m home and not on some overseas adventure. Even when I’m travelling specifically for the purpose of wellness, like to an Ayurveda retreat, the thought of controlled meals and organised fitness activities is probably my least favourite part since I love spontaneity. One of the joys of travel is enjoying the break in your routine, but if you travel regularly, it can play havoc with your fitness regime.
Here are a few tips to help you stay fit while travelling:
Eat well, travel well
Dieting while travelling isn’t much fun, but eating well is. Applying the nutrition plan you use back home can be difficult, but you can use elements of it while on the road. A few tips, such as eating less processed foods, skipping the French fries, reducing your carbs and portion sizes, and moderating your intake of soft drinks, juice and alcohol, can make a big difference to the number of calories you’re consuming.
Focus instead on unprocessed foods such as vegetables, proteins and fruit for a sugar boost to keep you satiated. It also inspires you to try the local cuisine, as these ingredients readily available in most destinations. Build your meals around meat (of the four and two-legged variety), fish, eggs, vegetables, oils (e.g. olive, coconut, avocado, etc), fruits and nuts.
Ignore all this advice when eating pasta and gelato in Italy, rice in India or Sri Lanka (try as many varieties as you can), nasi goreng in Asia, steak and frites in France, pastrami on rye in New York City, pancakes with maple syrup in Canada, a meat pie and vegemite on toast in Australia.
Stay fit while travelling and workout anywhere in the world
Not including all the walking you’ll undoubtedly be doing, basic strength training is essential when trying to stay fit while travelling so you can enjoy your explorations to the fullest. Bringing a fitness kit with you is a surefire way of ensuring you have everything you need whenever the moment strikes. For a full body workout in your hotel room, I recommend Centr’s Fitness Kit for good resistance training to strengthen, tone and lengthen those muscles, especially after air travel. The kit includes resistance bands, tube bands, ankle straps, d-handles, a door anchor, a yoga mat and a travel bag. The $149.00 Centr Fitness Kit includes a three-month complimentary digital membership to motivate your body, mind and soul through coaching, nutrition advice and mindfulness.
No gym required
Your hotel might have a gym and even be decked out with state-of-the-art equipment. But let’s be honest: how often have you worked out in the hotel gym? I can count the number of times I’ve ventured in on one hand with good intentions. When I’m travelling, I’m usually either out and about exploring, chilling with my travelling companions or resting in my room. Sweating it out in a windowless room with strangers doesn’t seem overly appealing when there’s so much excitement beckoning.
You’re on holiday and living it up in Macao or Bali – what are you going to about all that temptation? Having a big night out now and then can be a good thing as you strengthen friendships and blow off some steam; travelling can often be frustrating. Just be smart about it. Ditch the mixers, opt for light beer or at least choose craft beer, avoid those sugary colourful cocktails and drink plenty of water. Too many late nights and lack of sleep won’t help, but dancing the night away and adding a little magic to your coconut is encouraged. Make up for your sins and be super healthy the following day.
Secret airport workouts
Even though travel is well and truly back since the pandemic, not all direct flights have resumed. As a result, you might have connecting flights to your destination and long waits in between. As annoying as this can be, it’s the perfect opportunity to get moving. By substituting your hand luggage as “weights” and walking, you’ll work your core, forearms, shoulders and legs and be suitably refreshed for the next leg of your journey.
Move it like Hemsworth
Okay, full disclosure: as an avid Pilates fan, when Centr offered me a fitness kit to sample, I couldn’t resist. I often pack lightweight equipment while travelling, so having everything I need in a travel bag is perfect. Given Centr was founded by Chris Hemsworth, I can’t think of a better advocate or motivator for healthiness than this talented man.
Even if exercise seems a terrible idea during your holiday, trying to stay fit while travelling might be easier than you think if you have an open mind. Travel is the time to try new things and make exciting connections, like tai chi, learning the tango, salsa classes, belly dancing, muay Thai training, meandering through rice paddies or cycling around quaint villages. If all else fails, exploring your new destination on foot is one of the best ways to immerse yourself – you won’t even notice you’re staying fit while travelling.