When travelling, it is great to partake and immerse yourself in the local culture of where you are. But sometimes you can partake and immerse yourself a little too much. It can be hard to keep to a routine when you are backpacking! You may put on weight, feel unwell from enjoying new foods, over indulge on alcohol and regularly suffer the effects, or huff and puff your way around town. If this is the case, you will need to look at your health and fitness. Here are x easy ways to help you stay fit and healthy when travelling. I’m sure they will help you travel better and longer.
Make your own Meals
Enjoying local foods while travelling is one of my favourite past times. Unfortunately, the local foods don’t always like me – over indulging can not only be unhealthy, but it can become very expensive. This is why you should be conscious of what you are putting into your body. When travelling long-term I would highly suggest, if your budget allows, book accommodation with cooking facilities. On saying that, some countries, such as in Asia, the street food is so cheap you wouldn’t bother cooking however, if you are taking your health and fitness serious while travelling cooking when travelling will allow you to know exactly what you are putting into your body. Plus save you heaps of money.
Some of my favourite go-to friendly meals include:
- One pot wonders of risotto and hearty soups.
- Stir fry – buy fresh veggies, throw in your favourite sauce (soy, satay, chilli), some meat, chicken or tofu and serve on top of noodles or rice and you have an easy and healthy meal.
- Pasta – so easy to boil a pot of pasta then add a pesto or pasta sauce (pre-made if you prefer).
- Salad – buy fresh salad items, cut them up and make a healthy salad. Lettuce, tomato, capsicum, onion, olives, avocado or whatever combo you like. Add a piece of meat, chicken or fish and voila.
I take my health and fitness so seriously when I travel that I wrote a recipe book, Travellers Fare – Fast and Fabulous Meals for Travellers to provide inspiration on fast and fabulous meals to make. You can get your copy here.
Take healthy snacks with you when travelling
I suggest finding a local grocery store or market and grab some fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, cheese and crackers and other healthy snacks to satisfy those cravings. These things are small and easy to carry in your handbag or backpack for the day, and most importantly, they are healthy. And don’t forget to fill your water bottle up with fresh water for the day rather than buying a bottle of water or a sugary drink. When you have healthy snacks with you, you are less likely to buy unhealthy snacks and drinks, which will help keep your health and your wallet in check.
Avoid drinking alcohol everyday
When you are travelling and enjoying yourself it is quite easy to add an alcoholic drink into the mix. Why wouldn’t you? I mean, if you are having fajitas in a Mexican beach bar why wouldn’t you add a Corona. Or you are having a German sausage and sauerkraut at the Octoberfest, why wouldn’t you add a Heineken or two! When travelling through one of the world’s world-class vine growing region, why wouldn’t you partake in a Chardonay or Shiraz or Champaign! Now I am not saying, not to partake, but it is when you overindulge in alcohol that is when things can become an issue. Not only does it affect your health, over indulging can affect your safety because when you have had a lot to drink you can lose awareness of your surroundings and unsavoury types could take advantage of you. Peer pressure is another thing to consider. Yes, it is great to meet new people but when booking accommodation maybe avoid the ‘party hostels’ to reduce your temptation of over-partying. You don’t need alcohol to meet new people! If you don’t want to experience particular sites in a blurry haze from too much alcohol and stay healthy while travelling, ditch the booze.
Walk instead of taking transport
One of the best ways to stay fit while travelling is by walking. Walking to popular tourist sights and then walking around them will help you keep fit. So if you have over-indulged in alcohol or local food you may want to try to walk it off. I have downloaded a step app on my phone and I set myself a limit of 5,000 steps per day to reach, this helps to keep my health and fitness in check. This is something you could consider also. Walking in a new city or town can also help you to discover the new city or town in ways you might not have thought. You may miss things if you are in transport. So consider walking. Ensure you pack some good walking shoes or sandals.
Pack your favourite workout gear
It can be tough trying to dedicate time to a workout when you are travelling. This is why it is good to try to incorporate it into your travelling. I often travel with a few of my favourite workout gear. This includes my yoga mat and my resistance band so I can stretch my muscles after a long day of walking. Another favourite of my workout gear is a scrunchy ball that gives my hand and arm muscles a gentle workout. Have a look at your favourite workout gear and see what might not be too heavy and bulky to carry. Add a quick workout to walking and this will help you stay fit while travelling. Believe me, these little things help you feel so much better!
Choose activities that are active
Choose activities while you are travelling that will keep you active and in particular, activities that you don’t know are keeping you active. What I mean is, choose activities that you enjoy doing. If you like hiking, undertake more hikes. If you aren’t a hiker, don’t call it a hike, call it a walk and undertake small walks – partake in walking tours of the town you are in – like the Jack the Ripper tour of London, ghost walks, street art walks, walks to the top of mountains (though that is probably a hike) – I think you get the idea! And if you aren’t into hikes but like to spend your days by a pool or on a beach, then swim, or surf, throw a ball in the water and swim to it, water ski, throw a frisbee on the sand with new friends. Turn an activity into something you enjoy doing. Just stay active.
By implementing these 6 suggested health and fitness habits into your travels will definitely help you to improve your health and fitness. When you are healthy and fit you definitely travel better. Start small, and build your momentum and implement these easy strategies and then you can partake in most things. What do you do to stay fit and healthy when travelling? I’d love to know in the comments below.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. She loves travelling to different countries to immerse herself in the culture and in particular, enjoy the food. She currently calls Melbourne, Australia home.